Govia Thameslink Railway gives passengers free wifi

Southern wifi installation
Credit: GTR
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Govia Thameslink Railway has announced that passengers who are travelling with Southern can now use free wifi.

The wifi is available on all of the 299 trains thanks to the engineers completing a big installation programme.

The technology is also available on all 27 Gatwick Express trains as well as almost all those on Great Northern.

The main exception on Great Northern is the Moorgate fleet which, by the end of summer, will have been fully replaced by brand new, Wi-Fi-enabled carriages.

Over 20 staff from Govia Thameslink Railway’s engineering team have worked a total of 40,000 hours overnight to fit the technology to around 420 trains.

In the installation process, they have managed to use enough cable to go from London Victoria to Brighton.

With trains travelling up to 100 mph, the system depends on antennae linked to multiple 4G data providers.

Trains are not the only place passengers can log on. The technology is also available at 105 stations across the network, which was installed in 2016.

What did the officials say?

Shakeel Mamanji, GTR’s Rolling Stock Contracts Manager, said:

“The project to fit Wi-Fi to our trains has been hugely successful. Managing the installation on so many trains and train types in such a short space of time, while ensuring we still have enough available for service, has been a challenge.

“I’m delighted that, thanks to the skill of our engineering team, the project went incredibly smoothly, and customers will now see an instant benefit to their journeys.”

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Michael Holden avatar
I have had an interest in Railways for as long as I can remember. I am a member of a number of heritage railways and actively volunteer at 2 of them. I enjoy all types of railways, real life, model and simulations. I started RailAdvent in 2014 and am the main editor of the site.
  • Could Southern replace the Class 455s and Class 313s with the Class 458s and Class 707s that South Western Railway are to replace them with the Class 701s in couple years time. And yes have WiFi on those trains aswell.

    • Great Northern should have all of the Class 717s (25 717s) in service when the May timetable is being introduced.

  • Why would GTR install new WiFi modems from Icomera. Icomera Is rubbish. The WiFi on Greater Anglia that Icomera installed at stations and on GA Trains is rubbish. I hope passenger will soon complain about how bad the WiFi on Thameslink, Southern, Gatwick Express and Great Northern will become.

  • WI-fi has become taken for granted almost globally, it is only a few short years ago where it was only available in 1st class on very few operators. Today’s society lives on instant communication, personal electronics everywhere you look, so better late than never, yet still too much rolling stock without. Quality? I rarely need wi-fi when travelling but those who do should expect a good reliable system, losing the link halfway through a “send” is just a little frustrating!