AmtrakConnect® Wi-Fi Now on Midwest Corridors
AmtrakConnect® cellular-based Wi-Fi service is now available
on Amtrak trains in the Midwest, with eight corridors offering
this free amenity to Amtrak passengers, effective today.
Collectively, these routes carried nearly 3.3 million passengers
in the last year (Amtrak FY2013, Oct. 2012-Sept. 2013) and
account for about 10 percent 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.
AmtrakConnect utilizes multiple cellular carriers to provide the
best mobile experience possible, taking advantage of 4G
available. Amtrak installed the equipment under contracts with
the states of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin as part
of their sponsorship of Amtrak service. This brings the Wi-Fi
coverage to about 85 percent of passengers across the national
Hardison explained that AmtrakConnect is provided at no cost
to passengers and has proven very popular - as evidenced by the
fact that it routinely supports between 30 and 50 percent of
passengers on a given train.
"Amtrak trains in Illinois are
faster, thanks to our joint commitment to high speed rail," said
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. "Now, Wi-Fi access on those same
trains will make each trip more productive and enjoyable.
Faster, better and more efficient - now there are even more
reasons to take the train in Illinois."
"The traveling public has come to expect easy access to the
Internet, so we're very pleased to be offering free Wi-Fi on the
Hiawatha Service between Milwaukee and Chicago," said Mark
Gottlieb, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of
Transportation. "This Wi-Fi addition is going to be especially
appealing for our many business travelers, who can now make even
better use of their time on the tracks."
"Wi-Fi is an important additional amenity for passengers on
Michigan and other Midwest corridor services. Michigan looks
forward to travelers enjoying Wi-Fi and other service
improvements as we continue to implement our Accelerated Rail
program," said Tim Hoeffner, Rail Director, Michigan Department
of Transportation "We are excited to partner with Amtrak and our
sister state DOTs on Wi-Fi service as we look for more and
creative ways to make train travel a more attractive option in
Michigan and throughout the Midwest."
"The Missouri River Runner is a popular travel option in our
state," said Michelle Teel, Multimodal Operations Director,
Missouri Department of Transportation. "Adding Wi-Fi service for
passenger use makes an already attractive service even more
Wi-Fi service is now provided on these Chicago Hub Services
routes in addition to Amtrak trains on the East and West Coasts
Illinois: 1.22 million passengers
Lincoln Service: Chicago-Springfield-St. Louis (expanding
Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg: Chicago-Galesburg-Quincy;
Michigan: 1.05 million passengers
Wolverine Service: Chicago-Ann Arbor-Detroit-Pontiac;
Blue Water: Chicago-East Lansing-Port Huron;
Pere Marquette: Chicago-Holland-Grand Rapids;
Missouri: 200,000 passengers
Missouri River Runner: St. Louis-Jefferson City-Kansas
Wisconsin (contract shared with Illinois): 821,000 passengers
Hiawatha Service: Chicago-Milwaukee
As the demand for on-board Wi-Fi continues to grow, and in
order to ensure the best experience for everyone, data-intensive
activities, such as streaming video and music, and large file
downloads that can slow everyone down, will be restricted. Doing
so helps ensure that high-volume data users onboard the trains
do not degrade the experience for others. More information is
available on the attached document, which is available at
stations and aboard the trains.
Passengers will also see
specially dressed "AmtrakConnect Ambassadors" on some trains,
distributing brochures and providing other assistance in
celebration of the new service