Train station Wifi plans chugging ahead

Plans are chugging ahead on the Isle of Wight to install Wi-Fi to all train stations on the Island Line route — and should be in place by the end of the summer.

The South Western Railway line, which runs from Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin, has been the centre of discussion recently with ways to improve the line, as well as ideas to extend and reinstate stations.

A £26 million investment was announced in September last year, replacing the 1938-tube cars with newer replacements from the London Underground’s District Line and creating a passing loop at Brading.

Now, the latest plans to improve the service will provide all eight stations on the route with Wi-Fi, provided by BT.

Liz Vesty, SWR’s head of commercial projects, said: “Installing passenger Wi-Fi at stations on the Isle of Wight is part of the multi-million pound investment currently underway to make the Island Line fit for the future.

“New Wi-Fi and electric trains, along with major infrastructure improvements and track upgrades mean passengers on the Island can look forward to a more modern and comfortable railway.”

A spokesperson from BT said: “We have won the contract to install Wi-Fi at all stations on the Island Line railway and the service is expected to go live by the end of the summer.

“Once complete, passengers will have access to fast, free and reliable Wi-Fi services via their smartphones, laptops or other devices. It means they can stay online at stations and also save on their mobile data.”

Planning permission has been submitted to the Isle of Wight Council for three of the stations, Ryde Pier Head, Brading and Shanklin, that are classed as Grade II listed buildings to allow cabling to be worked through the building.