August 15, 2015
National Express will provide free Wi-Fi, to all rail passengers on the London to Scotland east-coast mainline, when it takes over the franchise from GNER in December.
GNER completed the installation of Wi-Fi broadband connectivity on all its 41 east-coast trains last year, at a cost of £3.2m.
It currently provides a free Wi-Fi service to first-class passengers, while other passengers pay £2.95 per half hour or £9.95 for a full day.
National Express’s £1.4bn winning bid to run the franchise included a promise to extend the free Wi-Fi service to all passengers.
The on-board Wi-Fi uses a satellite link and mobile 3G/GPRS networks to maintain 100 per cent connectivity, even when going through tunnels.
The trains are equipped with servers from Swedish company Icomera and wireless access points are fitted at the end of each carriage on a train.
National Express also plans to introduce a range of other services.
It is developing a website to provide information on ticket prices, and plans to introduce smartcards by 2018.
The company will also provide real-time travel updates to mobile phones and allow passengers to print tickets at home or use “m-tickets” through their mobile phones.