Free wifi for commuters introduced

Free wifi internet access is now available at nine Scottish train stations, including Helensburgh Central.

Train operator Scotrail has confirmed that wireless broadband systems are now live at the stations, including Glasgow Queen Street and Paisley Gilmour Street, with Glasgow Central to also receive wifi soon.

Free mobile wifi has been fitted to some express trains already and will be added to the class 380 electric trains – which serve the Gourock to Glasgow route – this spring.

There is no mention yet though of wifi at Gourock station, on trains from Helensburgh Central, or on the West Highland Line.

The project has received £3m of funding from the Scottish Government, and Dumbarton MSP Jackie Baillie, in welcoming the news, said it should be expanded to include other stations.

“Scotrail and the Scottish Government should now work together to enlarge the scheme and bring other stations in Helensburgh, Dumbarton, Alexandria and Balloch into the digital age,” she said.

Steve Montgomery, ScotRail’s managing director, said there were already more than 250,000 wifi users on the company’s express trains every month.

“It’s exciting to have free wifi at our stations for the first time,” he said.

“We are confident customers in the West of Scotland will find it useful, whether they are keeping up with work emails, or simply checking in with friends.”

ScotRail says it will install improved log-in technology to the wifi systems on its trains and stations in the spring, allowing wifi users to move seamlessly between trains and platforms without re-entering passwords.

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “A major challenge for transport operators is how to ensure we embrace new technologies to allow passengers to get on with their busy lives while travelling.

“Business organisations have been very clear that wifi access on commuter routes would boost competitiveness in Scotland and this programme is part of ensuring wifi connectivity throughout the Scottish rail network.

“ScotRail have worked hard to bring in this first round funded by a £3m Scottish Government investment and we look forward to working together on a further round of station wifi installations to be revealed soon.”