Yes, Amtrak's Wi-Fi is slow. You're not imagining things, and all those whiny tweets about dropped signals are onto something.
But here at National Journal, we wanted more than anecdotal data. Taking advantage of a slow news day, I rode the rails to New York, testing the Wi-Fi speed along the way. To do this absurdly unscientific research properly, I decided to test the Wi-Fi during peak hours. That meant a morning Acela out of Washington and an evening return from New York.
The Plan was pretty simple: Ideally, every 10 minutes or so, I'd launch a test on speedtest.net or testmy.net, while marking down my location based on the compass feature on my iPhone (which is pretty accurate).
For reference, the Federal Communications Commission recommends a download speed of 4 megabits per second to watch streaming video. We counted speeds below 3 mbps as medium quality and below 1 mbps as low.
Your results may vary. All aboard.