The government-owned rail network Amtrak has been gaining increased ridership and considerable media praise since it began a program in 2010 to begin installing free Wi-Fi internet access in stages across its national network. The effort began on the Acela express service in the Northeast corridor between Washington D.C. and Boston early last year. At the beginning of this year Amtrak added the free Wi-Fi to its "Cascade" rail service that runs through the Pacific Northwest connecting Portland, Seattle and Vancouver.
The wiring effort on Amtrak continues this year with more than 450 regular (not Acela Express) cars in Philadelphia and Washington D.C. expected to gain free Wi-Fi by the fourth quarter. Amtrak is also wiring its stations for service and, according to the Amtrak web site, currently has Wi-Fi installed in 10 stations including Baltimore Penn Station; Boston South; Lorton, VA; New York Penn Station; Philadelphia 30th Street; Providence; Sanford, FL; Washington D.C. Union Station; Westwood, MA and Wilmington, DE. Look for "AmtrakConnect" signs in trains and stations to find where free Wi-Fi is already in place on the Amtrak network.
Working with the preferred technology partner Nomad Digital, Amtrak has plans to ultimately install entertainment on its Wi-Fi system, as well as a real time tracking system for passengers to map the progress of their journey. You can learn about Amtrak's Wi-Fi project on its web page called "Journey with Wi-Fi," which includes Frequently Asked Questions, by clicking here.