Wi-Fi on the rails


The train may be hours late, but at least your e-mails will get there on time. According to The Register (www.theregister.co.uk/content/69/32375.html) the UK’s east coast rail service operator GNER is testing out an onboard wi-fi (802.11b) service that will allow passengers to send/receive e-mails and surf the net without having to rely on flaky connections via their mobile phones.

Developed in conjunction with Swedish company Icomera who already have experience of running wi-fi on Scandinavian trains, the service combines several onboard wi-fi hot spots with GSM and satellite technologies to provide an always-on connection at speeds of up to 300 Kilometres per hour (not as if our trains will ever go that fast). The system is currently being trialled for three months and – if successful – will be rolled out next year.

Of course, wi-fi will not only be of great benefit to passengers but will also hopefully help win back rail customers who currently find it cheaper and easier to go from London to Scotland by plane or car.

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