At a dinner last night (Tuesday 20th April) at the House of Commons of
the Lichfield Commuters’ Club hosted by Michael Fabricant, it was
revealed that enhanced mobile phone and wi-fi computer technology will
be available on all Pendolino trains from around April next year.
Tony Mercado, Managing Director of Alstom West Coast Traincare who
maintain the Pendolino fleet operated by Virgin Trains, revealed that
all Pendolinos – including those that run from Lichfield to London and
Manchester – will be equipped with technology that will enable mobile
phones and wi-fi enabled lap-tops to remain connected to the network
even when travelling through tunnels.
Michael Fabricant says: "This is good news for the many commuters who
make use of their journey time to work on the train. I am ever mindful,
however, of the disturbance mobile phones can cause to other passengers
and hope that the designated ‘quiet carriages’ will remain sanctuaries
from irritating ring tones and even more irritating callers who feel the
need to shout into their phones!"
Meanwhile, the dinner and discussion, attended by around two dozen
commuters from Lichfield, Shenstone and the surrounding area, was
punctuated by World Cup England v Sweden match news taken off Michael
Fabricant’s BlackBerry (mobile phone) which was linked to the BBC’s
Sports internet website. Discussions over dinner included the
reliability of Pendolino toilets and the need to pump sewage up over the