UPDATE: Amtrak says an unauthorized individual previously was using the @Amtrak Twitter account, but the rail line has now secured it for itself. The @AmtrakUSA account was a placeholder while efforts were under way to get the @Amtrak account.
Amtrak, the federally funded rail line operating in 46 states, launched a Twitter account, @AmtrakUSA, the other day and is trying to get its social-media act together.
As of this writing, AmtrakUSA has issued a modest two tweets and had 13 followers since March 4, but has hired a social media director and is making sure that internal stakeholders, including corporate communications and customer relations, are on board with the effort.
The rail line is also establishing a social-media policy for employees with guidelines about how to handle status updates on Amtrak's Facebook page, for instance.
As with many travel companies these days, Amtrak has had internal debates about whether getting involved with social media is too risky or the smart thing to do.
Apparently the social media advocates have won out for now -- or at least they have been granted permission to test the waters.
Amtrak opted to establish the AmtrakUSA account because the Amtrak name was being used by an unauthorized user.
With the rail line having just launched its AmtrakUSA Twitter handle, it's too early to assess the direction of Amtrak's Twitter strategy.
Perhaps Amtrak doesn't even have it totally formulated yet.
In other Amtrak tech-oriented news, the rail line introduced AmtrakConnect Wi-Fi service for all first and business-class passengers on its 20 Acela Express trains.
Amtrak partnered with GBS Group and Nomad Digital to deploy the service, which initially will be free, but the compensation model will be under review.
In addition, Amtrak is introducing Wi-Fi for all passengers in gate areas at eight stations in the Northeast.
The rail line already offers Wi-Fi in its ClubAcela lounges at several major stations.