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Rail passengers in England could lose Wi-Fi services on trains

The UK government is considering whether to end Wi-Fi services on trains.

“Our railways are currently not financially sustainable, and it is unfair to continue asking taxpayers to foot the bill, which is why reform of all aspects of the railways is essential,” said a Department for Transport (DfT) spokesperson

“Passenger surveys consistently show that on-train Wi-Fi is low on their list of priorities, so it is only right we work with operators to review whether the current service delivers the best possible value for money.”

A 22 December 2022 Transport Focus report, “Britain’s Railway: What matters to passengers,” showed that having Wi-Fi on trains was a lower priority to travellers than the value of money of ticket prices, reliability, punctuality and personal security. In addition, according to DfT, on-train Wi-Fi systems are now in need of replacement or upgrade since the first equipment was installed in 2015.

On the other hand, the government said, many non-inter-city journeys are relatively short, and passengers typically prefer to use their 4G and 5G on their mobile phones directly rather than to connect to the on-board Wi-Fi. “Long-distance Train Service” is considered to run primarily on main line routes where average passenger journey time is over 60 minutes.

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