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by Michael J. Shapiro | November 02, 2011

 Amtrak announced Monday the addition of its free AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi service to 12 East Coast routes, which means that nearly 60 percent of the company's passengers now have access to the service. New additions include Amtrak's most popular route, the Northeast Regional, which provides daily service between Virginia and Boston. Other routes now offering the access include the Empire Service (New York-Albany-Buffalo), Keystone Service (New York-Philadelphia-Harrisburg, Pa.), Carolinian (New York-Charlotte), Downeaster (Boston-Portland), Ethan Allen Express (New York-Rutland, Vt.), Vermonter (Washington, D.C.-St. Albans, Vt.) and the New Haven-Springfield, Mass. Shuttle. AmtrakConnect also is available on select cars on the Adirondack (New York-Montreal), Maple Leaf (New York-Toronto), Palmetto (New York-Savannah, Ga.) and Pennsylvanian (New York-Philadelphia-Pittsburgh) routes. The new routes complement AmtrakConnect's existing service on the Acela Express (Northeast Corridor) and Cascades (Pacific Northwest) lines. By the end of the year, Amtrak expects to offer free Wi-Fi on state-supported trains in California, including the Capitol Corridor, Pacific Surfliner and San Joaquin lines. At that point the service will be available to about three-quarters of the train company's customers.