The UK government has today announced plans to ensure passengers can still get internet access whilst traveling by train.

The news comes from the Rail Minister Claire Parry, who announced that passengers would be provided with free access to Wi-Fi on trains throughout England and Wales from 2017.

“I am determined to improve journeys for rail passengers. Free wi-fi is a priority for many as being able to keep up with work, connect with friends or even check the latest journey information online helps make rail travel more productive.

We are investing record amounts in the rail network as part of our long-term economic plan, and this investment, coupled with major works such as the Thameslink programme, new Intercity Express trains and the Northern Hub, will ensure that passengers will soon have a railway fit for the 21st century.”

To do this the Department for Transport plans to invest £47,8 million in funding to ensure free Wi-Fi is available on Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN), Southeastern, Chiltern, Arriva Trains Wales from 2017.

However that funding will not be coming from taxes, instead it is coming from the money that Network Rail was required to return to the government due to fines for missing the targets set by the Office of Rail Regulation, it is now being reinvested to make the train service better for passengers.

Operators within the train services must now provide details to the Department for Transport on how they will be providing free Wi-Fi for passengers, and begin to install the needed equipment, but as some operators already offer Wi-Fi, it likely won’t be a hard switchover.

Operators will also be required to help the DFT to identify specific routes that will benefit the most from free Wi-Fi, those who provide satisfactory proposals will then be granted the needed funding.

You can find out more about the news at the source link below.

Source: Department for Transport

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