WASHINGTON — Amtrak is exploring options to upgrade its on-board Wi-Fi service in the Northeast Corridor (NEC), with a particular interest in constructing a dedicated, wireless trackside network that provides a high-capacity, broadband-speed Internet connection between Washington and Boston.
A wireless trackside network would provide passengers a true broadband experience, close existing coverage gaps along the NEC, and allow Amtrak to drop current restrictions on streaming media and large file downloads.
“We know that our customers want a consistently reliable and fast on-board Wi-Fi experience — something we cannot guarantee today on our busiest trains when hundreds of customers want to go online at the same time — and we want to make that possible,” said Amtrak Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Matt Hardison.
Amtrak is now soliciting bids for a proof-of-concept project. The goal is to increase available bandwidth per train from 10Mbps today to a minimum of 25 Mbps (and scalable to even faster speeds as technology advances) to meet growing customer data usage demands. Results of the test project will be used to determine whether it is technically and financially feasible to construct such a network along the entire 457-mile NEC.
This effort to explore a new wireless solution for the NEC represents Amtrak’s ongoing commitment to using technology to improve the passenger experience and increase satisfaction.
About Amtrak® — Amtrak is America’s Railroad®, the nation’s intercity passenger rail service and its high-speed rail operator. Amtrak and its state and commuter partners move people, the economy and the nation forward. Formally known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is governed by a nine member board of directors appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Anthony R. Coscia is board chairman and Jeffrey R. Moreland is vice chairman. In FY 2013, a record 31.6 million passengers traveled on Amtrak on more than 300 daily trains — at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) — that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Enjoy the journey® at Amtrak.com or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter (@Amtrak) and check out our blog at blog.amtrak.com.