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Amtrak to make free Wi-Fi standard on Acela Express trains

updated 03:00 pm EDT, Thu June 3, 2010

Acela to put free Wi-Fi on Express trains

After a trial run that proved to be a great success, Amtrak has said it will make free Wi-Fi access standard on its Acela Express trains. After a three month test period, the Washington, DC to Boston run will be the first route to get the service, with more being added in the future. During the trial, 39 percent of riders, or about 115,000, signed on.

Work on outfitting its trains, beginning in California and followed by the Northeast Regional Service, should start by late fall.

Implementing Wi-Fi on trains is sometimes more difficult than with aircraft as Amtrak can't necessarily guarantee that all passengers will get continuous access. The challenge will be to make each car self-sufficient, as non Acela Express trains get mixed and matched, with individual cars sometimes swapped between trains.



By Electronista Staff
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  1. sailin74

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2002

    +1

    Amtrak

    It's about time. Amtrak should have wi-fi on all trains. If they want to compete with the airlines, they need to make the time spent productive time. I enjoy taking the train, and if they had Wi-Fi on board they may see an increase in ridership on the long runs. Most people on Acela use laptops with a tether or cell card anyway.

    It's great news, but Amtrak needs to start innovating.

  1. Fast iBook

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Mar 2003

    +1

    Start innovating...

    It's hard to innovate when you're on a budget that doesn't cover the expenses needed to do things like upgrade the signal systems and the overhead power supply lines on older areas through NJ, PA, DE, MD and in DC. The real innovation, such as 240 mph high speed service is hampered by politics, this wi-fi feature is really lucky it saw the light of day.

    - A

  1. waffffffle

    Mac Elite

    Joined: Sep 2000

    +1

    iTunes Blocked

    While free Wi-Fi is nice, I noticed that access to the iTunes Store (and related services) are all blocked. Had to switch on the MiFi.

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