Soon, you can connect your laptop and surf the Internet on running railway trains. Premier trains like the Rajdhani, Shatabdi and Janashatabdi Express would be first ones to get it. Besides this, a few important stations like Mumbai CST, Churchgate, Dadar and Mumbai Central would also get Wi-Fi connectivity.
Confirming that the project was being already embarked upon, Western Railway's divisional railway manager Satya Prakash said the precise details were to be worked out. "The project is already underway, but the finer details are being worked out," he told HT.
Reliable sources said Railtel Corporation of India Ltd, a public sector company under the ministry of railways, working on introducing technological developments in the railways with an aim to make profit, has successfully carried out tests on a few long-distance trains.
Official sources said the railways are also working on providing Wi-Fi connectivity at 500 stations across India for laptop users. Among the bigger stations in western India zone, Mumbai CST, Churchgate, Dadar and Mumbai Central would be the first few among them. This facility will enable people to work on their laptops and palmtops within 300 feet of the designated stations. Both the facilities would be made available under the "passenger care services".
The Railway Board will soon shortlist the trains on which Internet services would be made available and also a list of stations for Wi-Fi connectivity. A senior Railtel official said the pilot project was being given top priority, considering the revenue it would yield in the long run.
Sources said Railtel is also keen on providing connectivity to tourists visiting small towns through LAN. Under the new system, a wireless LAN is to be created in the coaches through a transmitter placed inside them. Besides, a roof-mounted antenna would catch the signal from towers, which are to be set up at railway stations. Thus, passengers can use their own laptops to login as well.
"The project to start cyber cafes at railway stations has already been kicked off with the inauguration of first cyber café at Ahmedabad station on Western Railway in November 26," sources added.