Passengers on South West Trains will benefit from onboard wifi as it is deployed on the operator’s network over the next 12 months.
The rail company has partnered with Network Rail and Siemens and invested £3.2 million in its implementation, which will allow passengers to access emails and websites as they travel.
The 45 Class 444 Desiro trains in South West Trains’ fleet will be fitted with the wifi technology. These operate on services from London Waterloo via Basingstoke, Southampton and Bournemouth to Weymouth.
External cameras will also be installed on these trains, which will connect to the wifi to “assist with track and conductor rail maintenance and monitoring to help improve punctuality.”
“Onboard wifi will benefit us as well as the passengers,” said Christian Roth, alliance fleet director for South West Trains-Network Rail alliance. “It will enable us to review the status of systems on every train and so that we can improve or repair where necessary.”
The wifi initiative follows a £15 million investment from South West Train over the past two years in improving the performance of its fleet and reducing disruption to passengers’ journeys.
This has included enhancing the technology of its trains, by adding features such as RailBAM – acoustic technology operated by Siemens that detects track and bearing faults in advance– and coupler heating, which prevents ice forming on the coupler during cold wet weather.
Report by Rose Dykins