Train Tunnels No Longer A Barrier To Wireless Use

Verizon Wireless technology means train tunnels are no longer a barrier to wireless use.

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

June 5, 2001

1 Min Read

A New York minute recently changed length and, depending on your point of view, is now either longer or shorter. Wireless technology implemented by Verizon Wireless enables travelers on LIRR, NJ Transit, and Amtrak trains to and from the Big Apple to use cell phones and notebook computers in tunnels.

This means important calls won't be lost when tunnels are entered. It also means another lost venue for those who'd rather be alone with their thoughts than be bombarded by incessant yakking. The "quiet car," however, might allay the pain for the latter group. Amtrak on June 1 officially implemented these cars on all but three Amtrak runs in the northeast corridor, a spokewoman says.

"A lot of riders have requested the [quiet cars]," she adds. "One car seems to be enough. If we see they're filling up, we'll look at adding others." The three non-quiet cars are on runs heavily traveled by businesspeople, she says.

The service works via 15.5 miles of coaxial cable snaking through the tunnels; the cable is punctured with holes, emitting radio signals to provide the wireless service. Signals enter the cable through microcells.

Verizon Wireless service already exists for autos in the Queens Midtown, Lincoln, Brooklyn Battery, and Holland tunnels.

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