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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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£2.2m redevelopment of Crawley town centre set for completion by Autumn

The regeneration of Queensway, The Pavement and Kingsgate, is progressing on time and on budget according to the council.

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Cllr Roger Elkins and Cllr Peter Smith

The £2.2m scheme is part of the Crawley Growth Programme, funded by Crawley Borough Council, West Sussex County Council, and the Local Growth Fund through the Coast to Capital Local Enterprise Partnership.

Blakedown Landscapes, who built the Queens Square, started on site in January, installing new paving along Queensway and The Pavement, and new benches and trees throughout both areas.

Work is currently underway outside Marks and Spencer and will move up towards Kingsgate over the coming weeks. The project is on time to complete in the autumn.

Cabinet Member for Planning and Economic Development, Councillor Peter Smith, said:

“It is great to see the project taking shape and the completed areas look fantastic and I thank the public and businesses for their patience while the work is completed.

“Once the development is finished, I am confident that the scheme will build on the success of Queens Square where we have seen around £30m private sector investment in the surrounding properties, including bringing a number of vacant units back into use.

“I look forward to seeing the end result.”

Continuing this, Councillor Roger Elkins, West Sussex County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Infrastructure, said: “I am delighted to see the Queensway, Pavement and Kingsway scheme progressing to time and on budget.

“This is yet another exciting success story from the Crawley Growth Programme – showing what collaboration and partnership working can achieve to support regeneration.

“The scheme clearly complements and builds on the success of the Queens Square project and I look forward to its completion later this year.”

Jonathan Sharrock, Chief Executive at Coast to Capital said:

“We are thrilled to see such fantastic progress with the Crawley Growth Programme and look forward to seeing the regeneration of Queensway come to fruition.”

All business in the area will remain open while the remainder of the works are carried out. For more information about the project and regular progress reports, please visit www.regeneratingcrawley.org.uk/queensway

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