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From Streaming to USB Ports, Everything You Need to Know About Using Amtrak's WiFi

by Morgane Croissant Jun 22, 2023

Traveling by train around the US is a bit like going back in time to when flying wasn’t so ubiquitous, and an old-fashioned, unhurried, and scenic trip is exactly what most people are seeking when they board an Amtrak train. But beyond the primitive speed, very few things about Amtrak are behind the times: The railroad company offers its passengers a large variety of food and drink options; you can take your pet with you on the train; and there’s even WiFi on board.

Does Amtrak have WiFi?

While Amtrak does offer free WiFi, it is not available on all of Amtrak’s trains. At time of writing, only the following trains are equipped with WiFi:

  • Acela (service between Boston and Washington, DC)
  • Adirondack (service between New York City and Montreal). Amtrak’s WiFi is not available in Canada
  • Amtrak Cascades (service between Eugene, OR and Vancouver, BC, Canada) Amtrak’s WiFi is not available in Canada
  • Amtrak Hartford Line (between Springfield, MA and New Haven, CT)
  • Auto Train (between Lorton, VA, and Sanford, FL)
  • Blue Water (service between Chicago and Port Huron, MI)
  • Capitol Corridor (service between San Jose, CA, and Auburn, CA
  • Cardinal (service between New York City and Chicago)
  • Carolinian (service between New York City and Charlotte, NC)
  • Crescent (service between New York City and Picayune, MS)
  • Downeaster (service between Brunswick, ME and Boston)
  • Empire Service (service between Niagara Falls, NY and New York City)
  • Ethan Allen Express (service between Burlington, VT and New York City)
  • Hiawatha Service (service between Chicago and Milwaukee, WI)
  • Illini/Saluki (service between Chicago and Carbondale, IL)
  • Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg (service between Chicago and Quincy, IL)
  • Keystone (service between New York City and Harrisburg, PA)
  • Lake Shore Limited (service between Chicago and New York City)
  • Lincoln Service (service between Chicago and St. Louis, MO)
  • Maple Leaf (service between New York City and Toronto, ON, Canada) Amtrak’s WiFi is not available in Canada
  • Missouri River Runner (between St. Louis and Kansas City)
  • Northeast Regional (service between Boston and Newport News, VA)
  • Pacific Surfliner (service between San Luis Obispo, CA and San Diego, CA)
  • Palmetto (service between New York City and Miami)
  • Pennsylvanian (service between New York City and Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Pere Marquette (service between Chicago and Grand Rapids, MI)
  • San Joaquins (service between San Francisco Bay Area and Bakersfield, CA)
  • Silver Meteor (service between New York City and Miami)
  • Silver Star (service between New York City and Miami)
  • Valley Flyer (service between Greenfield, MA and New Haven, CT)
  • Vermonter (service between St. Albans, VT and Washington, DC)
  • Wolverine Service (service between Chicago and Pontiac, MI)

How to connect to Amtrak’s WiFi?

If you’re on board one of the trains listed above, you can connect to Amtrak’s Wifi by selecting Amtrak_WiFi or YourTrainWiFi on the list of available networks showing on your device. Note that you’ll need to agree to the terms and conditions on the Amtrak WiFi welcome page before being able to browse the internet.

Is Amtrak’s WiFi good?

Woman using a tablet on a train using Amtrak's WiFi

Photo: Liga Cerina/Shutterstock

Amtrak’s WiFi is inconsistent and mostly slow. Amtrak relies on nearby cellular carriers towers so the WiFi is very dependent on the train’s location and speed. Don’t plan to do a full day’s work or watch your favorite series on your trip. Download your e-books, movies, and other large files on your device at home before the journey.

That said, the future is bright for Amtrak passengers. The new Amtrak trains (Amtrak Airo and the new Acela fleet) will be equipped with onboard WiFi.

Does Amtrak have USB ports? Can I charge my phone on the train?

Amtrak does not have USB ports in its current trains, but the new Amtrak trains (Amtrak Airo and the new Acela fleet) will be equipped with USB ports and individual outlets.

Right now, in Coach Class and Business Class, there are two outlets for every seat pair, i.e. one per seat. The outlets are located on the wall near the window, so if you’re sitting in the aisle, you need to ask your seat neighbor for access to the outlet. Acela’s First Class seats have individual outlets. There is at least one outlet in Amtrak’s roomettes and bedrooms.

You can charge your phone on the train, but only if you brought the charger that plugs into a regular outlet.

Does Amtrak have TV?

Despite rumors, Amtrak trains do not have TV screens and Amtrak’s much-anticipated new trains likely won’t be equipped with TV screens either. The best on-board entertainment is watching the scenery out the window.

Can I watch Netflix on Amtrak?

You cannot watch Netflix or use any other streaming services on Amtrak trains. Not only is the WiFi not good enough for this activity, but Amtrak specifically asks that passengers refrain from using streaming platforms “to maximize the amount of onboard bandwidth available to all passengers.”

Prepare for your train trip by downloading the movies, series, and e-books you want to enjoy during the journey well in advance at home.

Do Amtrak train stations have WiFi?

The following Amtrak train stations have WiFi:

  • Penn Station in Baltimore
  • Inside the lounge at South Station in Boston
  • Union Station in Chicago
  • Lorton, VA
  • Moynihan Station in New York City
  • Inside the lounge and in gate areas at Penn Station in New York City
  • Inside the lounge and in gate areas at William H Gray III 30th Street Station in Philadelphia
  • Providence, RI
  • Sanford, FL
  • Inside the lounge and in gate areas at Union Station in Washington, DC
  • Route 128 station in Westwood, MA
  • Wilmington Station in Wilmington, DE

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