McLoughlin committed to HS2 as superfast rail plans include Wi-Fi

RAIL travellers will be able to enjoy high-speed mobile internet access from 2015 onwards, transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announced yesterday.

He also insisted that the government remains absolutely committed to the High Speed 2, dismissing critics of the plan as “moaning London commentators”.

Under McLoughlin’s plan extra mobile phone masts will be provided along key rail routes to reduce the number of dropped calls. In addition, Network Rail will open up its own communications infrastructure with the aim of providing internet connection at up to 50mb/second.

“There are few things more frustrating than trying to phone a friend or access the internet, only to be thwarted by bad signal,” said McLoughlin.

“Be it hardworking commuters preparing for the day on their journey into work or leisure travellers making final plans for their weekend away, today’s announcement marks the beginning of the end of poor coverage on our railways.”

The mobile broadband will use new masts connected to fibre optic cables that are currently being installed alongside tracks by Network Rail for its own communications purposes. It is hoped that a superfast 4G signal would then be available to 70 per cent of rail passengers by 2019.