On-the-go connectivity upgrade: LNER’s bespoke solution for East Coast Main Line

In a groundbreaking collaboration, LNER, Network Rail, and Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are joining forces to revolutionise mobile connectivity on the East Coast Main Line, with a particular focus on enhancing the travel experience for UK-based business travellers.

The latest development in this joint venture sees the successful installation of a bespoke antenna in the Gasworks and Copenhagen tunnels outside London King’s Cross station.

This milestone signifies a major stride towards ensuring a more reliable and consistent mobile phone and on-train Wi-Fi connection for passengers.

Copenhagen Tunnel: a set of three parallel railway tunnels, 534m long, carrying the main line tracks out of London’s King’s Cross, about a mile north of the station.

Notoriously challenging ‘not-spots’ experienced by travellers passing through the tunnels are expected to be eliminated, offering a seamless digital experience.

LNER, in partnership with Network Rail and key mobile network operators, has invested in this crucial infrastructure project, which is set to make the Gasworks and Copenhagen tunnels the first on the country’s operational railway to be equipped with this innovative mobile connectivity solution.

The installation, executed by rail connectivity and technology integration specialist Linbrooke, underwent rigorous testing at Network Rail’s Innovation and Development Centre in collaboration with mobile phone companies before being introduced to the network.

From later this year, business travellers and commuters alike can anticipate maintaining uninterrupted direct voice and data access to their mobile providers.

This enhancement will ensure that calls remain connected and online meetings stay seamless as passengers approach and depart from the bustling capital.

For UK-based business travellers seeking a more reliable and enhanced digital experience during their journeys, this collaborative effort signifies a significant step forward. The project not only addresses current connectivity challenges but also sets a precedent for improved mobile infrastructure on the nation’s railway network.

Helen Cavanagh, Head of Passenger Experience for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said:

This is a fantastic example of the rail industry and mobile operators working together to improve services and experience for passengers. “This project will keep most passengers connected with family and friends on the approach to King’s Cross station, helping boost their enjoyment when travelling on the East Coast Main Line.

A Virgin Media O₂ spokesperson explained that Virgin Media O₂ is focused on improving the network experience for its customers and closing any “not spots” that exist for them:

This project will help to ensure they are able to get quality mobile coverage on the move and enable them to stay connected when leaving and approaching London King’s Cross Station.