Amtrak Cascades travellers will get what they have asked for when Wi-Fi service becomes available today on all Amtrak Cascades trains.
Using any laptop computer or Wi-Fi enabled device, Amtrak Cascades passengers traveling between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, Ore., will be able to connect to the Internet for general Web surfing and access to e-mail. The free Wi-Fi service, known as AmtrakConnectSM, will also allow passengers to access corporate networks through most standard Virtual Private Networks (VPN), turning train trips into productive work time.
"Amtrak Cascades continues to be a desirable travel option and a popular alternative to driving," said Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. "Adding another great onboard amenity like Wi-Fi makes travel by train even more attractive."
More than 838,000 travellers rode Amtrak Cascades in 2010 setting a 16-year high for total ridership. Wi-Fi service has been the most requested amenity by Amtrak Cascades passengers and more people are traveling on the trains with their Wi-Fi enabled devices. Wi-Fi service on Amtrak Cascades trains will remain free of charge during the introductory period, after which the policy will be reviewed based on customer demand and system performance.
The Wi-Fi service, provided jointly by Amtrak and the Washington State Department of Transportation, is part of a long-term project to refurbish all the trains to like-new condition and extend their service life to approximately 2029. Completed work so far has included outfitting each set of trains with new leather seating surfaces, updating interior colour schemes and panelling, and installing new flooring. Future work will include upgrading the audio and video systems, and improving the bistro and lounge cars.
Amtrak Cascades is the second train in the Amtrak fleet to install a full-train Wi-Fi network. The Amtrak high-speed Acela Express service in the Northeast launched Wi-Fi on all 20 trains in March 2010.
Amtrak Cascades operates three daily round trips between Portland and Seattle; one daily round trip between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., and between Portland and Vancouver, B.C.; and daily service between Eugene and Seattle, via Portland. Amtrak Cascades is operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation. For Amtrak Cascades fares and schedules, visit AmtrakCascades.com
As the nation's intercity passenger rail operator, Amtrak connects America in safer, greener and healthier ways. Last fiscal year (FY 2010), the railroad carried more than 28.7 million passengers, making it the best year in the company's history. With 21,000 route miles in 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian provinces, Amtrak operates more than 300 trains each day—at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph)—to more than 500 destinations. Amtrak also is the partner of choice for state-supported corridor services in 15 states and for several commuter rail agencies. Visit Amtrak.com or your local contact at momentotravel.com.au or call 1 300 300 713 for schedules, fares and more information.