Just one week after confirming that it was conducting a soft launch of free WiFi service on its Northeast Regional trains, Amtrak announced that it has expanded service to 12 east coast routes includes Northeast Regional, Keystone Service and Empire Service.
In a formal statement, the nation's rail provider said:
Responding to strong passenger interest, Amtrak is launching today a major expansion of its free AmtrakConnectSM WiFi service to 12 east coast routes. As a result, trains that carry nearly 60 percent of all Amtrak passengers now have WiFi connections.
This phase of WiFi expansion includes Northeast Regional trains, the most popular Amtrak service, which operates daily between Virginia and Boston, and the heavily traveled Empire Service (New York - Albany - Buffalo) and Keystone Service (New York - Philadelphia - Harrisburg, Pa.)
Other routes now with WiFi include: Carolinian (New York - Raleigh/Cary, N.C.), Downeaster (Boston - Portland), Ethan Allen Express (New York - Rutland, Vt.), the New Haven - Springfield Shuttle and Vermonter (Washington - St. Albans, Vt.)
WiFi also is installed on four other routes as part of this expansion, but only in select cars marked with hotspot window stickers because these trains are made up of different types of equipment: Adirondack (New York - Montreal), Maple Leaf (New York - Toronto), Palmetto (New York - Savannah, Ga.), and Pennsylvanian (New York - Philadelphia - Pittsburgh.)
Amtrak also announced that its next expansion of WiFi will be on state-supported services in California by the end of 2011, including on Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner, and San Joaquin trains. When that occurs, it reports that 75 percent of all Amtrak passengers will have access to on-board WiFi.
Amtrak is a member of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association; operates a website design specifically for LGBT travelers, www.amtrakridewithpride.com; and has been a sponsors of many gay events, including Washington, D.C.'s Capital Pride.