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Rail News: Amtrak

Amtrak turns on free Wi-Fi service for Midwest trains


Amtrak has made free access to Wi-Fi service available on its trains in the Midwest, the railroad announced on Monday.

Amtrak installed the equipment under contracts with the states of Illinois, Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin as part of their sponsorships of Amtrak service, railroad officials said in a press release.

The new agreements bring Amtrak's Wi-Fi coverage to about 85 percent of passengers along the railroad's national network.

"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."

The service is an important amenity for Amtrak riders traveling in Michigan as that state continues to implement its Accelerated Rail Program, said Tom Hoeffner, rail director of the Michigan Department of Transportation.

The additional routes receiving AmtrakConnect® cellular-based Wi-Fi service served about 3.3 million riders in the past year and account for about 10 percent of overall ridership, Amtrak officials said.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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