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Free Wi-Fi for rail commuters

Rail passengers will benefit from free Wi-Fi on trains across England and Wales from 2017, Rail Minister Claire Perry announced today.

Train operators are being asked to set how they will meet the commitment to provide this important service for passengers. All train operators bidding for new franchises and direct award agreements will have to include this specification in their bid.

Where there is no new franchise agreement due in the next two years, almost £50 million of funding will be released from the Department for Transport to ensure Wi-Fi is available on selected services from 2017, including services operated by Great Northern.


Hopes new safety train will cut down on rail tresspassing

A special "safety train" has been set up on a Nottinghamshire rail route to stop the rising number of young people trespassing on the track.

The 30-mile stretch which ends in Worksop will be patrolled by police and rail officials, after figures revealed railway trespass rises during school holidays.

Anyone spotted on the tracks could face a prison sentence or hefty fine - as Hannah Stokes reports.

Rail delays affecting Leeds services

Trains between Leeds and Manchester have been affected by delays this morning.

Commuters hit by delays

Broken-down trains and signalling problems, including one near Manchester affecting routes between that city and Leeds, have caused morning rush-hour chaos which also affected those travelling to busy airports for the Easter holidays.

In northern England, trains run by First TransPennine Express between Manchester Airport and Leeds were among those delayed by a signalling problem near Manchester.

Northern Rail was also affected, with delays between Manchester Piccadilly station and Leeds.


Protest to keep East Coast rail services public

East Coast train Credit: PA

There will be a demonstration at Doncaster railway station today in support of the Keep East Coast Public campaign.

Today has been designated as a National Day of Action across the stations on East Coast Trains's route from London to Edinburgh, a number of which are in Yorkshire.

It is currently run by the government on a not-for-profit basis after private owners pulled out in 2009. But the bidding process for a new contract is now underway.

The government says its running of the franchise was always a temporary measure. Campaigners claim it has been successful, both financially and in terms of customer satisfaction, so should remain in public ownership.

Delays continue after man hit by train

Trains are still delayed after a National Rail member of staff was hit by a train at Newark North Gate station earlier today. He suffered serious head injuries and was flown to hospital.

An investigation into the incident is expected to begin.

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Rail passengers paying more than £9,000 for a ticket

Some rail passengers said they were now paying almost £10,000 a year on their season ticket, in response to a question from ITV News Business Editor Laura Kuenssberg on Twitter:

Rail increases explained

The Rail Delivery Group - responsible for policy formulation for the rail industry - says although some ticket prices will rise on average by 3.1 percent, the overall figure is 2.8 per cent.

The 3.1 per cent figure takes into account fares described as "regulated" - these are annual season tickets and inter-city tickets.

However, taking into account "unregulated" fares - tickets with prices set by train operating companies, including first class and advance purchase fares - the overall rise would be 2.8 per cent.

“We strongly support the Government’s decision to limit the average increase in Season ticket prices this year. This, combined with the determination of train companies to continue attracting passengers, means the average increase across all fares is 2.8%, the lowest in four years. To help the Government hold down fares in future, the rail industry is working hard to get more for every pound it spends.

“This year and in coming years, passengers across the country will continue to benefit from billions of pounds spent on improving services. As well as introducing more carriages, work will proceed on major projects like the new Birmingham New Street station and thousands of smaller, less visible schemes to improve the railway.”

– Michael Roberts, director general, Rail Delivery Group
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