12 FEBRUARY 2018
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West Coast customers on Virgin Trains will see a significant improvement in onboard wi-fi later this year. All the operators Pendolino trains will undergo a refit which will vastly improve the onboard equipment, and allow the service to be extended to all customers.
The £7.5m investment is part of a new deal agreed with the Government, which will see Virgin Trains continue to run the West Coast franchise through to at least 31 March 2019, with the option for up to a further one-year extension at the Department for Transport’s discretion. The new contract will bridge the gap between the existing franchise and the new West Coast Partnership, due to start on 1 April 2019.
Installation of the wi-fi upgrade is planned to begin from May, with the work expected to be completed by January 2019. In addition, the new technology is ‘future-proofed’ so it will work with 5G mobile phone networks as they come on stream and offer further speed improvements.
Welcoming the new deal, Phil Whittingham, managing director of Virgin Trains West Coast commented: “Virgin Trains has led the industry for more than two decades, and I’m delighted that we have secured a new contract to continue the operation. We have almost tripled journey numbers from 14m a year to more than 37m.
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