Find the Chicagoland Metra trains you need

I built this page for two reasons:

  1. I wanted to learn about GWT (a Google technology for implementing AJAX, using Java, to build interactive web sites), and
  2. The Metra web site isn't very good at finding trains (but it does have a great general trip planner here).

You can click here to get copies of the XML files I derived from the Metra web pages along with the software I used to parse that HTML content to get the XML files. There's also a Blackberry application, CalTrain, that can be loaded with spreadsheet versions of the XML files; that conversion software is also at the same link.

Please start by selecting your train line from the list below. Then, pick the starting and ending stations from the drop down lists. If you're looking for a day and time not close to now, edit those values and click the Get next trains button.

You can also click a station on the map that will appear when you pick a rail line; from there you can pick whether you want that station to be a starting or ending station for your trip.