Fleet of Arriva Trains Wales to offer passengers free WiFi

The entire Arriva Trains Wales fleet will be installed with free Wi-Fi service, via a funding by the Welsh government totalling to £1.5 million. As the north-south Express trains, Pacer trains and Class 153 carriages have been retrofitted now with the equipment, free Wi-Fi is available for passengers.

This retrofit represents an upgrade upon approximately one-third of the Welsh rail stock of Arriva. Arriva has a mass campaign underway, with staff of stations at busy locations handing out ‘I Love Free WiFi’ chocolates to commuters. The work for fixing free Wi-Fi on the trains began in 2016, when a £50 million project kicked off. Wireless internet installation started equiping 7 out of 10 trains, which included Class 175, 158 and 150 trains.

Ken Skates, the Economy and Transport Secretary, was optimistic about the project and said at a recent launch event that the roll-out will make a real contribution to the growing economy. It echoes on what industry insiders were saying for years, that in the 21st century, free Wi-Fi is a basic human right, as crucial to happy customers, as it is for productivity at work, he remarked. The Welsh Labour leader went on to say, including passengers on the Heart of Wales line, all travelling across West Wales and the Valley Lines, will be benefited by vital connectivity. Ken Skates pointed out that they continue to fund additional capacity and services across Wales and this investment records such another example.

The MD of Arriva Trains Wales, Tom Joyner, said he understood how connectivity is important, to be able to be productive during journeys, check onward travel plans, or simply update on social media. As customers have been asking for on-board WiFi, this becomes a significant project, but also takes careful planning and many staff hours to deliver, without impacting on services, he remarked.

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