A couple of years ago, I had a post about the Automatic Train Control System and the fine people who have brought it to the Internet. Briefly, ATCS is a radio system used by the railroads to send data to & from railroad signal boxes to allow them to control their lines from remote locations. The ATCS system on the Internet has been developed by an all volunteer army of people to pick up those signals then translate them and finally superimpose them on a track diagram of a specific location so that you can watch real time the progress and routing of trains along the line.
While it took a little doing for me to get my system up and running and I had some help from a few of the members of the group, it isn't always an easy and straightforward installation. But that has gotten a little easier thanks to one of the ATCS group members.
The attached file, ATCS Beginners User Guide, will help you get through the sometimes confusing installation process and have you monitoring trains in your area of interest. It combines a lot of information from various sources and spells it out in a much easier, step by step guide. While it is written for Windows 7, it is applicable to most all currently used versions of Windows in use today.
To get started using ATCS, you must first go to: http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/ATCS_Monitor/ and ask permission to join their group. I'm not sure that anyone has ever been turned down but they can keep out people who are spammers or generally uncooperative with their volunteer effort. Once you are accepted, download the files you need based on the instructions included in the PDF file included at the bottom of this post. Follow them closely and you should be up and going with little trouble.
For more information about the group, visit the address above. Please keep in mind that this work has all been done by volunteers and many have invested a lot of time and money to bring this to the Internet.
Until next time...