WiFi arrives on South West Trains through Winchester (at last)
Posted by Andy Goddard
Posted in News
Kevin Gover on why ‘No Service’ should be a thing of the past for Winchester’s commuters on South West Trains.
If you have ever tried to work by internet on your mobile whilst sitting on the 0748 to the office in London, you will know all about the ‘impossible’ areas… ‘that bit’ between here and Micheldever. 100 yards beyond Basingstoke…
For some networks, even a basic email download at Winchester station has been impossible.
You’ve probably also wondered how they seem to have managed to provide WiFi on a coach up the M3. For years.
Well, passengers travelling from local stations with South West Trains can now make use of free on-train WiFi on some of the rail operator’s busiest routes.
Winchester & Chandler’s Ford MP Steve Brine says the service – which is now live – will be ‘transformative’ for thousands of his constituents.
WiFi will be available on the Class 444 ‘Desiro’ electric trains running on the South West Trains’ Main Line route from London Waterloo to Weymouth and Portsmouth. All trains which have WiFi available will be clearly labelled on board.
The WiFi has been installed through a partnership between South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance and Nomad Digital. The first advertiser is Amex.
The lack of on-train WiFi was one issue flagged up at Steve’s ‘Ask South West Trains’ public meeting last year – particularly among commuters who use the line every day.
The MP has campaigned consistently on the issue since before his election in 2010:
“One real benefit of taking the train over driving has to be the opportunity it affords to get some serious work done and that has been near impossible for most of us, until now.
The new WiFi service, which I have tested as part of a trial in the past week, works really well and will be transformative for many of my constituents.
“I think South West Trains got rather fed up with me always banging on about this subject whenever I saw them but they’ve come good, made it happen and deserve huge credit for that.
We hope this will get positive feedback from passengers and subsequently be rolled out across all trains, from all stations, on their local network.”
Arthur Pretorius is Customer Services Director for the South West Trains-Network Rail Alliance:
“Whether it’s working, catching up with the latest news or keeping in touch with friends, free WiFi on many of our Main Line trains will help our passengers to make more use of the time they spend on board our services.
“We are constantly working to improve the service we offer to our passengers and are investing millions of pounds in our stations, trains and infrastructure to provide improved journeys.
This latest investment will provide significant benefits to our customers and we’re confident will make a big difference to their journey with us.”
Jean-Philippe Tissot is Nomad Digital EMEAI General Manager:
“As the trusted provider of Passenger Wi-Fi solutions for some of the world’s largest train operators – we are delighted that South West Trains has chosen our market-leading technology to offer its customers an unrivalled on board service.
It will undoubtedly add to the passenger experience, and as a free service be widely appreciated by South West Trains’ customers.”