First Great Western to extend free Wi-Fi across HST fleet

First Great Western (FGW) is to roll out free Wi-Fi across its fleet of HST trains by the end of 2014, the operator has announced.

FGW has said that it has agreed a deal with Nomad Digital to retrofit its fleet of 53 Class 43 trains and its Night Riviera sleeper train as part of its 23-month franchise extension.

The first HST trains will be fitted with Wi-Fi systems from May 2014, with the programme expected to be complete by the end of the year.

Free internet access will be available on the Night Riviera service from June 2014.

First Great Western managing director Mark Hopwood said: “We have trialled WiFi on board our fleet of Class 180 trains, serving the north Cotswolds, and it has been very well received by customers.

“I am delighted that we are able to extend this free service, and within the next year all high-speed and Sleeper fleet customers will be able to read their e-mails, browse the web, or simply catch up with friends while on the move.”

Nomad Digital is also installing the onboard server software for the Hitachi-built Class 800 trains that will replace Britain’s fleet of Intercity 125s from 2017 as part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP).