Jump to content




Help Support AmtrakTrains.com by donating using the link above or becoming a Supporting Member.

Photo

WIFI on trains


  • Please log in to reply
45 replies to this topic

#1 rail_rider

rail_rider

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Hamilton,NJ
  • Interests:Genealogy & Rail Travel

Posted 13 December 2009 - 05:30 PM

My daughter just received a call from a company taking a survey about wifi on trains. Jest of the survey was whether she would be interested in using wifi on Amtrak trains. Wanted her to rank which services she would be like to see, music, Blackberry, TV programs, movies, etc. Also wanted to know if she would use these services if provided in lounge car. If a she would be willing to pay for wifi services above. Sounded like laptop use would either be free or a hourly charge might apply. Wanted to know what she would be willing to pay per hour if a charge was instituted. Another part of the survey was if there would be an interest in tv in the sleeper car rooms. I don't know if they specified bedrooms, roomettes or both. Another service they asked about was some type of screen in either the cars (at the end of) and/or the lounge which displayed news and up coming station arrival.

Sorry if this seems disjointed but I was over hearing the conversation between the two of them. The caller verified that she traveled Amtrak in the last twelve months. She last took Amtrak in February, I on the other hand traveled four times in the last twelve months. Anyone else get called to take this survey?
Amtrak Trains Ridden: Pennsylvanian (8), Capitol Limited (8), California Zephyr (6), Southwest Chief (2), Cardinal (3), Texas Eagle (10), Lincoln Service (2), Coast Starlight (1), Keystone Service (13), NEC Regional (18), City of New Orleans (2),
Acela (2), Missouri River Runner (2), Crescent (1), Sunset Limited (1) & Carolinian (1)

Amtrak Miles: 39,173 Never just a train trip... always an adventure!

Art

#2 DaveKCMO

DaveKCMO

    Lead Service Attendant

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 218 posts

Posted 13 December 2009 - 10:58 PM

having an LCD TV with available programming in the sleepers might be a good idea. i don't really miss the rentable player (how long did that last?). and the crappy tube TVs in the sightseer cars were around for far too long (could you even hear the audio?).

but yeah, wi-fi is a must on corridor and LD trains if amtrak is to stay competitive with airlines and megabus.

thanks for sharing!

#3 amtrakwolverine

amtrakwolverine

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,082 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warren MI
  • Interests:trains,music,guitars

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:02 PM

the rental video players went away cause the company that provided them went out of business. some of those questions i remember being asked by via rail about there wi-fi when you visted there website. tvs in a sleeper would be a good idea maybe with a built in dvd player so you can watch your own movies.
<a class='bbc_url' href='<a class='bbc_url' href='http://www.avsforum....713'>MY</a>hometheater</a>

#4 Guest_kevin_*

Guest_kevin_*
  • Guests

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:12 PM

the rental video players went away cause the company that provided them went out of business. some of those questions i remember being asked by via rail about there wi-fi when you visted there website. tvs in a sleeper would be a good idea maybe with a built in dvd player so you can watch your own movies.


More likely to be a slot to slide your credit card than to insert your DVD.

#5 BeckysBarn

BeckysBarn

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 293 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Middle of an Illinois corn field

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:21 PM

Another service they asked about was some type of screen in either the cars (at the end of) and/or the lounge which displayed news and up coming station arrival.


I haven't taken any survey from Amtrak. I do like the idea of wifi - not sure that I'd pay :unsure: But I'd really like to see some current news. Sometimes the newspapers just aren't enough.
Routes Travelled: Lincoln Service, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Empire Builder, Coast Starlight

Route66Illinois.com
BeckysBarn.com

#6 Green Maned Lion

Green Maned Lion

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,144 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NJ
  • Interests:Sleeping

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:22 PM

That would not be likely at all, Kevin. Amtrak doesn't nickel and dime like that.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
Posted Image
Dream of love, dream of me, for you are my love. I love you.
Avatar and sig were done by my fiance, Corvidophile.

#7 Guest_kevin_*

Guest_kevin_*
  • Guests

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:26 PM

That would not be likely at all, Kevin. Amtrak doesn't nickel and dime like that.

The previous Movie player was free?

#8 Bob Dylan

Bob Dylan

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 17,604 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin Texas
  • Interests:Passenger Trains/Travel/Sports/Gov't/ Politics/History/Reading/
    Movies/Music/Space-Ancient Aliens

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:30 PM

Putting in my 2 cents: The old TVs on the Superliner Lounges never were worth much, the sound was crappy, they were always breaking down and the movies they showed really sucked! I'd say that the "theater" on the CS is basically a baby sitting service for the kidoos while mom and pop have wine and cheese, really a waste of space on a great car!Also the Talgo tv systems don't work well either, scrap them too!

I see no reason why tvs/dvds would need to be placed in sleepers, most people that want this carry their own players or even phones and laptops that play movies/tv etc. I'd think that wifi would be worth it for sure, if airlines can do it, why not Amtrak?

I'd much rather the mon ey be put into upgrading the diners/have real lounges like the PPC on the LD trains and hire more OBS for the diners and sleepers so they don't have to do the work of two!

Edited by jimhudson, 13 December 2009 - 11:31 PM.

"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 "..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#9 MattW

MattW

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,731 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:East of Atlanta, GA

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:39 PM

I agree with Jimhudson, about the only amenity along these lines I can really see as worthwhile implementing is the WiFi, it'd allow business travelers to stay connected, so they might opt for the longer train than the shorter plane trip.
Forum's official broken record about expanded Georgia passenger service!

#10 Green Maned Lion

Green Maned Lion

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,144 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NJ
  • Interests:Sleeping

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:57 PM

That would not be likely at all, Kevin. Amtrak doesn't nickel and dime like that.

The previous Movie player was free?


Those movie players were a sub-contract thing. The TVs they had in the Viewliners were free.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
Posted Image
Dream of love, dream of me, for you are my love. I love you.
Avatar and sig were done by my fiance, Corvidophile.

#11 Guest_AmtrakEmployee_*

Guest_AmtrakEmployee_*
  • Guests

Posted 14 December 2009 - 01:19 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet; perhaps it's still having a "soft opening", and once in a while the transmitting cars have to be pulled for service that have caused people to miss it, but: The Coast Starlight has wi-fi. For free. It works almost everywhere along the route, except for a few of the longer tunnels. Bring your computers and you'll see; a number of passengers in recent months have been EXTREMELY pleasantly surprised to discover this little freebie. It is transmitted from the sleepers, so sometimes it doesn't go all the way back to the 13 or 14 cars, but you can pretty much always get it in the lounge.

#12 AlanB

AlanB

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 29,379 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Queens, New York

Posted 14 December 2009 - 01:20 AM

That would not be likely at all, Kevin. Amtrak doesn't nickel and dime like that.

The previous Movie player was free?


Those movie players were a sub-contract thing. The TVs they had in the Viewliners were free.


That was a private independent company that paid Amtrak a fee to allow them to rent the DVD players to Amtrak passenger and to advertise in Amtrak timetables.
Alan,

Take care and take trains!

#13 Green Maned Lion

Green Maned Lion

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 8,144 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:NJ
  • Interests:Sleeping

Posted 14 December 2009 - 01:51 AM

And to kill onboard movies.
Travelled: Broadway Limited (1), Lake Shore Limited (6), Capitol Limited (7), Empire Builder (1), Southwest Chief (2), Sunset Limited (1), California Zephyr (3), Coast Starlight (2), Silver Meteor (5), Silver Star (5), Silver Palm (2), Crescent (1), Cardinal (4), Auto Train (4), Pennsylvanian (2), Palmetto (1), Acela Express (1), Empire Service (1), Northeast Regional (11), Keystone Service (1) --- Total Miles: 50,144 --- Total Trains: 61
Most important: Keep it Simple, Stupid!
Posted Image
Dream of love, dream of me, for you are my love. I love you.
Avatar and sig were done by my fiance, Corvidophile.

#14 WhoozOn1st

WhoozOn1st

    Engineer

  • Honored Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,331 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Southern California

Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:06 AM

and the movies they showed really sucked!

Oh I don't know. Watched "The Truman Show" (new at the time) one afternoon in a westbound CZ SSL. Kind of a pain, what with foot traffic and noisy kids, but it seemed good enough that I requested - and got - a replay that night. Word of the encore showing spread quickly, and I was joined by a number of older, kinda BYOB, folks who watched the flick with me peacefully and quietly in the otherwise empty SSL. Afterward most stuck around and stayed up late discussing the movie, which remains the only Jim Carrey work I've ever liked.

Not sure that woulda happened had Wi-Fi been available, but I'm still for it.

WhoozOn1st
 


#15 amtrakwolverine

amtrakwolverine

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,082 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Warren MI
  • Interests:trains,music,guitars

Posted 14 December 2009 - 02:09 AM

if they had wi-fi maybe amtrak could work a deal with netflix to show movies on the tv. netflix has this box that will let you watch movies instantly on your tv instead of your PC.
<a class='bbc_url' href='<a class='bbc_url' href='http://www.avsforum....713'>MY</a>hometheater</a>

#16 Neil_M

Neil_M

    Engineer

  • Banned
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,046 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:London

Posted 14 December 2009 - 04:03 AM

The sleeper cars used on the London to Penzance run have been fitted with TV screens, although there is slightly more room in there to put the screen, might be a struggle in a roomette. At the moment it is just loaded with TV shows, comedy, documentaries and the like, the intention is to have movies on there in the future. So far it has proved popular, and the equipment is very reliable. It was installed on the sleeper cars as a prototype to fitting it to one coach of our HST train sets. The sleeper use is free, the day time trains will cost a few pounds. I think the day version will have stuff like GPS on, so you can track the progress of the train, speed etc etc.
Talking to the boss man of the TV company, he reckons Wifi is not the way to go, the improvement in mobile internet technology renders it slightly old hat, after all if you have an iPhone you can get by without Wifi.

#17 deimos

deimos

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 419 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Maryland
  • Interests:Hiking, biking, astronomy, travel, amateur radio.

Posted 14 December 2009 - 06:24 AM

I'd like to see WiFi service. I was able to connect to few hot spots near stations on my last trip. Of course, this was hit and miss, but I was able to work e-mail and check a few web sites.

#18 rrdude

rrdude

    Engineer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,706 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:No AGR Status anymore... Baltimore, MD Area
  • Interests:I like riding trains, in First Class, Sleeper, or Coach. (If just a short jaunt) I expect courteous service, equipment that works, arriving close to "on time", & clean windows. Is that too much to ask for?

Posted 14 December 2009 - 08:02 AM

Wi-Fi is a *Must*.... As for the others, flat screens with content in either sleepers or lounge, eh, I kind of agree with OP, I'd rather see the $$$ spent on deep cleaning or other subtle improvements.

Problem is, I'm and old fart, and maybe the 20-something, 30-somethings have a completely different view.......

#19 BeckysBarn

BeckysBarn

    OBS Chief

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 293 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Middle of an Illinois corn field

Posted 14 December 2009 - 08:29 AM

I'm surprised no one has mentioned this yet; perhaps it's still having a "soft opening", and once in a while the transmitting cars have to be pulled for service that have caused people to miss it, but: The Coast Starlight has wi-fi. For free. It works almost everywhere along the route, except for a few of the longer tunnels. Bring your computers and you'll see; a number of passengers in recent months have been EXTREMELY pleasantly surprised to discover this little freebie. It is transmitted from the sleepers, so sometimes it doesn't go all the way back to the 13 or 14 cars, but you can pretty much always get it in the lounge.


If the Coast Starlight had wi-fi Nov 22-23, then it must have been down. I was in a sleeper & couldn't pull a steady signal between PDX & SJC. (Of course, I did sleep some of the way) Wouldn't someone, like the SCA, have mentioned it?
Routes Travelled: Lincoln Service, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief, Texas Eagle, Empire Builder, Coast Starlight

Route66Illinois.com
BeckysBarn.com

#20 Guest_Tony_*

Guest_Tony_*
  • Guests

Posted 14 December 2009 - 08:47 AM

I do like the idea of wifi - not sure that I'd pay :unsure:

That would not be likely at all, Kevin. Amtrak doesn't nickel and dime like that.


From my experiences, except for in the Acela Lounges, the vendor for WiFi in the stations charges for its usage. I think the vendor is T-Mobile.

IMHO, if they charge in the stations, they will certainly charge on-board too.




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users