The train rumbled down the tracks as I adjusted to the seat and train car I would call home for the next two days and three nights. I pulled my laptop from my bag. Call me a fool, but I’d thought that in this age of technological wonders, that the train I travelled on would have WiFi that I could access while the countryside passed by as I made my way from Ontario to Alberta. Apparently that was too much to ask, but I was assured by train crew that the major stations we were to stop at would have WiFi that I could access. So patiently I waited for our stop in Winnipeg to arrive. Upon my arrival to Winnipeg, I was dismayed to find that regardless of where I went in the building, I was unable to connect to their WiFi. Of course, there were no staff members properly trained there to help passengers who had issues of this sort, and I was not the only one. I needed to get online to ensure that I would have a ride from the station upon my arrival at the station in Edmonton. But no signal was to be found. Thus, I would up waiting until I arrived in Edmonton. My expected ride was not there upon my arrival, and so I pulled out my laptop once again, hoping to get WiFi so I could look up the appropriate numbers needed to get transit to my final destination. Once again, I was foiled by the network that failed to let me connect and no one in the station was able to help me. But my real question was, why no WiFi on the train?
Prior to my departure from Toronto, my uncle had shared his doubts that there would be internet access on the train, as both incoming and outgoing signals are required to upload and download to the internet. But I was confident that the technology existed. Didn’t satillites do everything these days anyway? Apparently not.
Now, a week later, my Greyhound bus rumbles down the road heading south from Edmonton. And guess what? Although my two day and three night train trip had no internet access, my bus, on which I will only be travelling for 7 hours, is equipped with an internet connection. As the prairies pass by outside the window I can’t help but wonder, why can’t a train have WiFi if my bus driving through the open prairies can? Or is it simply that they don’t? You’d think considering how much one pays for a train ticket, that such technology would be included. Sadly, it was not. Now all I can say is, ViaRail, pull up your bootstraps! Greyhound is beating you out.