Free WiFi Roll Out Completed on Virgin Pendolino Fleet

Virgin Trains Class 390 Pendolino

Virgin Trains have announced that the roll-out of free WiFi across all of its Pendolino trains has been completed, giving passengers free internet access.

Along with the free WiFi service, Virgin Trains has also upgraded it’s on-board entertainment service “BEAM”, which gives passengers access to streaming media including TV shows and movies. Some of the video offering includes free access to normally subscription titles such as “The Grand Tour” and “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” from Amazon Prime.

Passengers can also read a range of books, magazines and daily newspapers through the service, which is accessible on-board by accessing once connected to the train’s WiFi network.

As part of the upgrade, the trains have had a complete refresh with engineers installing 77,183 metres (47.96 miles) of cable into the 574 coaches across the 56-strong Pendolino fleet.

Anyone using Wi-Fi on Virgin Trains will be directed to the portal’s landing page where they will able to access the updated free onboard train entertainment service BEAM, as well as access to journey planner and the food and beverage menu.

The new system was developed by McLaren Applied Technologies, part of the McLaren Formula 1 team, and who develop the motorsport team’s telemetric solutions used during races.

Virgin Trains’ Chief Information Officer, John Sullivan, said: “We’ve been working hard to deliver the best on board entertainment and Wi-Fi experience for our customers and I believe we’ve achieved that with this latest upgrade.

“Our enhanced Wi-Fi means customers can stay connected and up to date as they travel or dip into the latest boxsets and movies through our entertainment service BEAM. We know how important Wi-Fi is for all our customers and we want them to have an amazing experience while travelling on our network.”

The hardware and software for the Wi-Fi upgrade was supplied by McLaren Applied Technologies, which draws on a 30-year heritage leading the transformation of motorsport and Formula 1 and has been tested over a number of months to deliver an improvement in coverage and performance.

Paul Bebbington, Director of Public Transport, McLaren Applied Technologies, added: “We’re delighted to have worked with Virgin Trains on improving train connectivity performance, keeping customers connected for longer and enabling more data consumption on its fleet.

In the transport sector, McLaren Applied Technologies is committed to staying at the forefront of technology and innovation, creating long-term passenger and fleet reliability solutions, and we’re extremely proud to have contributed to Virgin Trains’ vision for the ‘Digital Train of the Future’.”