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Scotrail to pilot free wifi on trains

Scotrail has just secured £250,0000 of funding from the Scottish government for a three month pilot project to trail the provision of free wifi on trains.

According to Guardian Government Computing, the pilot will run from June until September on trains travelling primarily between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Class 170 in Scotrail livery
A Class 170 train set in Scotrail livery, similar to those to be used in the pilot. Picture courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

An ethernet backbone will be installed a total of four Class 170 trains, each consisting of three vehicles. The system will be fitted with inter-vehicle jumpers to allow passengers to access the internet in each carriage with no degradation of service. Brown says that the router will be mounted in the roof space in the middle vehicle, close to the external antennae to minimise signal loss.

Read the original Guardian story.

3 Responses to Scotrail to pilot free wifi on trains

  1. MJ Ray March 22, 2012 at 9:15 am #

    why is this a pilot? East Coast and West Coast trains already have wifi in the parts of Scotland they serve. East Coast using the icomera. Are there special concerns over the Scotrail routes? Is the plan to offer first hit free then charge when people are hooked?

    • Avatar of Steve Woods
      Steve Woods March 22, 2012 at 2:35 pm #

      I think that for many years, services to Scottish mainline stations via the East Coast & West Coast lines have been regarded by most Scots as ‘non-domestic’ services.

      Scotrail has the franchise to run domestic services in Scotland, if I understand the situation correctly and the route between Glasgow and Edinburgh has always been one of the busiest Scottish domestic rail routes.

      As to any charging plans, I know nothing (in the words of Manuel).

      • MJ Ray March 23, 2012 at 11:03 am #

        yeah maybe. Just seems odd to run a pilot for something that’s already done, so I suspect it’s so they can move it to private companies charging, once taxpayers have funded installation and debugging.