Latest Rail News


Metrolink to become first fully wi-fi enabled tram network in UK

Manchester Metrolink is to become the first light railway in Britain to become fully wi-fi enabled.

By spring next year, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) plans for all 94 of its trams to have on-board wi-fi technology.

TfGM has joined forces with Manchester and Salford City Councils and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) – part of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport – to fund the scheme.

The 20 buses running the free city centre Metroshuttle service will also receive the upgrade.

Wi-fi has already been trialled on Metrolink, with transport bosses reporting positive feedback from customers who used it. It is hoped the rollout will make the trams a more attractive journey choice, supporting TfGM’s commitment to sustainable travel.

Cllr Andrew Fender, chair of the TfGM Committee said: “This is great news and will benefit the millions of people who travel on Metrolink’s trams and Metroshuttle’s buses each year.

“We live in a digital age and people want to make the best use of their travelling time – quick and simple access to digital technology is key to this.

“Greater Manchester is leading the way in the growing provision of wi-fi services on public transport, which in turn takes us one step close to our aim of being a top 20 digital city region by 2020.”

Metrolink trams will start to be fitted out with the technology from early January by mobile internet connectivity specialist Icomera and extra funding has been secured to ensure any new trams brought into service in the next two years will also be fitted with wi-fi capability.

Government digital economy minister Ed Vaizey MP said: “This is fantastic news for Manchester and exactly the type of thing the government’s Superconnected Cities programme was set up to do. Having free public wi-fi on all of Manchester’s trams and Metroshuttle services will transform the digital landscape of Manchester, making it an ever greater place to live, visit and do business.”

Dave Palmer, Managing Director of Icomera UK, said: “Icomera is proud to be supporting this ambitious, forward-thinking project. Our technology is ideal for this digital city initiative, making public transport more user-friendly and communicative.

“TfGM recognises the important role internet connectivity has to play in delivering the 21st century passenger experience. The adaptive nature of our solution will ensure it keeps pace with newer technologies as they become available, maintaining a state-of the-art network for TfGM’s passengers.”

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


Andrew Long   20/12/2014 at 12:43

Excellent. How perverse therefore that the new Siemens Class 700 trains for Go-Via "T S & GN" do not have wi-fi!

Andrew Gwilt   22/12/2014 at 09:14

Other tram operators including Midland Metro (Birmingham), Nottingham Express Transit, Blackpool Trams, London Tramlink (Croydon), Sheffield Supertram and Tyne & Wear Metro (Newcastle & Sunderland) would also get involved in having wi-fi on their fleets and also London Underground would get wi fi at most tube stations across London with London Overground, DLR, Crossrail and London buses may get wi fi. Train operators would also follow on getting wi fi with newer trains in the near future.

Add your comment


Rail industry Focus

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 >

Most Read

'the sleepers' blog

On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

29/06/2020On the right track, Sulzer is awarded RISAS accreditation for Nottingham Service Centre

Following an independent audit, Sulzer’s Nottingham Service Centre has been accepted as part of the rail industry supplier approval scheme (RISAS). The accreditation reinforces the high-quality standards that are maintained by Sulzer’s... 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 >
Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

08/05/2019Advancing the rail industry with management degree apprenticeships

In answering the pressing questions of how current and future generations of managers can provide solutions to high-profile infrastructure projects across the UK, Pearson Business School, part of... more >