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Do Amfleet II coaches have wifi?


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#1 Guest_Andrea_*

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:26 AM

I will be traveling from SC to NYC on the 18th, and I'm trying to find out if the trains I will be taking will have Wifi or not. I'm taking the 92 Silver Star northbound, and 91 Silver Star southbound. I've googled a few different ways of phrasing my question but nothing gave me a definite answer.

#2 AlanB

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 12:52 AM

Sadly, WiFi is not yet available on most long distance trains, including the two that you'll be on.
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#3 amamba

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 09:50 AM

Sorry, right now the only trains with wifi are the Acela and the Coast Starlight.

#4 jimhudson

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:06 AM

Sorry, right now the only trains with wifi are the Acela and the Coast Starlight.

But as all the members that rode the Starlight to/from the Gathering will tell you, sadly Wifi is either snail like or non-existant in the Fantastic Parlor Car! :( :help:
 
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#5 afigg

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:44 AM

Sorry, right now the only trains with wifi are the Acela and the Coast Starlight.

And the Downeaster and the Cascades trains.

The Amfleet I equipped east coast corridor trains are scheduled to get free WiFi added in October, but we are now at mid-month and there has been no word. The California corridor trains are scheduled for November, the Autotrain lounge cars for December.

Beyond that, there has been no announced schedule for additional WiFi roll-outs. However, if Amtrak can wire some 430 Amfleet Is for WiFi, adding WiFi gear to 145 Amfleet II cars should be a straight forward process. On the other hand, customers would want WiFi in the Viewliner sleepers and that could need adding WiFi cable connections through the Heritage diner cars. Which are going to be retired in the next few years, so the cost for modifying a soon to be retired piece of equipment could be a consideration.

#6 RRrich

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 10:53 AM

A verizon Mifi can be purchased cheaply on ebay and that might solve your problem

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#7 amamba

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:27 AM

Sorry, forgot about the Cascades and the Downeaster! Thanks for correcting me :)

#8 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:44 AM


Sorry, right now the only trains with wifi are the Acela and the Coast Starlight.

But as all the members that rode the Starlight to/from the Gathering will tell you, sadly Wifi is either snail like or non-existant in the Fantastic Parlor Car!

If the flaky dial-up class "WiFi" on the Coast Starlight is the sort of service that Amtrak is planning to roll out to the rest of the LD network they might as well put that plan on ice until they have had a chance to figure out what went so wrong and actually FIX the problem. If the Coast Starlight was the test train then it seems the test was a failure in my book. Very few folks will be impressed with Coast Starlight style "WiFi" on the rest of the network. A full rollout of the same service levels nationwide is likely to generate resentment with misleading advertising that doesn't pan out for most users.

Any views expressed are my own and do not represent the views of my employer, parent companies, partners, or subsidiaries.

Over 50,000 people just like you recently signed a petition to expand high speed passenger rail in the United States of America.

Long live The Coast Starlight, The California Zephyr, The Empire Builder, The Southwest Chief, and The Canadian.


#9 Cho Cho Charlie

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 04:34 PM

On the other hand, customers would want WiFi in the Viewliner sleepers and that could need adding WiFi cable connections through the Heritage diner cars. Which are going to be retired in the next few years, so the cost for modifying a soon to be retired piece of equipment could be a consideration.


I guess that depends on the current consist; Viewliners/baggage before the diner or after it.
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#10 afigg

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 05:03 PM


On the other hand, customers would want WiFi in the Viewliner sleepers and that could need adding WiFi cable connections through the Heritage diner cars. Which are going to be retired in the next few years, so the cost for modifying a soon to be retired piece of equipment could be a consideration.


I guess that depends on the current consist; Viewliners/baggage before the diner or after it.

The Heritage diner almost always goes between the Viewliner sleepers and the Amfleet coaches and lounge/dinner light car. Does not matter whether the sleepers are on the front or back end. If the central router is placed in the Amfleet II diner-light car - as is being done in the Amfleet I café cars - the connection from the local WiFi hub in the Viewliner sleeper has to be passed through the Heritage diner. I don't know if that is a cost issue for a diner that will be retired in several years. Or if the WiFi design will be handled differently for the LD trains with a 3G/4G router in the sleeper cars.

#11 jdcnosse

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 07:14 PM

I think they should hold back on the "Wifi" until 4G service is in more places. Or at least explain that the current wifi is based off cell towers and therefore you're only going to get the same speed your phone does. Not to mention they have to also explain that there is a set amount of bandwidth, and when everyone uses it, it's divided among them.
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#12 Guest_X_*

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Posted 17 October 2011 - 11:26 PM



Sorry, right now the only trains with wifi are the Acela and the Coast Starlight.

But as all the members that rode the Starlight to/from the Gathering will tell you, sadly Wifi is either snail like or non-existant in the Fantastic Parlor Car!

If the flaky dial-up class "WiFi" on the Coast Starlight is the sort of service that Amtrak is planning to roll out to the rest of the LD network they might as well put that plan on ice until they have had a chance to figure out what went so wrong and actually FIX the problem. If the Coast Starlight was the test train then it seems the test was a failure in my book. Very few folks will be impressed with Coast Starlight style "WiFi" on the rest of the network. A full rollout of the same service levels nationwide is likely to generate resentment with misleading advertising that doesn't pan out for most users.


The Acela was the test train for the national rollout, it's a different system from the one used on the CS.

#13 none

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:58 AM

I think they should hold back on the "Wifi" until 4G service is in more places. Or at least explain that the current wifi is based off cell towers and therefore you're only going to get the same speed your phone does. Not to mention they have to also explain that there is a set amount of bandwidth, and when everyone uses it, it's divided among them.


That makes sense. I often wonder at the value of these "wifi hotspot" devices, which let other users tap into a single broadband mobile account, but apparently have the potential to dilute one's own connectivity significantly.

#14 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 11:30 AM

Or at least explain that the current wifi is based off cell towers and therefore you're only going to get the same speed your phone does.

Not even close. My phone's internet was actually usable in urban areas and along major highways while the CS' own "WiFi" was missing in action for pretty much the whole entire journey. So far as I am aware my experience was fairly typical as per fellow passengers, staff members, AU posters, etc. In some ways the advertising of a service unrendered is more annoying to me than if they simply never bothered to install in the first place.

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#15 amamba

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Posted 18 October 2011 - 11:45 AM




Sorry, right now the only trains with wifi are the Acela and the Coast Starlight.

But as all the members that rode the Starlight to/from the Gathering will tell you, sadly Wifi is either snail like or non-existant in the Fantastic Parlor Car!

If the flaky dial-up class "WiFi" on the Coast Starlight is the sort of service that Amtrak is planning to roll out to the rest of the LD network they might as well put that plan on ice until they have had a chance to figure out what went so wrong and actually FIX the problem. If the Coast Starlight was the test train then it seems the test was a failure in my book. Very few folks will be impressed with Coast Starlight style "WiFi" on the rest of the network. A full rollout of the same service levels nationwide is likely to generate resentment with misleading advertising that doesn't pan out for most users.


The Acela was the test train for the national rollout, it's a different system from the one used on the CS.

And the acela wifi is still pretty crappy, in my experience, especially between BOS & NYP (mostly through CT).

Like some of the others, I found the CS wifi to be not working at all during my trip in March - meanwhile my mifi (off the verizon cell network) was working fine in the PPC.

#16 RyanS

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 01:10 PM

It looks like the WiFi is starting to spread:
http://greatergreate...ntent-filtering
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#17 Devil's Advocate

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 01:41 PM

It looks like the WiFi is starting to spread:
http://greatergreate...ntent-filtering

I can understand bandwidth limits but I didn't know Amtrak was specifically filtering out content. If a pervert wants to display something obscene on their computer it's not like they require a live internet connection to do so. I'm glad Amtrak is apparently taking an interest in their corporate image, but arbitrarily blocking online content might not be the best way to promote it. I doubt most of my internet access would break Amtrak's rules, but if I happen to be following a professionally written story about DOMA or something I don't want Amtrak's heavy handed proxy to get in the way.

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#18 RyanS

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 02:23 PM

I don't think that they are filtering elsewhere based on content, and expect this filtering to go away when this is formally launched.
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#19 PRR 60

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 02:46 PM

I don't think that they are filtering elsewhere based on content, and expect this filtering to go away when this is formally launched.

Wifi on Acela is content filtered in addition to being bandwidth limited. The problem develops from the systems used to detect inappropriate content. Those systems can sometimes over-reach and block appropriate sites. Of course, people's opinions of what is and is not appropriate can vary. Amtrak has a mechanism to request the whitelisting of blocked sites. The request can be made through the "Wi-Fi Service" subject option of the "Contact Us" page at Amtrak.com.

From Amtrak:

Why are you blocking specific websites?
Amtrak follows similar guidelines shared by many companies who offer Wi-Fi in a public space, in that we will block content deemed to be inappropriate for public viewing. If you have encountered a website which you feel has been incorrectly blocked by our automatic filter, let us know. We can honor appropriate requests to unblock specific sites.



#20 Texan Eagle

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Posted 19 October 2011 - 03:30 PM

Like some of the others, I found the CS wifi to be not working at all during my trip in March - meanwhile my mifi (off the verizon cell network) was working fine in the PPC.


Everyone who has complained so far on the grounds that Amtrak's wi-fi was not working but my cell/Mi-fi was working, please realize that Amtrak's wi-fi is bandwidth-limited as in, a hundred people are trying to access the internet using one access point while on your cell/mifi its just you connecting to the tower, so the probability of getting a connection through is much greater on your personal device than a shared wifi. To make a fair apple to apple comparison between Amtrak's supposedly-crappy wifi and internet connectivity using personal devices, only one passenger should be using the train's wifi at a time. Maybe the Dining Car attendant can issue "reservation slots" to individuals for wifi usage Posted Image



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