Latest Rail News


Cameron promises free on-board wi-fi across four TOC areas from 2017

Rail passengers in Wales and the south of England are set to benefit from free wi-fi on trains as David Cameron has announced a £50m plan to have it up and running by 2017.

The prime minister told MPs that internet access was vital for rail travellers.

“Passengers that make over 500 million journeys every year with the four rail operators, TSGN, Southeastern, Chiltern, Arriva Trains Wales, will all benefit from this investment,” he said.

Money for the scheme will also be made available to Transport Scotland, though it will be a devolved decision as to how it will be used north of the border.

There was no mention of implementing the scheme on trains in the north. Northern, TransPennine Express, East Coast, London Midland and Virgin Trains were all left out of the announcement.

The DfT said this is because they are targeting those operators where there is no new franchise agreement due in the next two years. Operators bidding for new franchises or direct award will now be required to include commitments to provide free wi-fi.

The government said: “By targeting the investment at franchises that would otherwise have no immediate plans to introduce wi-fi, the government is ensuring that as many passengers as possible benefit.”

The investment will be funded from fines imposed by the Office of Rail Regulation on Network Rail in July 2014 for the late running of services.

A spokesman for the Rail Delivery Group, which represents Network Rail and train operators, said: “It is good news that even more rail passengers will be able to benefit from wi-fi on their train.

“Rail plays a crucial role in keeping people connected to friends, family and jobs and the wider rollout of wi-fi on the rail network will mean people can make even better use of their time on the train.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



Rail industry Focus

  • 11/09/2019The next generation of rail infrastructure

    How the rail industry delivers the next generation of complex infrastructure will rely heavily on the people tasked with leading the projects, and the technology they use to do it. Faithful+Gould...
  • 11/09/2019Putting passengers first

    How does the rail industry design the railways for the next 40 years, and when it does, how do we make sure it’s all done with the passenger in mind? Jane Fisher joined three members of the Arup team...
View all News


The challenge of completing Crossrail

05/07/2019The challenge of completing Crossrail

With a new plan now in place to deliver Crossrail, Hedley Ayres, National Audit Office manager, major projects and programmes, takes a look at ho... more >
Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

04/07/2019Preparing the industry to deliver trains for the future

The move to decarbonise the rail network involves shifting to cleaner modes of traction by 2050. David Clarke, technical director at the Railway ... more >

'the sleepers' blog

Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

17/09/2019Connecting Network Rail with the supply chain

Continuing our mission to connect buyers with suppliers, This year TransCityRail North is adding a new element to the event. We are introducing an incomparable opportunity for you to meet with over 11 procurement directors from Network Rail... more >
read more blog posts from 'the sleeper' >


Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

24/06/2019Andrew Haines, CE of Network Rail, tells BBC News his organisation could issue future rail franchises

Andrew Haines, the Chief Executive of Network Rail, has told the Today programme on Radio 4's BBC’s flagship news programme that he would not rule out his organisation issuing future r... more >
Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

24/06/2019Malcolm Holmes, executive director of West Midlands Rail Executive, announced as TCR Midlands speaker in Birmingham

Ahead of his appearance, Malcolm Holmes spoke with Rail Technology Magazine about what key leaders in the industry were doing to improve rail in the Midlands. He said: “It’s very... more >