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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 businesses vote in favour of town centre initiative unlocking £2M of investment

Businesses in Crawley town centre have voted in favour of establishing a Business Improvement District (BID), unlocking more than £2million of investment over the next five years and help create a thriving town.

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68% of businesses in Crawley voted in favour of the BID, along with 73% in favour by Rateable Value.

A BID is a business-led initiative formed to improve a defined area. Crawley will now join more than 320 BIDs operating in the UK.

Commenting on the result, Chair of the Crawley Town Centre BID and a Director of Graves Jenkins, Neil Cooper, said:

“There is huge potential for Crawley to develop its own distinct offer and proposition and so we are delighted that businesses in the area have voted in favour of a BID. By working in collaboration with businesses and forming strong partnerships, the BID can make a positive difference”.

Paul Clement, director and head of place-shaping at Savills who were commissioned to support the development of the BID said:

“This successful ballot result opens up great opportunities for local businesses to act on solutions for the future of their town centre. Up and down the country BIDs are making a real difference not only to businesses that fund them, but to those who live, work and visit in BID locations. With over 320 BIDs nationally, Crawley businesses have embraced the model as the most appropriate to progress their town centre”.

Research with businesses in the area identified a number of improvements focused around crime reduction, feelings of safety, promotions and marketing, accessibility and business networking. The BID will commence delivery on 1st April 2020.

For more information on the Crawley Town Centre BID, please visit www.crawleytowncentrebid.co.uk

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