More Virgin trains get on-board Wi-Fi

Virgin Trains launches of Wi-Fi broadband services on its fleet of 21 Super Voyager Trains travelling from Euston to North Wales and Chester

Virgin Trains has introduced Wi-Fi broadband services on its Super Voyager trains that travel between Birmingham and Scotland, as well as from London Euston to North Wales and Chester.

Broadband provider T-Mobile has teamed up with Nomad Digital to roll out the hotspot service on all 21 Super Voyager trains, using a mixture of cellular and WiMax technology.

"The Wi-Fi HotSpot service will provide a wireless broadband connection throughout the entire journey at high speeds, including tunnels," Virgin Trains said in a statement.

Virgin has already launched the broadband service on all 52 of its Pendolino trains. The rollout was due for completion at the end of 2007, but its arrival slipped back to April 2009, after initial trials did not match up to Virgin's coverage and reliability requirements.

Graeme Lowden, chief executive of Nomad Digital, told ZDNet UK on Friday that the Wi-Fi service could not be provided on the Super Voyager trains any sooner because the company had to comply with Virgin's maintenance schedules.

"It's economically unviable to take a train out of service to do an install with this type of equipment, so you fall in with the schedule for whatever the maintenance is," he said.

First-class passengers will recieve complementary access to the service. Standard-class passengers can access the new Wi-Fi services by purchasing hotspot passes online via their wireless device, and T-Mobile mobile broadband subscribers can use the service on an unlimited basis.