February 11 2014  |  Inflight Entertainment

Amtrak expands connectivity to Midwest corridors

By Rick Lundstrom

AmtrakConnect® cellular-based Wi-Fi service is now available on Amtrak trains in the Midwestern United States, with eight corridors offering this free amenity starting today.

The routes carried nearly 3.3 million passengers in the last year and account for about 10% of Amtrak ridership.

"We continually look for ways to improve the customer experience on board our trains. The availability of a free Wi-Fi service that delivers the speeds and connectivity passengers are looking for is yet one more way to achieve this goal and maintain a competitive position among transportation providers," said Matt Hardison, Amtrak Chief Marketing and Sales Officer in today's announcement.

AmtrakConnect uses multiple cellular carriers to provide the service taking advantage of 4G technologies where available. Amtrak installed the equipment under contracts with the states of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin as part of their sponsorship of Amtrak service. Wi-Fi coverage is avaialable to 85% of the passengers across the national network.

Hardison said AmtrakConnect has proven very popular with between 30% and 50% of passengers on a given train using the service.

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