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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.

Business

Crawley business wins prestigious Queen’s Enterprise Award

Crawley MP Henry Smith has welcomed the announcement that Inspiration Healthcare Group in Crawley has received an award for international trade, as part of more than 200 businesses having been honoured with a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

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Those businesses were selected for their entrepreneurship, and local company Inspiration Healthcare Group is an example of Crawley’s entrepreneurial spirit.

Henry said;

“I’m delighted that Inspiration Healthcare Group has been recognised by the Queen with such a prestigious award.

“This is just one example of a company in Crawley making a huge contribution not just to our local area, but as an innovative and talented business to our growing economy.

“It’s right that the Government are working hard to create the best possible environment to start and grow businesses, and I’m delighted that we’re seeing recognition for existing firms here in Crawley.”

The Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, Rt Hon Greg Clark MP, commented;

“We know that the UK is the best place to start and grow a business, which we will build on through our modern Industrial Strategy. These awards recognise great British success stories that are the face of this achievement, and I’m proud that so many small businesses are being celebrated by receiving a Queen’s Award for Enterprise.”

Three quarters of this year’s winners are small and medium sized businesses, demonstrating that the UK is one of the best places in the world to start and grow a business.

In addition to existing Government support; through the modern Industrial Strategy enhanced backing will be provided, including:

  • Investing £7 billion through the modern Industrial Strategy in new public funding for research and innovation – the largest ever increase.
  • Helping small businesses access the finance they need – since it was established, the British Business Bank has provided support worth £5.9 billion of finance to over 82,000 smaller businesses across the country.
  • Providing small businesses with £200 million to grow and scale-up their operations.
  • Providing a £31 million package of support for small businesses helping them to grow and reach their full potential.
  • Legislating to make it easier for small businesses to access invoice finance, providing a £1 billion long-term boost to the economy.
  • Cutting business rates for small retailers by a third for two years – saving 90 per cent of all shops, pubs and restaurants up to £8,000.

The winners will receive these prestigious awards at a Buckingham Palace reception, where their contribution to the UK economy will be celebrated. These awards recognise businesses for their contribution in four categories, with winners including:

  • 129 International Trade winners
  • 61 Innovation winners
  • Six Sustainable Development winners
  • Five Promoting Opportunity winners

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