Posts Tagged ‘Wi-Fi aboard Amtrak’

Baltimore Joining Chicago Union Station in Pilot Program for Upgraded Amtrak Wi-Fi Service

February 4, 2017

Amtrak said this week that Baltimore Penn Station will join Chicago Union Station in receiving enhanced Wi-Fi service.

Amtrak 4The pilot program includes increased connectivity and reliability, as well as two new 30-inch high-top work stations that host charging outlets for laptops, tablets and cell phones.

In a news release, Amtrak said the upgrade will replace technology installed in 2010.

“These improvements are a much-anticipated boost for our customers as the wireless connectivity in-station should be similar to what customers experience on their home networks, and will ensure they stay connected throughout their journey,” said Jason Molfetas, Amtrak’s executive vice president of marketing and business development. “Baltimore Penn is the eighth busiest station in our national network so it was a natural fit to pilot the Wi-Fi improvements to the city’s thousands of daily commuters and local students.”

Amtrak said that Northeast Corridor passengers and those aboard trains in the Midwest will be able to access through the Wi-Fi network The Washington Post, which is now the exclusive news provider for Amtrak.

Previously Amtrak only provided free Washington Post content on Acela Express trains.

Amtrak Turns on Wi-Fi Service in Midwest

February 11, 2014

Amtrak announced that complimentary cellular-based Wi-Fi service is now available on eight Midwest corridors.

These include routes linking Chicago with Milwaukee;  St. Louis; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Detroit (Pontiac); Port Huron, Mich.; Quincy, Ill.; and Carbondale, Ill. Wi-Fi is also available on trains between St. Louis and Kansas City, Mo.

The service, known as AmtrakConnect,  uses multiple cellular carriers, and 4G technology where available.

The equipment is installed under contracts with the states of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin as part of their sponsorship of Amtrak service.

Amtrak said that about 85 percent of its passengers across its national network now have access to Wi-Fi. The railroad said that on routes already enabled, it routinely supports between 30 and 50 percent of passengers on any given train.
AmtrakConnect restricts such data-intensive activities as streaming video and music.

To promote the service, specially dressed “AmtrakConnect Ambassadors” will be riding some trains during the first week of Wi-Fi service.

Wi-Fi Installation Set for February Completion

December 21, 2013

Amtrak expected to roll out its AmtrakConnect cellular-based 4G Wi-Fi service on Midwest Corridor trains by early February 2014.

Amtrak is installing Wi-Fi equipment on railcars under contracts with the states of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin. AmtrakConnect will be provided on these routes:

Lincoln Service (Chicago-Springfield-St. Louis), expanding to all four round-trips).

Illini/Saluk (Chicago-Champaign-Carbondale)

Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg (Chicago-Galesburg-Quincy).

Wolverine Service (Chicago-Ann Arbor-Detroit-Pontiac)

Blue Water (Chicago-East Lansing-Port Huron)

Pere Marquette (Chicago-Grand Rapids).

Missouri River Runner (St. Louis-Jefferson City-Kansas City).

Hiawatha Service (Chicago-Milwaukee).

Passengers on these trains will start seeing the availability of the Wi-Fi service as the railcars are deployed.

“AmtrakConnect capitalizes on multiple cellular providers to provide the best mobile experience possible, taking advantage of 4G technologies where available,” said Amtrak Chief Marketing and Sales Officer Matt Hardison. “We are continually looking to improve customer satisfaction, and this service is yet one more way to do so, while also delivering the speeds and connectivity required to maintain a competitive position among transportation providers.”

There is no charge to use AmtrakConnect. Amtrak officials say that in locations where the service is now available that it is routinely used by between 30 to 50 percent of passengers on a given train.

Data-intensive activities such as streaming video and music, and large file downloads will be restricted.

Amtrak said about 75 percent of its passengers nationwide currently use AmtrakConnect. The addition of Midwest corridor trains will increase the coverage percentage to approximately 85 percent.

The Midwest corridors  collectively, carried nearly 3.3 million passengers in Amtrak’s Fiscal Year 2013.