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Amtrak is upgrading its on-train Wi-Fi service

January 10, 2013|By David Colker
  • Amtrak is upgrading its Wi-Fi service, which currently does not allow for many high-bandwidth functions.
Amtrak is upgrading its Wi-Fi service, which currently does not allow for… (Alex Mayes )

Coming soon on Amtrak: fewer excuses to not work while commuting.

The national railroad, which operates 21,000 route miles, is upgrading its Wi-Fi service to 4G on many routes across the country. Amtrak says the aim is to offer increased wireless speeds and greater reliability.

Hopefully, this will enable a wider set of online features for train travelers. According to Amtrak's site, its current Wi-Fi service does not allow for "high-bandwidth actions such as streaming music, streaming video or downloading large files."

Implementation of the upgrades has begun on the Acela Express line that goes from Boston to Washington D.C., and will eventually be installed on other routes, Amtrak says. 

Currently, the service is free for passengers. No word on whether that will change.

Amtrak also announced it lost less money in 2012. Chief Executive Joe Boardman said Thursday the system's cash operating loss for the year was $361 million, a drop of 19% from the previous year and the smallest loss for the system since 1975.

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