MBTA Installing "Next-Train" Technology on Commuter Rail Lines

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) is installing a new Passenger Train Information System (PTIS) to provide commuter rail customers with real-time information about train status through on-board announcements and LED signs in stations.

The "Next Train" technology will include the ability to precisely locate each train using GPS and calculate minute-accurate train arrival times to LED signs, will be fully automatic, and will automatically announce via the PA system approach to and arrival at individual stations for each train.

The "Next Train" enhancements will be integrated with the existing system, which relies on several train signaling systems and radio reports to locate trains and estimate train delays. MBTA says the new PTIS system is a reliable, low-maintenance system.

To increase message visibility at stations, 25 additional signs will be added at twelve 12 commuter rail stations and 110 existing LED signs will be replaced with new Adaptive PDS signs.

Testing of the new equipment is underway on the Haverhill Line as well as other lines on both the North and South sides. Upon completion, installation of equipment will begin throughout the system, with a complete roll out by the end of summer.