Virgin Trains fast-tracks Net services

Virgin Trains is in discussions with broadcasters and media owners to provide content for its forthcoming on-board internet service.

Broadcasters such as the BBC, ITV, MTV and BSkyB are thought to have been approached to take part in a wireless internet trial next month. It is designed to give passengers news and entertainment while they travel.

Independent agency iPP has been tasked with producing content for the wireless service, in a pilot conducted by technology company Qinetiq on Virgin’s West Coast franchise. IPP is a creative and strategic broadcast services company whose clients include the band Coldplay and media owner Pub and Club TV. IPP wants the service to include news, sport, games, entertainment, films and music. There is also expected to be a “real time TV” element. It will be aimed at both business and leisure travellers with access to Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and handheld devices. Passengers will also be able to send and receive emails.

Virgin is not the first train to introduce Wi-Fi services although Qinetiq Rail’s system allows every passenger to access the web through handheld devices or laptops for the duration of journeys, even in tunnels.

Creative director Giles Greenwood says: “We expect it will become a benchmark for in-travel content.”

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