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Amtrak improves its notoriously-sluggish onboard Wi-Fi with 4G connectivity

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iPhone Amtrak
iPhone Amtrak

After years of sluggish service, train operator Amtrak has begun a network-wide overhaul of its onboard Wi-Fi service. Piggybacking on a number of different mobile networks, the new service uses 4G connectivity to improve speeds. The upgrade is already complete on the 400-mile Washington to Boston route, and has also rolled out on some state routes in California. Amtrak promises the rest of its Wi-Fi enabled trains, which serve 75 percent of its passengers, will be upgraded by "late summer."

Despite the speed upgrade, Amtrak is still limiting the service. Bandwidth-heavy services such as Netflix and Pandora will continue to be blacklisted, as will file downloads of over 10MB. Given the service remains free for Amtrak customers, it's tough to complain too much about the limitations, though. As The New York Times reports, Amtrak's high-speed service will not be available everywhere, thanks to spotty 4G coverage from the networks it relies on. There will also be service interruptions when switching between networks such as AT&T and Verizon to attain better signal.