The start of a free wi-fi service for passengers on trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow has been hailed by Falkirk West MSP Michael Matheson.

The Scottish Government has provided funding to overcome the technical challenges and provide a free wi-fi service on four trains on the Edinburgh to Glasgow route, through Falkirk High, on a trial basis between June and September.

The trial will help to establish which technology works best, with a view to on board wi-fi provision possibly forming part of the next rail franchise from 2014. Passengers will be encouraged to provide feedback while using the service.

Welcoming the start of the service, Mr Matheson said:

“The ability to access the internet on the move has never been so important and has become critical to businesses and individuals in the 21st century.

“Providing wi-fi access to rail passengers who use Falkirk High Station helps to increase productivity and will provide an economic boost along the route.

“I am very optimistic that the results of this trial will be positive ones and the lessons learnt will be hugely valuable when looking at developing this service further.”

“This is also a strong signal of the Scottish Government’s determination to roll out broadband provision to every corner of our country.

“As we spend more and more of our lives online, the importance of better internet access to both the economy and our everyday lives cannot be understated.”