East Coast train operator GNER has reached a major milestone in its exciting project to create Britain’s first all WiFi train fleet.Today GNER revealed it has now completed work to install wireless internet on board 21 of its 41 trains ... taking it past the half-way point in the rollout to
the entire GNER fleet.
GNER was the first train operator in the UK to provide uninterrupted internet
connection for passengers while travelling, using WiFi technology.
When GNER began its current franchise in May 2005, it confirmed plans to install WiFi across its fleet, following a successful trial onboard ten rebuilt ‘Mallard’ trains.
Completion was due for May 2007, but in response to popular demand from passengers, GNER has speeded up the project and all of its trains will have
WiFi by August of this year - nine months early.
GNER chief executive Christopher Garnett said: “We’re delighted to have reached the halfway point in the rollout of wireless internet to our trains.
“WiFi offers enormous possibilities for both business and leisure passengers to
make the most of their journey with GNER. For a business user, WiFi creates a truly mobile office, while leisure users can shop, keep up to date with news and sport or book a weekend break at the end of their journey.
” We’re firmly on track to have the whole fleet complete by August, making us
Britain’s first all-WiFi train fleet and by then, the biggest WiFi train operator in the world”.
GNER trains send and receive communications signals via a combination of a
roof-mounted satellite dish and mobile phone antenna using 3G and GPRS technology. Each coach along the entire length of the train is then connected
via the onboard wireless network to create a WiFi ‘hot-spot’ throughout every
coach on the train.
First Class passengers can access WiFi free of charge during their journey, while in Standard Class the system operates on a ‘pay-as-you-go’ principle,
similar to an internet café.
WiFi is also available free of charge in all eight of GNER’s First Class lounges
at locations along the East Coast route.
Work to fit wireless internet equipment to the remainder of GNER’s train fleet is continuing daily at the company’s depots at Bounds Green in north London and at Craigentinny near Edinburgh.