Rail companies across the UK have been adding Passenger Wi-Fi to their services in recent months. Onboard Internet is now available on Great Northern trains from Welwyn Garden City, with Wi-Fi being introduced across other fleets on the Govia Thameslink Railway network later in the year, including Southern’s metro, Thameslink and other routes.
GTR engineering director Gerry McFadden said: “GTR was brought in to modernise the railway. That means bringing in new trains as well as new services, infrastructure and working practices to address the massive increase in passenger numbers on this, the UK’s most congested railway.
“One of the intended spin-offs is the introduction of on-board Wi-Fi. We’ve had it on our new Gatwick Express fleet for 10 months; now it’s been switched on across our new Great Northern trains. Coupled with power points at every pair of seats and air conditioning, we’re doing our best to give passengers a better journey.”
TransPennine Express has also launched its first refurbished train as part of a complete overhaul of its fleet in Middlesbrough. A full fleet of trains are going through a phased refurbishment programme after £32m investment, 51 receiving full modernization by 2018. The trains will be fitted with improvements including information screens, free Wi-Fi and an on-board entertainment system.
The company, which runs trains across the North and into Scotland, scored an 86% overall satisfaction rating in the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) conducted by independent railway watchdog Transport Focus. The increasing number of rail commuters is being addressed by delivering an investment of £500 million including 220 brand new carriages which will provide 13 million more seats per year for customers.
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express commented: “We are also introducing brand new trains with free Wi-Fi and an on-board entertainment system which will totally transform customer’s journeys with us in terms of comfort, space and extra seats.”
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