Amtrak putting free Wi-Fi on Northeast trains; others have to wait

Summary:Amtrak is finally getting an upgrade, but it's not high-speed rail. (If you've been to Europe or Asia, you'll know that Acela is NOT high-speed).

Amtrak is finally getting an upgrade, but it's not high-speed rail. (If you've been to Europe or Asia, you'll know that Acela is NOT high-speed).

But Amtrak will be getting slightly more technologically savvy (and bearable) with the addition of free Wi-Fi to those Acela trains. So far, that means only trains on the Northeast corridor (New York, Washington and Boston, specifically). No word on when that will be available anywhere else, where Amtrak trains are old and slow as beasts.

If Amtrak seriously thinks that the inclusion of free Wi-Fi is enough to make people pay for an overpriced train ride that isn't really that much faster, then they're really in more trouble than we all know. (Three hours from NY to Boston? 30 minutes shorter than a regular train? Bolt Bus only takes four sometimes.)

Wi-Fi should really be implemented on those long-haul rides, like the ones that go across country or up and down the West Coast, because those are truly painful journeys that I've even experienced first-hand.

Still, I guess it's a start. Now just get me from San Francisco to Los Angeles in two to three hours (with or without Wi-Fi), and I'll be happy.

Topics: Mobility, Networking, Wi-Fi

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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