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VRE Rolls Out Changes to Train Tracking System

New map feature includes drop-down menu for Blackberry users.

The Virginia Railway Express recently debuted changes to the mapping feature in its Rail Time system, a program used by riders to track the whereabouts of trains on the Manassas and Fredericksburg Lines.

VRE officials were prompted to make the change to Rail Time after Microsoft canceled MapPoint—the mapping feature Rail Time used—in December, VRE spokesman Mark Roeber said this week.

Microsoft customers like VRE were then required to migrate to Bing in order to continue providing maps for services like Rail Time, he said.

VRE made the changes available to the public this week after converting its account to Bing and making some changes to its scripts and code so the Bing maps can work well with the system.

Officials said the 9-year-old system is essentially the same as before and still requires users to click on an interactive real time map to get information about trains' locations.

The changes won’t affect Rail Time’s compatibility with iOS, Android and Windows software, but a drop down menu has been added for Blackberry users, Roeber said.

On the Blackberry, users must choose a train from a drop down list to get the Bing map view. Other devices don't have a drop down menu and require the user to click on a specific train icon, he said.

Eric Frost May 09, 2012 at 12:41 PM
It is the "MapPoint Web Service (MWS)" that was canceled, not MapPoint. There are desktop products called MapPoint 2011 North America and Europe that are going strong. Eric http://www.MapForums.com

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