Amtrak Has New, Improved Wi-Fi Service

Recently, Amtrak upgraded its older, 2010, Internet connection to a newer version of the AmtrakConnect. Now everyone has the advantage of staying connected to the WiFi for their entire journey. Anyone who is traveling the following trains will now experience the new AmtrakConnect: trains will include the Cardinal) NY- Washing DC- Cincinnati- Indianapolis-Chicago), Crescent (NY-Atlanta- New Orleans), Lake Shore Limited (NY/Bost-Albany-Chicago) and Silver Service (NY-Washington DC- Charleston-Savannah-Jacksonville-Orlando-Tampa-Miami). Recently, Amtrak upgraded its older, 2010, Internet connection to a newer version of their AmtrakConnect (I wrote how abysmal the old wifi service was).

From the Amtrak press release:

To ensure that Amtrak’s wireless infrastructure and supporting systems represent the very best-in-class in terms of capacity, performance and operational reliability, Amtrak is embarking on a multi-year program aimed at overhauling its current Wi-Fi service. The first phase will focus on replacement of its original onboard equipment— in service since 2010—with the latest next-generation Wi-Fi solution.

The implementation of this advanced solution will allow Amtrak to incorporate higher-speed backhaul technologies, such as trackside Wi-Fi and satellite.

In addition, it will lay the foundation for future applications that will further enhance the customer experience including onboard entertainment and real-time journey information.
The second phase will focus on further construction of Amtrak’s groundbreaking private trackside wireless network, a high-speed fiber network that, when implemented over the next two to four years, could stretch from Washington, D.C. to Boston. The network promises to deliver significantly better performance than the limited cellular-based solution in use today.
“Our next-generation onboard technology solution, in combination with our trackside network, will enable us to provide our customers with a better, faster and even more reliable Internet experience while also enabling Amtrak to remain competitive in the aggressive travel marketplace,” McCampbell said.

The current challenge with Amtrak’s wifi is that it bounces for cell tower to cell tower, sometimes causing service interruptions depending on the location of the train. In addition, if there’s too many passengers on the train that are connected, the speeds onboard can be less than stellar. I’m glad Amtrak is moving towards a different connection, one that’s now privately owned by them, which will result in faster speeds.

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Image Courtesy of Amtrak

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