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Posted at 7:00 PM ET, 02/16/2011

Amtrak to expand free wireless

By Washington Post Editors

Amtrak plans to expand the free wireless service it offers on its Northeast Corridor passenger trains this year.

The decision follows a move last year to offer free WiFi aboard Acela Express trains between Washington and Boston. Last month the passenger rail service expanded the amenity to its Cascades trains in the Pacific Northwest. The expansion this year will also include more West Coast trains, Amtrak said in a statement.

"In this digital age, it is more vital than ever that our customers have Internet connectivity while traveling," Emmett Fremaux Jr., Amtrak's vice president of marketing and product development, said in a statement.

Amtrak crews will soon begin installing the equipment aboard more than 450 trains at facilities in the District and Philadelphia.

Officials said Amtrak also has completed enhancements to its wireless network that improves high-speed Internet service to trains while traveling through the tunnels in New York and at the platforms at New York Penn Station.

By Washington Post Editors  | February 16, 2011; 7:00 PM ET
Categories:  Amtrak, Passenger Rail  | Tags:  Amtrak  
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Comments

Amtrak: Bleeding money and adding new crap. Whoopee!

Posted by: jy151310 | February 16, 2011 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Given the disparity in cost between AMTRAK and buses that offer WiFI and the disparity in time between AMTRAK and flying for the longer journeys in the Northeast Corridor, it only makes sense for AMTRAK to provide a little something to make train travel more convenient, especially for shorter Northeast Corridor trips.

Posted by: edallan | February 17, 2011 7:09 AM | Report abuse

To be fair, it's not "free" when you still have to buy an expensive ticket.

Posted by: futbolclif | February 17, 2011 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Nice! I'll look forward to the wireless access on my next Regional train. I agree the free wifi on Mega and Bolt buses probably pushed them to do this- Amtrak does have to provide a more luxurious service (like its roomy seats) to compete with low fares on the bus, so it has to keep its amenity level up.

@jy151310: Amtrak as a whole might be "bleeding money", but the northeast corridor is not. And what other transportation mode is unsubsidized? Answer: just about nothing.

Posted by: RichardatCourthouse | February 17, 2011 10:49 AM | Report abuse

where is wifi on metro

Posted by: WhatBubble | February 17, 2011 12:15 PM | Report abuse

For trips to New York, I don't think flying is generally any faster than the Acela when you factor in the time to get to the airport, time spent waiting on line at security, then waiting to board the plane, time spent taxiing and waiting for ATC clearance to take off, the usual delay landing at LaGuardia followed by a taxi so convoluted it feels like you're taxiing to JFK, and then the hassle and expense of getting into the city from LaGuardia (whereas with Amtrak you're already at Midtown and can easily hop directly on the subway if you wish).

Trips to Boston or New Haven are another matter, of course.

Posted by: 1995hoo | February 17, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

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