Amtrak Adds Wi-Fi To 12 East Coast Routes

10/31/2011 02:26 pm ET | Updated Dec 31, 2011

Rail passengers in the Northeast will no longer have to book seats on Amtrak's pricey Acela to have access to Wi-Fi. Wireless internet access has been added to 12 new East Coast routes, allowing almost 60 percent of Amtrak passengers to surf the Web in transit, Amtrak announced Monday.

The major newly-connected routes include Northeast Regional (Amtrak's most popular route) Empire Service and Keystone Service. Additionally the Carolinian, Downeaster, Ethan Allen Express, New Haven-Springfield Shuttle and Vermonter services will also be connected. Passengers on the Adirondack, Maple Leaf, Palmetto and Pennsylvanian lines will be able to access the internet in specific cars designated with hotspot stickers.

Wi-Fi has already been available to passengers on high-speed Acela Express trains in the Northeast and on the Amtrak Cascades service in the Pacific Northwest. The company cites limited bandwidth on many routes as the biggest obstacle to providing internet access. But, Amtrak is in talks with cellular companies to try to expand coverage.

The Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner, and San Joaquin trains in California will have Wi-Fi access by year's end.

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