Complimentary WiFi on Acela

Old May 1, 09, 7:41 pm
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Complimentary WiFi on Acela

Acela is rolling-out WiFi service on their trains.

I'm currently on a southbound train out of Newark using the train's complimentary high-speed service. So far, so good --probably about the same speed as if I had a wireless broadband card running.

I have no idea what technology or provider their using... or what the eventual cost for the service may be, but this is a nice add to an already nice service.
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Old May 1, 09, 7:43 pm
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Cool. How was the service in Philly when you hit the station?
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Old May 1, 09, 7:55 pm
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https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=717585
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Old May 1, 09, 11:28 pm
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Does the existence of this new thread mean it's finally being rolled out?
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Old May 2, 09, 12:40 pm
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The wireless was also available on Monday's 8AM departure from Washington. It was complimentary; I used it and found it to be pretty good -- definitely faster than tethering with my blackberry.
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Old May 4, 09, 2:10 am
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It's about time! You know, I'm surprised their offering this as complimentary because I'd have been willing to pay for it. Plus, I'm also surprised that they are able to do this because I remember reading somewhere else, on another discussion group on another website, that the business argument just wasn't there for Amtrak to do this, because it would involve having a series of wireless stations along the track which would suffer a lot of wear and tear from the constantly moving trains, or the prohibitively expensive wimax would need to be used. See the comments from a former Amtrak CIO after the end of the article...

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/..._choice_1.html

But hey, if they have it now, all right!

Last edited by ByeByeDelta; May 6, 09 at 6:25 pm
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Old May 5, 09, 10:05 pm
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Originally Posted by caj11 View Post
It's about damn time! You know, I'm surprised their offering this as complimentary because I'd have been willing to pay for it. Plus, I'm also surprised that they are able to do this because I remember reading somewhere else, on another discussion group on another website, that the business argument just wasn't there for Amtrak to do this, because it would involve having a series of wireless stations along the track which would suffer a lot of wear and tear from the constantly moving trains, or the prohibitively expensive wimax would need to be used. See the comments from a former Amtrak CIO after the end of the article...

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/..._choice_1.html

But hey, if they have it now, all right!
blahblah blah at article and writer of it, mobile providers have such penetration EVDO with a router and omni antenna and amp would work fine.
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Old May 6, 09, 9:37 am
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Originally Posted by caj11 View Post
It's about damn time! You know, I'm surprised their offering this as complimentary because I'd have been willing to pay for it. Plus, I'm also surprised that they are able to do this because I remember reading somewhere else, on another discussion group on another website, that the business argument just wasn't there for Amtrak to do this, because it would involve having a series of wireless stations along the track which would suffer a lot of wear and tear from the constantly moving trains, or the prohibitively expensive wimax would need to be used. See the comments from a former Amtrak CIO after the end of the article...

http://www.informationweek.com/blog/..._choice_1.html

But hey, if they have it now, all right!
Seems to me that way back when, I read that Aeronautical Engineers determined that based on the size of their wings Bumblebees CAN'T FLY
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Old May 6, 09, 3:26 pm
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There's Wifi on the Capitol Corridor (and I think Surfliner too?), and it's been tested on the San Joaquin line. But I heard a rumor that the contractor wants too much money, and there is no one else coming in with a better offer. So who knows what lays in store even for existing Cap Corridor Wifi. I had thought the technology was based on a satellite receiver, but I could be wrong.
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Old Aug 26, 09, 6:14 pm
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Just received this tweet from @airfarewatchdog:

How did we miss this? Acela now has WiFi, at least on some trains. They sure didn't shout it from the rooftops.
Dunno if this is still just the couple test trains or if this is a sign they've rolled it out across a wider section of their fleet.
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Old Nov 10, 09, 9:47 pm
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Finally....

Didn't see any mention of this on the forums; but Bloomberg and the Washington Business Journal both had articles two weeks ago stating that Amtrak would be rolling out Free WiFi on the Acela next year.

It's about time!!! Amtrak should have done this years ago. It's sad that you can get free WiFi on the Bolt Bus, but have no option on the train that costs 10x as much.

http://washington.bizjournals.com/wa...6/daily96.html

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?p...d=abyvg7fhE66k

Does anyone know where we can get a copy of the 5 year strategic plan mentioned in the Washington Business Journal article?

Edit: Found the link to the strategic plan here.

Last edited by roder; Nov 10, 09 at 9:55 pm
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Old Dec 13, 09, 11:46 pm
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I got a question. I see kids who are college students like me who have internet when they are on a train and I feel it's unlikely of them having those internet cards that cell phone companies provide since they are expensive and college students don't exactly need them on-campus. Where do they get their internet? Cause the Acelas I'm on, I never rode one that had complimentary WIFI or was there any open, working router/access point... Heard that Optimum's WIFI for current Optimum customers had a few areas where they had connection but I didn't get anything.....
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Old Dec 14, 09, 5:21 am
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Originally Posted by Jimgotkp View Post
I got a question. I see kids who are college students like me who have internet when they are on a train and I feel it's unlikely of them having those internet cards that cell phone companies provide since they are expensive and college students don't exactly need them on-campus. Where do they get their internet? Cause the Acelas I'm on, I never rode one that had complimentary WIFI or was there any open, working router/access point... Heard that Optimum's WIFI for current Optimum customers had a few areas where they had connection but I didn't get anything.....
Those cellular data cards are getting cheaper and cheaper. With some companies, you can get them for as little as $30 per month if you have existing cell phone service with that company.

I had one during college (and I actually paid $80!) and found it was worth it, as I could do homework in all manner of restaurants and coffee shops, even if they didn't have wifi. And $30 per month is much cheaper than you'd spend for wifi to do homework at a coffee shop that charges for wifi usage!
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Old Dec 14, 09, 7:03 pm
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Originally Posted by Jimgotkp View Post
I got a question. I see kids who are college students like me who have internet when they are on a train and I feel it's unlikely of them having those internet cards that cell phone companies provide since they are expensive and college students don't exactly need them on-campus. Where do they get their internet? Cause the Acelas I'm on, I never rode one that had complimentary WIFI or was there any open, working router/access point... Heard that Optimum's WIFI for current Optimum customers had a few areas where they had connection but I didn't get anything.....
You can also hook up most phones to a laptop, and use your cell phone as a modem. Granted, the speeds could only be a couple of times faster than dial-up, though the speeds are constantly getting increased. It certainly does the job.
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Old Dec 14, 09, 10:37 pm
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Thats true but it still costs money and I'm a poor college student. I thought people were getting connection to this one WIFI router that always came on my screen when I searched for open routers.... But it never worked for me... So I thought it worked for others :-/
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