Passenger train operator Amtrak said it launched Wi-Fi service on all Amtrak Cascades trains.

Amtrak Cascades, on which the Wi-Fi service will be effective today, is the second train in the Amtrak fleet to install a full-train Wi-Fi network after the Amtrak high-speed Acela Express service in the Northeast launched Wi-Fi on all 20 trains in March 2010. 

The free Wi-Fi service, known as AmtrakConnectSM, Amtrak Cascades passengers traveling between Vancouver, British Columbia (B.C.), and Eugene, Oregon, will be able to connect to the Internet for general Web surfing and access to e-mail.

Wi-Fi service on Amtrak Cascades trains will remain free of charge during the introductory period, after which the policy will be reviewed based on customer demand and system performance. 

The Wi-Fi service, provided jointly by Amtrak and the Washington State Dept. of Transportation, is part of a long-term project to refurbish all the trains to like-new condition and extend their service life to about 2029.

Amtrak Cascades continues to be a desirable travel option and a popular alternative to driving, said Washington State Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond. Adding another great onboard amenity like Wi-Fi makes travel by train even more attractive.    

Amtrak Cascades operates three daily round trips between Portland and Seattle; one daily round trip between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C., and between Portland and Vancouver, B.C.; and daily service between Eugene and Seattle, via Portland.

Amtrak Cascades is operated by Amtrak in partnership with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation. In 2010, more than 838,000 travelers rode Amtrak Cascades setting a 16-year high for total ridership.

For details regarding Amtrak Cascades fares and schedules, visit AmtrakCascades.com