Attention workaholics: your business trip a la rail was just made more efficient, if you’re using Amtrak, of course. The nation’s intercity railway has just added Wi-Fi service to 12 new East Coast routes, bringing the interwebs to almost 60 percent of all Amtrak passengers.
Among the freshly connected routes, major lines include the Northeast Regional (between Virginia and Boston), Keystone Service (New York, Philadelphia and Harrisburg), and Empire Service (New York, Albany and Buffalo). Other routes to receive the service are the Carolinian, Downeaster, Ethan Allen Express, the New Haven-Springfield Shuttle and the Vermonter. Four other routes will also have access to WiFi — Adirondack, Maple Leaf, Palmetto, and Pennsylvanian — however service on those routes will be limited to specific cars marked with WiFi hotspot stickers.
The difficulty with train WiFi is limited bandwidth along most routes, but Amtrak is working with cellular companies to try and boost coverage. The next phase of WiFi expansion will occur in California. The Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin trains will all receive WiFi service by the end of 2011, bringing the total of internet-connected Amtrak passengers to 75 percent.