The £1.5m Welsh Government investment means the whole ATW fleet including Pacer trains, Class 153’s, and the carriages used on the north-south Express have now been retrofitted to provide free-to-use Wi-Fi for all passengers.
Every train will carry the following sticker:
There will be information leaflets available at stations and Arriva will also run an awareness campaign for passengers, handing out free ‘I love Free Wi-Fi’ chocolate treats at busy interchanges.
Speaking at a launch event to mark the completion of the on train Wi-Fi project, Economy and Transport Secretary Ken Skates said:
“This rollout should be a real boom to commuters and business users alike. I expect it to make a real contribution to our ambitions for a growing economy with strong businesses in productive regions set out our Prosperity for All Economic Action Plan.
“Importantly, our investment means that Pacer trains, Class 153’s, and the carriages used on our north-south Express all now have free-to-use Wi-Fi for all passengers. These trains amount to almost one-third of the fleet.
“Passengers across the Valley Lines and West Wales - including the Heart of Wales line - will now benefit from this vital connectivity. This is another example of our strong record of investment in the current rail franchise where we continue to fund additional services and capacity across Wales.”
Ian Price, Director at Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Wales said:
“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen a definite shift in attitudes around the importance of connectivity for businesses.
“There has also been a significant growth in remotely hosted computing applications, with data and processing hosted ‘in the cloud’. Both small and large enterprises are increasingly utilising internet-based applications to manage their businesses.
“This is even more so where supplier-client relationships are concerned; where not only access speeds are seen as critical, but the speed of responding to social media content, images and data are potential gauges of the efficiency of a business to respond to their customer needs.”
Tom Joyner, Managing Director for Arriva Trains Wales said:
“The fact all our customers will be able to use our free wi-fi on every single one of our trains is brilliant news and we are delighted to mark the completion of the project.
We know how important connectivity is and being able to be productive during your journey, check your onward travel plans or simply catch up on social media will make a real difference to our customers. “
“Customers have frequently been asking for Wi-Fi on-board our trains and this has been a really significant project which has taken careful planning and hundreds of staff hours to deliver successfully without impacting on services.”