ScotRail begins second phase of enhanced WiFi rollout
ScotRail today confirmed that train services between Helensburgh and Edinburgh are next in line to receive free on-board WiFi.
The work to install WiFi on the Class 334 fleet is the latest phase in the project to roll out WiFi to almost 90% of all ScotRail trains by autumn 2018. This will be supplemented by having 52 WiFi hotspots at stations across Scotland.
The rollout programme will ensure that travellers on some of the most scenic routes on the ScotRail network – including the West Highland Line - will also be able to enjoy on-the-go internet connectivity.
Speaking about the announcement, ScotRail Customer Experience Director Jacqueline Taggart said: “One of the great things about travelling by train is that it allows you to work on the go. In order to do that, it is important that you can get connected while you are on the move. Over the past few months we have been installing WiFi to many trains in our fleet – and we have been enhancing and upgrading the equipment so that it is more reliable than ever before.
“Today I am delighted to say that even more of our customers will be able to take advantage of our free WiFi service – both in stations and on our trains. The Helensburgh to Edinburgh service is one of our most popular routes, so it is just great that customers will be able to get connected on their journey.
“This rollout will continue over the coming months – with the aim to have 90% of all of our trains enabled by the end of next year. This is just another example of ScotRail working to make things better, every single day.”
WiFi equipment has already been fitted to all trains serving Scotland’s main inter-city routes, and the focus is now turning to ensure that other routes can keep connected on the move. Travellers from Dalmally to Dumfries will soon be able to enjoy free connections provided by supply partner Icomera.
The on-board WiFi, which will cover almost 90% of ScotRail’s fleet, is in addition to 52 hotspots at key stations across the country which offer free WiFi to customers in stations and also improve connection speeds for users on trains.
Installation work is also shortly to get underway on Class 318 and 320 fleets, which serve Glasgow, Lanarkshire, and Inverclyde. The East Kilbride and Glasgow south-west routes will begin to see WiFi on-board from January next year.
All ScotRail’s new Class 385 and High Speed Train fleets will enter service with live WiFi connections from autumn 2017.
Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “I am committed to ensuring that rail travel across Scotland is an attractive option for tourists, commuters and business users. The roll out of WiFi across ScotRail’s train fleet will enhance the passenger experience by ensuring travellers throughout Scotland have the ability to get online while on the move, allowing them to be more productive, better entertained and better informed during their journey.”
Scottish Council for Development and Industry Chief Executive Ross Martin said: "We need to create the conditions for productivity growth to flourish, whether in the office, at the point of production, or indeed while on the move and these improvements to WiFi connectivity being rolled out across the railway network form an important part of that.
“Of course, just like we all want the fastest, most reliable trains on our part of the railway network so to do we demand high speed digital connectivity (through wireless technology) that we take for granted until it's not there."
ScotRail has 134 trains with live WiFi hotspots, including the entire Class 158, 170 and Class 380 fleets. These trains serve:
- Fife circle
- North Berwick
- Wemyss Bay
Work will shortly be completed to enhance the existing WiFi experience on Class 158 trains, which serve Edinburgh and Glasgow via Shotts, Fife, Perth, Inverness, Wick, and Kyle of Lochalsh. This will see additional material available for streaming from the on-train package.
Class 334 fleet (Helensburgh Central – Edinburgh Waverley) – spring 2017.
Class 318 and Class 320 fleet (Glasgow suburban routes) – autumn 2017
Class 156 fleet (West Highland/Stranraer/East Kilbride/Carlisle via Dumfries) – autumn 2017.