Amtrak Upgrading W-iFi Service on Its Trains, Acela Trains Already Enjoying Speed Boost

It only makes sense that a high-speed train would provide wireless service that's also high-speed right? In that case, all aboard! Amtrak this week announced an upgrade to its AmtrakConnect cellular-based Wi-Fi service to take advantage of 4G technologies. Amtrak says the 4G upgrade is already in place on Acela Express and California-supported Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfline, and San Joaquin services, and will be rolled out to its remaining fleet of Wi-Fi equipped trains by late summer.

"We continue to place a strong focus on improving customer satisfaction, and this upgrade is delivering the improved speeds and connectivity required to maintain a competitive edge," said Deborah Stone-Wulf, Amtrak Chief, Sales Distribution and Customer Service.

Image Source: Flickr (Gene Bowker)

In start contrast to how airlines handle Wi-Fi service, Amtrak is providing the amenity free to passengers, though there's a caveat. To prevent a few data hogs from ruining the experience for everyone, Amtrack restricts data-heavy activities that can slow everyone else down, such as streaming video and music, and downloading files larger than 10MB.

That's a bit of a bummer on longer rides, as it means you can't fire up Netflix or listen to Spotify (or Google's new All Access music service). However, passengers should be able to surf most websites and participate in social media, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ to pass the time.