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Wi-Fi rides into Amtrak rail stations

The company is expanding its Wi-Fi service to six Northeastern U.S. train stations, in a move to attract more business travelers.

Amtrak is expanding its Wi-Fi service to six Northeastern U.S. train stations, in a move to attract more business travelers.

The rail company currently offers wireless access to networks in its first-class passenger lounge at Union Station in Washington, D.C. But the rail company is expected to announce as early as Tuesday that six other stations will offer "less restrictive" Wi-Fi service, sources familiar with Amtrak's plans said.


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Amtrak is planning to use a different Wi-Fi service provider than the one Union Station uses, the source said, noting that the company and a service provider are in the final stages of wrapping up a contract.

The contract will determine whether the service will be free and when it will be launched, the source said. Stations that will offer the service include Route 128 near Boston; Providence, R.I.; Wilmington, Del.; 30th Street Station in Philadelphia; and New York's Penn Station.

Once Wi-Fi is up and running at the stations, Amtrak expects to have roughly 1 million users of the service on a daily basis, ranging from business travelers to people stopping by the stations for an Internet connection.

The Northeast was selected for the Wi-Fi pilot program, given its large installed base of business travelers, the source said. The Union Station Wi-Fi service was launched roughly a year ago and has been well received by Amtrak passengers.