More train stations get wireless

Brief: Eighty five train stations west of London are getting Wi-Fi access points installed, for commuters looking for wireless connectivity

Wireless Internet access will soon be on offer to rail customers at another eighty-five UK train stations.

Ten stations, including Reading, Bristol Temple Meads, Swindon and Slough are set to go live with commercial wireless access points this summer. Rail company First Great Western, which is planning to roll out the service in all its stations, is working with wireless network operator The Cloud to install and manage the access points.

"We want to ensure our customers can use their travelling time as productively as possible," said Alison Forster, managing director of First Great Western. "This station Wi-Fi coverage is one element of that. This initiative will be of huge benefit to business and leisure customers who need or want to access the Web while using our stations."

The Cloud, which has installed Wi-Fi across some stations in Sweden, is also working with security company QinetiQ to provide Wi-Fi on moving trains.

First Great Western says it carries 22 million passengers a year across rail networks between the south west of England, south Wales and London Paddington.

Wi-Fi is already common at the UK's major railway stations, but coverage is patchy across the rail network as a whole. Late last year Eurostar introduced wireless networks at Waterloo and Ashford International stations, and Virgin began installing Wi-Fi at some of its larger stations in 2003.