Our mobile Wi-Fi network relies on bandwidth provided by cellular carriers who have towers along our routes. The bandwidth available from these towers is limited and our speeds may not match what you are used to receiving from stationary Wi-Fi networks. Engaging in web activities that use large amounts of bandwidth will negatively affect the online experience of other passengers. When using our network, please keep this in mind and be respectful of your fellow passengers.
To maximize the amount of onboard bandwidth available to all passengers, AmtrakConnect blocks access to streaming media and limits file downloads to 10MB. To prepare for this restriction, we recommend passengers download any necessary large files prior to boarding the train.
In addition, Amtrak utilizes a third-party web filtering service in order to restricts access to websites with objectionable content. Content filtering is not a perfect science, and can at times incorrectly block a category.
AmtrakConnect supports VPNs on Capitol Corridor, San Joaquin and Pacific Surfliner trains.
AmtrakConnect does not offer technical support for passengers experiencing difficulty with the network. If you feel there has been a network outage, please report this to the onboard staff. While our Conductors are unable to troubleshoot your connectivity issues, they can report the possibility of an onboard outage to an offsite monitoring service.
CCJPA was a pioneer in launching complimentary Wi-Fi access onboard the Capitol Corridor trains since 2011. AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi is currently available on the following routes:
- Capitol Corridor
- San Joaquin
- Pacific Surfliner
Amtrak will be restricting access to certain websites, whether due to their inappropriate content, or because the website has been deemed to consume high-levels of bandwidth. Passenger comments regarding restricted access should be provided via the following link: amtrak.com/contactus
The system on the train is provided by access points located in each car (“intermediate cars”) that are wirelessly meshed to a central “brain” car which houses a server/router with eight cellular data cards and antennas to communicate with the cellular network along the route. The cellular cards are the limiting factor in the system connecting to the wide area network (WAN—or what many people more casually term, “the internet”). The signals that arrives or leaves the train via those cellular cards is actually sent and managed through a network operating center (NOC) which lives in a secure server farm located in California. The bandwidth provided by each cellular card is aggregated and rebroadcast for uploads and downloads over the on-train wireless network (the local area network or LAN) and delivered using the Wi-Fi ® protocol (802.11n) thus allowing any Wi-Fi equipped device (802.11 b, g, and n) to connect to the network via the afore mentioned access points. The café/diner car in each train consist is the brain car and each coach or cab/coach car is considered the intermediate car.