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Whopping Network Rail fine to boost train Wi-Fi in England and Wales

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By John McCarthy | Media editor

July 7, 2014 | 3 min read

Trains in England and Wales will see a Wi-Fi upgrade in a new scheme partially funded by a record-breaking Network Rail fine for failing to hit objectives set by the regulator.

Network Rail, who maintains large stretches of track and stations throughout Britain, received a fine in the region of £60m from the Office of Rail Regulation for missing key targets on its long-distance services over five years.

Last year nearly one in six long-distance trains ran late, almost double of that allowed by targets.

The fine may be lowered on account of bad weather

Ministers will use the money to improve the speed of Wi-Fi service by up to ten times. This should be available in the next four years.

Wi-Fi equipment will be installed along the busiest lines, instead of relying upon satellite signals, which can be unreliable in more rural areas.

The train firm received the fine for the lateness of long distance services on routes including Ross Country, East Coast, First Hull Trains, First TransPennine Express, Grand Central, Virgin, some First Great Western, East Midlands Trains and Greater Anglia.

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