Southern train passengers can now access free Wi-Fi

GTR Wireless Systems Engineer Robin Hayman inspects Wi-Fi fitted to the final Southern units
GTR Wireless Systems Engineer Robin Hayman inspects Wi-Fi fitted to the final Southern units

Passengers travelling with Southern can now log on to free Wi-Fi on all 299 of its trains now that engineers have completed a massive installation programme.

More than 20 staff from Govia Thameslink Railway’s engineering team have worked a total of 40,000 hours overnight to fit the technology to around 420 trains, which is the vast majority of the fleet. In the process they have used enough cable to stretch from London Victoria to Brighton station.

The complex process involves installing over 120 components to each train with extensive testing to ensure each carriage has a good signal. With trains travelling up to 100mph, the system depends on antennae linked to multiple 4G data providers.

The technology is also available on all 27 Gatwick Express trains.

Shakeel Mamanji, GTR’s rolling stock contracts manager, said: “The project to fit Wi-Fi to our trains has been hugely successful. Managing the installation on so many trains and train types in such a short space of time, while ensuring we still have enough available for service, has been a challenge.

“I’m delighted that, thanks to the skill of our engineering team, the project went incredibly smoothly, and customers will now see an instant benefit to their journeys.”

Wi-Fi stickers on train windows indicate that the service is available.

Passengers simply switch on their device’s Wi-Fi and look for one the networks to connect to: GatwickExpress_WiFi, Southern_WiFi or Thameslink_WiFi

Upon opening the web browser passengers will be taken to the welcome screen, to click ‘Connect’ and go online.

Wi-Fi has also been available at 105 stations across the GTR network since 2016.