Amtrak Issues RFIs for Enhanced Wi-Fi Connectivity

Amtrak has issued two Request for Informations (RFIs) to support its delivery of high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity along the 450-mile Northeast Corridor (NEC) from Washington, D.C. to Boston.

This initiative is part of Amtrak’s overall mission of advancing the digital experience for a new era of rail.

The operator is seeking feedback from parties interested in progressing high-speed connectivity along the NEC, with the aim of building a wireless network from the ground up.

Amtrak's Acela II on the Northeast Corridor
Amtrak’s Acela II on the Northeast Corridor

The newly announced RFIs include requests for:

  • Organisations interested in deploying a fibre network along the NEC to support long-term digitalisation
  • Metrics for understanding the market demand for fibre along six subsections of the 450-mile NEC route

These RFIs will pave the way for Amtrak to seek partners to design, deploy and operate a fibre optics and wireless network that will improve onboard passenger Wi-Fi, network connectivity and other use cases.

Following these RFIs, a Request for Proposals (RFP) is anticipated to design and build a new high-capacity fibre optic cable along the route.

Based on what Amtrak learns from these RFIs, which are focused on the NEC, it will also consider options to bring modern, reliable Wi-Fi to trains across the nation.

Parties interested in the newly announced RFIs must complete a short questionnaire on a potential fibre network along the Northeast Corridor.

Meanwhile, Amtrak continues to work toward enhancing the Wi-Fi digital experience for its customers through improved connection, network reliability, stability and faster access. This involves:

  • Acela software upgrades completed in April 2024 to improve Wi-Fi resource allocation on busier trains
  • Upgraded 5G on the Amtrak Auto Train, Pacific Surfliner, and Acela
  • Northeast Regional upgrades to 5G planned for Summer 2024

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