Amtrak adds free Wi-Fi service to 12 East Coast routes

From Progessive Railroading:

Amtrak expanded its AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi service to 12 East Coast routes, including the Northeast Regional, Keystone and Empire services.

Other routes now featuring Wi-Fi include the Carolinian, Downeaster, Ethan Allen Express, New Haven-to-Springfield Shuttle and Vermonter, Amtrak officials said in a prepared statement.

Wi-Fi service also was installed in select cars marked as “hot spots” on the following routes: Adirondack, Maple Leaf, Palmetto and Pennsylvanian.

The additional service means nearly 60 percent of all Amtrak riders now have Wi-Fi connections, Amtrak officials said.

“The expansion of Wi-Fi further enhances the travel experience for passengers, giving them more options for entertainment or to do work while en route,” said Emmett Fremaux, Amtrak’s vice president for marketing and product development. “We are committed to continuing to improve and expand this service as resources and technology allow.”

While Wi-Fi service has been a priority, the primary obstacle to providing Internet connectivity on trains is the limited bandwidth on many routes, currently provided through third-party cellular data networks located along tracks, Amtrak officials said. They are exploring ways to expand that coverage through talks with cellular companies.