The Scottish Government has awarded a £250,000 contract to ScotRail in a three-month pilot scheme starting this June, that will see free Wi-Fi trials on two rail routes between Edinburgh and Glasgow.
ScotRail will test the relative effectiveness of two different Wi-Fi systems on four trains this June on the service which runs from Edinburgh to Glasgow via Falkirk (with its WiFi coverage ‘black spots’ such as tunnels).
The Scottish Government aims to have all passenger trains Wi-Fi enabled on major Scottish routes between Edinburgh, Glasgow and from the central belt to Aberdeen and Inverness as part of the next ScotRail franchise from 2014.
Liz Cameron, chief executive of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, said: “Wi-fi connectivity is essential to doing business in the 21st Century and its introduction to our trains is vital to making public transport a productive business experience.
“In addition, it recognises the fact that most tourists visiting our country expect to be able to access information on our country through their phones, tablet devices and notebooks.”
Transport Minister Keith Brown, said:
“We have promised to do all we can to bring the internet to every corner of Scotland and that includes allowing people to get online when they’re going about their daily business, be that commuting to or from work or travelling socially.
“The Rail2014 consultation set out our stall with a vow to bring full wi-fi connection to train journeys and this pilot gets that under way. This scheme shows how we are leading the way with investment in making Scotland a progressive nation.”