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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 July, 2004, 05:23 GMT 06:23 UK
Rail users get wi-fi net access
GNER train
GNER is already spending cash on improving its fleet
Train passengers on the East Coast Main Line can now use the information superhighway while they travel.

Operator GNER is bringing the first of 10 trains equipped with wireless internet access (wi-fi) on the east coast route on Tuesday.

The company said it was the first rail firm in the UK to provide the service.

First class passengers can get online free, said chief executive Christopher Garnett, but those in standard class will have to pay for the service.

Business use

GNER, which operates between London Kings Cross, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, said it would provide uninterrupted wi-fi coverage at speeds of up to 125mph.

The launch follows successful trials among first class passengers on some services.

The technology will be installed on a further nine trains over the summer.

Mr Garnett said: "Wireless internet is already proving invaluable to our business customers as a means of transforming train time into more productive working time.

"The technology also has major potential to create a more enjoyable leisure time experience on our trains, and that's one of the major reasons why we're now making it available throughout our new-look trains."

Standard fare holders will have to pay between 2.95 and 9.95, depending on their length of access.

According to telecoms analysts BWCS, 625 million people worldwide will be travelling on wi-fi enabled trains within the next five years.

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