While Internet access on rails is burgeoning in the UK, it's limping in North America: But this new agreement by Montreal-based VIA Rail to extend rail-Fi to all VIA 1 (first class) and Comfort (economy class) passengers on the Montreal to Windsor route by Nov. 2006. This includes adding Wi-Fi service to 22 train stations and Panorama lounges by spring. Parsons Corp. provides the service using PointShot's system. (It took a week for PointShot to get any ink on this about themselves, oddly enough.)
The entire system carried nearly four million passengers in 2004, and the annual report openly admits that competition from air carriers has eaten into their business. Adding Wi-Fi is an excellent move for those who would rather have the luxury of working while they travel in comfort.
There's no mention of service in the Sleeper class, but why Wi-Fi while you sleep?
I suspect the timetable reflects a rollout of EVDO and satellite (think: Inmarsat broadband BGAN service) to bring adequate bandwidth along the route. The Montreal Gazette reports that VIA Rail expects 500 Kbps to 3 Mbps performance along the route; their story is behind a subscription firewall.
Two stations, five trains (probably from the long-running test that's been in place), and four Panorama lounges are unwired already.
The brandname for this service, by the way, is Opti-Fi, which is also the name of a U.S. Wi-Fi operator found in airports. Opti-Fi owned by ARINC, Parsons, and Airport Assets, which may explain the extension of the service's name. (ARINC is also behind AeroMobile, which will offer voice and data via Inmarsat satellite in competition with Boeing and OnAir.)