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eightolives' Trains Quick Hints

Trains is tested using Firefox, Safari and Chrome browsers.

When you first start Trains, it takes a minute for data to display. You may be prompted to permit the use of your geolocation (recommended).

All actions only use left mouse clicks or touches.

The tri-bar button in the upper left gives you various menu options.

Clicking the "" at the top displays the Help menu.

The "Search" button at the top displays the Find Connections menu.

The display shows the time, the station or stop selected, and real time predicted or schedule data as selected by the radio buttons in the tri-bar menu. Predicted data also includes active alerts.

Clicking the station name gives you a popup menu or returns to the default "Train Board" display list. Clicking a station name with an asterisk shows multiple platforms which can be chosen at that station.

Predicted or schedule data is a list of all trips arriving/departing from the stop. Times in blue are real-time predictions. Times in black are published schedule times. Times in purple are dynamic estimates.

Clicking a trip lists all the stops for that trip or Trip View. Clicking a trip's stop changes the selected station to that stop.

Clicking the refresh icon next to the title "Train Board" will refresh the Train Board data.

Clicking the title for the Trip View shows a popup menu. You can refresh the Trip View data or plot the trip on the map. Vehicle positions may be displayed if data is available.

Most data is retrieved via the Internet. This requires you to be on-line and the data servers to be available.

"Here" tries to locate the nearest station or stop. "Here" normally requires your browser's Location Services to be enabled. You may be asked to allow Trains to use your geolocation data.

You can Select a Stop From a List either by clicking the current stop name in the display or using the tri-bar menu or the Ops menu options. Commuter Rail and Subway stops can be selected from the list. You can can also "Search For Stop" from the tribar menu which lets you enter parts of street names, bus stops or stations.

You can also Search for a Stop. Enter part of a street, stop or station name, select type of stop, then Search. A list of possible matches are shown for your final selection. Partial names might be "mall" to find all mall stops or "york" to find New York.

"Home" is a shortcut to a stop you can select and save. Once you have selected a stop, use the Ops menu to save it as your "Home".

List entries with a green background are future scheduled events. List entries with a red background are within 5 minutes of arrival/departure or now boarding. List enties with a grey background are completed. List entries with an orange background have a delay indicated. Check alerts for details on the delay. (If there is no alert and the delay seems large, it could be a software bug. Plot the trip to see where the vehicle actually is.)

The tri-bar menu item "View Map" displays a Google Map in a popup window. Clicking on the map gets a list of nearby stops. The nearest train or subway is listed first. Other nearby stops are listed by distance. Choosing Select centers the stop on the map and sets it as the location in the main window.

The tri-bar menu item Find Bus Number gets a schedule list for that bus route. Clicking one of the trips displays the schedule by stops for that trip. Since bus stops may be unfamiliar, you can open the Google Map popup and see the location of the selected stop. Clicking "Plot Bus" highlights the approximate route of that bus.

You can save and retrieve schedules using the tri-bar menu's File submenu. Saving schedules lets you use the tool with minimum functionality when you are offline, not connected to the internet, or when key servers are down. You can use Local Memory (the browser's cache memory) or your platform's file system if your mobile device supports it. It is best to save schedule data rather than predicted data. File suffix is ".sk0" for schedule at a stop and ".sk1" for schedule of a trip.

Other, non-MBTA data, is schedule data only. The Preference menu has options to not display the additional data.

MBTA bus lines can be selected using the tri-bar menu Find Bus Number option. Bus stops can also be selected using the Map or from Search for a Stop.

The Find Connections feature is still being debugged/developed. It supports most rail and subway and many bus stops at this time. You specify the From and To locations, the earliest start time and the day within the upcoming week. The tool will use schedule data to determine possible itineraries for that trip. Selecting an itinerary displays the details of the trip. Clicking the title Connection Details pops up a menu which lets you redisplay the itineraries list, stick plot the route on a map or save or print the itinerary. You can retrieve the itinerary list from the Find Connections' menu "Show Last" option. The left arrow icon above the table lets you go back to the Connections Details or Connections Itinerary list.

Distances shown in various places are "as the crow flies" estimates.

A Map (Google Map or EO Map) can be displayed either from the tri-bar menu, clicking the selected station for its popup menu or by plotting a trip or connections list. When plotting a trip, the position of vehicles on that route may be displayed if the data is available. Green vehicle icons represent vehicles on a route. A red vehicle icon represents your selected trip's vehicle. A purple vehicle icon represents one you have "Marked" via the vehicle's popup menu.

Before Google Maps is loaded you are reminded that use of Google Maps implies that their terms of uses and privacy policies apply. If you decline, you can select use of the eightolives' EO Maps, a simple graphic which can be used to display routes and vehicles or select stops. Use the + / - zoom buttons and the arrow "move" buttons. Choice of map can only be made once after invoking the program.

The menu bar above a map includes a compass which can help you orient the map to the street layout. Clicking the compass toggles it on/off.(Caution: the compass may not be accurate on all platforms.)

For quick recall or offline access, you can easily save data for 2 favorite ("Fav") stops, trips and itineraries. The tribar menu lets you select those items for viewing or save your favorite stops. Clicking the trip title in the Trip View gives you a popup menu with options to save your favorite trips. Clicking the title "Connections Details" when viewing an itinerary from a Find Connections search gives you a popup menu with options to save your itinerary. Data is saved in Local Memory.

The Green Line is "unscheduled" even though schedule data exists. Predictions and map plots of trips provide the most accurate data. Best display of Green Line data is still evolving.

If geolocation (Here, Lat, Long) doesn't seem to work in Firefox, check the Firefox about:config setting for "geo.wifi.url". Change its value from "" to ""

Special trains for Patriot home football on game day go to commuter rail Foxboro stop at Gillette Stadium. Return trains are not listed but leave 30 minutes after the end of the game.

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