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Southern Rail completes installation of free Wi-Fi across all its trains

Passengers travelling with Southern can now log on to free Wi-Fi on all 299 of its trains now that engineers from parent company Govia Thameslink Railway have completed a massive installation programme.

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GTR Wireless Systems Engineer Robin Hayman inspects Wi-Fi fitted to the final Southern units

The technology is also available on all 27 Gatwick Express trains as well as almost all those on Great Northern. The main exception on Great Northern is the Moorgate fleet which, by the end of summer, will have been fully replaced by brand new, Wi-Fi-enabled carriages.

Over 20 staff from Govia Thameslink Railway’s engineering team have worked a total of 40,000 hours overnight to fit the technology to around 420 trains, which is the vast majority of the fleet. In the process they’ve used enough cable to stretch from London Victoria to Brighton station.

The complex process involves installing over 120 components to each train with extensive testing to ensure each carriage has a good signal. With trains travelling up to 100 mph, the system depends on antennae linked to multiple 4G data providers.

Shakeel Mamanji, GTR’s Rolling Stock Contracts Manager, said: “The project to fit Wi-Fi to our trains has been hugely successful. Managing the installation on so many trains and train types in such a short space of time, while ensuring we still have enough available for service, has been a challenge.

“I’m delighted that, thanks to the skill of our engineering team, the project went incredibly smoothly, and customers will now see an instant benefit to their journeys.”

Trains are not the only place passengers can log on. The technology is also available at 105 stations across the network, which was installed in 2016.

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Furniture Village opens its doors in Crawley’s County Oak Retail Park

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Crawley welcomes Furniture Village who will open a brand-new store in County Oak retail park this Boxing Day.

The new location offers a Carpetright concession, providing a one-stop-shop for customers looking to update their homes.

Visitors to the new Furniture Village store will be invited to create their ‘home in one’, by exploring collections for every room of the house, from sofas to beds to dining.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, comments:

“With much of the UK under lockdown, I’m delighted we’ve been able to open our new store in Crawley. County Oak is a fantastic shopping destination and the ideal choice for Furniture Village.

“It’s been a challenging year for everyone, but I am incredibly proud of the Furniture Village team which continues to offer industry-leading quality, choice and service. As well as Family Retailer of the Year, we’ve also been awarded National Bed Retailer of the Year so I’m particularly looking forward to welcoming customers to our new bed department.”

The store will see a team of 11 expert sales consultants offering valuable insights and advice to customers, all made possible thanks to enhanced Covid-19 safety measures.

These include temperature checks, PPE for all staff and hand sanitisation stations, along with an appointment booking system which can be accessed via the website.

Charlie Harrison, Commercial Director at Furniture Village, adds:

“Customer safety is still, and will continue to be, a priority for us. The feedback from all of our existing stores continues to be overwhelmingly positive, with the appointment booking system providing reassurance and exceptional service for customers.”

The store will open at 9am on Saturday 26th December 2020. Opening offers include Sale discounts of up to 50% plus an additional £50 off every £500 spent.

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