This is interesting. Amtrak is threatening they will start shutting down their operations unless the government grants them a $200 million “loan”. If I were the CEO of Amtrak I would shut down most lines and focus on providing a high-speed train service for the East Coast. I think it’s clear that most travelers would prefer to take a fast train instead of a plane if the travel distance is less than 400 miles. And given the delays in air travel these days, the time it takes to get from point A to point B is likely to be similar. If Amtrak were smart they’d also look at creating a wireless Internet network along their main routes using technologies similar to how cell phones hand off a connection from cell tower to cell tower as you travel. With the prices of 802.11b hardware being so cheap, it’s definitely worth looking into. If you are a business traveler, how much would you pay for constant Internet access during your train ride from New York to Washington D.C.?
The Economist on emerging wireless technologies.
Posted by Cameron Barrett at June 21, 2002 06:07 PM