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Leadership / Digital Transformation

Government promises improved rail connectivity by 2025

Plans to boost mobile phone signal on trains have been revealed by the Government, with plans afoot to improve connectivity across the railway by 2025.

The UK Government has revealed a new project to improve the connectivity rail passengers receive whilst travelling across the country, with improved Wi-Fi and 5G coverage.

The improvements are part of the governments 5G strategy commitment that aims to improve coverage in areas people live as well as work and travel, including on trains, with the use of fibre optic cables running alongside rail tracks.

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock said: “We want people to be able to get connected where they live, work and travel. This means improving connections on Britain’s railways now, and making sure they are fit for the future.

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Government promises improved rail connectivity by 2025
Trans Pennine has begun trials for boosted connectivity.

“We’ve got a long way to travel but our destination is world-class signal for passengers. This will not only make journeys more enjoyable and productive, but will help improve the operation and safety of the railway and deliver economic benefits for the whole of the UK.”

The plans aim to ensure each train has a download speed of 1Gbps for users, bringing the ultimate connectivity for hundreds of passengers travelling up and down the country at one time.

To test out the fibre optic track infrastructure work has begun on a trial basis across Trans Pennine routes between Manchester and York, partnered with Network Rail. Carrying out such trials will allow workers to ensure the best way to make use of existing infrastructure and test out compatible track-to-train radio systems.

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“Improved mobile connectivity will help passengers to keep up with work, connect with friends or even check the latest journey information online while on the move, as we continue to build and develop a railway fit for the twenty-first century,” said Chris Grayling, Transport Secretary.

The Government has said the plans for better connectivity are expected to be completed and improved by 2025.
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