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Virgin Trains Promise FREE “Superfast” WiFi for all Customers

Thursday, Jun 19th, 2014 (9:39 am) - Score 7,946

Virgin Trains has today pledged to provide free “superfastWiFi wireless Internet access “for all customers” after signing a major new deal for the West Coast franchise with the Government’s Department for Transport (DfT), which will run from 22nd June 2014 until March 2017.

Under the new West Coast Main Line deal, which news watchers will recall was originally awarded to First Group before a legal dispute launched by Virgin Trains unearthed “significant technical flaws” in the bidding process, a combination of 4G and WiFi technology will be deployed on all 76 of Virgin’s Pendolino and Super Voyager trains.

It’s understood that Network Rail will also support this roll-out, which is apparently the “first major intercity deployment of 4G technology on the UK rail network“, by providing the necessary track-side infrastructure.

Patrick McCall, Virgin Trains Executive Co-Chairman, said:

We’re delighted to have reached a deal after some tough negotiations with the DfT. It puts the problems of 2012 firmly behind us, and shows the clear benefits of a well-run franchise system.

This deal is great news for passengers and taxpayers, with significant benefits for our customers as well as a big increase in the money we pay to government. We know WiFi is high on our customers’ priorities and we’re delighted that we’re going to be able to offer them free and super-fast WiFi. Together with thousands of extra seats and plans for new services, this deal will mean big improvements for millions of Virgin Trains passengers.”

The deal intends to build on the progress Virgin Trains has made since first taking over the West Coast franchise in 1997, although we doubt that will include cheaper rail fairs.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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