World first as UK trains get back-of-the-seat TV screens

Gerald Lynch Features, Tech Digest news, Travel Gadgets, TVs 8 Comments

train tvs.jpgThe worlds first back-of-the-seat screens on a train have been installed today. However, you wont find them in Japan’s Bullet Train, but instead on the UK’s own First Great Western high-speed trains.

So far 16 carriages have been fitted out with the Volo-built screens, with the service expected to hit all 54 First Great Western high-speed trains by the end of next year. Commuters can access films, TV shows, sport channels and a journey tracker for a fee of £3.95 per journey.

First Great Western’s Neil Micklethwaite said: “This exciting scheme has seen a lot of positive feedback from customers so far.”

And Volo TV boss Marcus Noble added that: “It’s just great to see a world first in rail in the UK. The quality of viewing is better than that available to air travellers in business class.”

Do you reckon this will over take your iPod as your travelling screen of choice? At a flat rate of £3.95 a journey it’s a bit steep for shorter trips, but if they can keep the content away from the realms of TV re-runs and ancient straight-to-video movies, First Great Western could be onto a winner.

Via: The Mirror

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By Gerald Lynch | April 15th, 2010





  • Christian

    There are already seat-back TVs in Germany. Not a world first!

  • http://www.ledhd.co.uk LED HD

    I think Gerald actually stumbled on the reason why this idea is just one huge white elephant….iPods.

    Any savvy traveller with enough reddies to afford a £4 film, will more than likely have a fully loaded iPhone/iPod or equivilent.

    Besides, people’s attitudes to travelling in comfort are changing. We no longer expect the carrier to provide technology for us – as we have our own. Look at EasyJet – they operate planes full of passengers who watch their own DVD players, listen to their own MP3 players. This is the route it seems we are going down. What are First Great Western thinking of?!

    I honestly can’t see these being more than eye candy in the early years, and just something to suffer vandalism and malfunction in years to come.

  • dimension4

    German ICE High-Speed trains used to have personal screens even in one second-class coach since the early 1990’s but the new ones and the refurbished ones don’t have them any more because German Railway (DB) realised that people want sockets to plug in laptop computers, portable DVD players and smartphones to watch their own films so that’s history in second class.
    Since the technology was early 90’s there were only 2 video channels and 6 audio channels so no comparisan with current multi-media technology of e.g. Virgin USA.
    People nowadays want Wifi and power for their own devices which they can always use since it is not a plane.

  • burblebrox

    Total waste of space, typical of First Great Western and the rest of the UK’s antiquated rail network. Rail passengers already carry more than enough entertainment, whether it be a newspaper or a fully stocked iPod. So FGW should be working on providing customers with what they need, such as reasonable fares, enough seats, power sockets and trains that run on time rather than wasting their passengers’ hard-earned money on pointless rubbish like this.

  • http://www.bingo.com Bingo.com

    I think is a great idea. The quality seems good and the screen is bigger than Iphone’s, Ipod’s etc.

  • Chandy

    The ones in Germany were not interactive touch screens with a live connection for real time news, moving map displays etc. iPods are great but screen size will always be limited to pocket size.

  • http://www.electrocomputerwarehouse.com/ used computers

    I honestly can’t see these being more than eye candy in the early years, and just something to suffer vandalism and malfunction in years to come.

  • http://www.abercrombielondon.net abercrombie & fitch london

    Yep what.s good for the goose is good for the gander. Great idea.
    Notice that the Chinese know how to do a stimulus package, while no one in power seems to know how to do a stimulus package here in the US.
    Thanks for sharing. His music will continue to rock!