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metsfan

Free wi-fi on acela, other juicy tidbits in store for 2010.

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http://weblogs.baltimoresun.com/news/traffic/2010/01/amtrak_to_add_wifi_to_acela_ex.html

 

Amtrak announced this week that it will add WiFi service to its Acela Express service this March -- but with the ominous caveat that it would "make it available to every passenger initially free of charge.

 

The addition of a high-speed wireless Internet connection is encouraging -- if a little behind the times. The Autopia blog notes that some intercity buses already offer the service, as well as JetBlue, which also operates in the Northeast Corridor.

 

In addition to WiFi, Amtrak also announced it will upgrade the Acela Express service -- the nation's fastest -- by renovating the interior of its rail cars by the end of the year. Amtrak said the improvements will include leather seating and better tray tables and power outlets for laptop computers,

 

Amtrak spokeswoman Tracy Connell said the WiFi service would be free at first and that the railroad would gauge customer response vefore deciding whether to charge for the service.

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I say expand to all trains/cars and have it be free, just add one dollar or less to every ticket sold to pay for it or some such vs request for funds. I would ride more often if it had wifi, and i'm guessing others would too, especially on the regionals & longer distance trains.

 

- A

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They gonna have those Amtrak shrimp rolls? :cool:

 

Amrolls? :P

 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Hah, finally they get Internet, huh? Now they should have flocks of chic-----I mean customers.

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Amrolls? :P

 

 

____________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Hah, finally they get Internet, huh? Now they should have flocks of chic-----I mean customers.

LOL Amrolls!!!:tup:

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This is real good! I would like to see the Metro-North getting this. Maube NYC Subway too :cool:

 

At least McDonalds will also get Free Wi-Fi this month too!

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Amtrak was testing wi-fi on an Acela train set last year but it wasn't very successful (not sure about the details), glad they found an option that works.

 

Yea, it kept losing connection.

 

- A

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Is this the type where you have to sign up for the service or you can get the signal automatically?

 

I believe it's automatic.

 

- A

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That's good. I've seen places where they have 'free wifi', but you have to sign up with a credit card number. To hell with that.

 

There's no such thing as "free" wi-fi. Somebody pays for it. If you want it to be "free" for customers, you'll have to accept a ticket price increase, a service decrease, or a combination of the two.

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There's no such thing as "free" wi-fi. Somebody pays for it. If you want it to be "free" for customers, you'll have to accept a ticket price increase, a service decrease, or a combination of the two.

 

I believe they are off-setting the cost of the pilot program with things like saving money on food purchases for diner/cafe use, along with a dollar or so more per ticket. If expanded to amfleets, there would be a slight ticket increase of also about a dollar per ticket. The Wi-Fi is part of the general refurbishment of the acela trainsets, so i believe it's all ready been paid for for a short amount of time.

 

- A

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The long awaited Wi-Fi service begins March 1st on all Acela trainsets and in some NEC stations. Service will be called "AmtrakConnect" and will be available in the following Amtrak stations:

 

Washington Union Station

Baltimore Penn Station

Wilmington (upon renovation completion)

Philadelphia 30th Street Station

New York Penn Station

Providence

 

It will work with any laptop or portable device that is Wi-Fi enabled. No speed will be guaranteed to passengers as various factors will affect network speed. After opening your web browser the AmtrakConnect welcome screen should appear.

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No Newark or New Haven? I find that awkward both are very busy stations.

 

Route 128 has been added to the list as well. New Haven Union Station is not owned by Amtrak so they're not going to set up WiFi there and Newark Penn is not viewed as a major stop by Amtrak.

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