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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak to provide free Wi-Fi on all Michigan trains, allow bikes on Blue Water route

AmtrakConnect® cellular-based Wi-Fi service will be available on Amtrak trains in Michigan starting in early 2014, making the state the first in the Midwest to make the amenity available to all passengers, Amtrak officials said in a press release.

Michigan's Transportation Commission approved a contract last week for the service, they said.

AmtrakConnect uses 4G technology and combines signals from multiple cellular providers to offer an optimal mobile service, which will be provided to riders at no extra cost, Amtrak officials said.

"We place a strong focus on improving customer satisfaction, and this service is delivering the speeds and connectivity required to maintain a completive edge," said Lenetta McCampbell, Amtrak's senior director, passenger experience.

Free Wi-Fi service expansions on other Amtrak routes are likely in the coming months.

Meanwhile, Amtrak and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced yesterday that riders will be allowed to bring bicycles on board Amtrak Blue Water trains starting Sept. 6.

Rail cars on the Blue Water trains have been modified to securely carry up to four bikes per train. A $10 fee will be charged to transport a bike.

Sponsored by MDOT, the Blue Water service operates daily between Port Huron and Chicago via East Lansing and Kalamazoo.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/30/2013