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Faster internet for regional Swiss trains

Train travellers on regional lines are to get better internet connections, Swiss Federal Railways has announced. Local Zurich trains are currently receiving signal repeaters – with connection improvements in other regional trains to follow.

Step on any train, regional or otherwise, in Switzerland and the chances are that most passengers will be looking at their phones. But the poor quality of the internet signal can sometimes lead to frustration.

This is all set to change. This week Swiss Federal Railways and telecom firms began installing 4G/3G repeaters in trains on the Zurich S-Bahn local train network, the Federal Railways said in a statement on Friday. The aim is to improve internet reception in all 1,700 regional train carriages – which do not yet have repeaters – by 2020.

New trains, such as the Regio-Dosto, which also travel to other parts of the country, already have the equipment. Other trains to benefit are the DTZ, HVZ-D and the Domino.

The FLIRT trains which are on lines in Basel, central Switzerland, Italian-speaking Ticino and French-speaking Switzerland, will not get the technology, the Federal Railways said. This is because it does not boost signals on these trains; alternatives are being considered.

Long-distance trains have had repeaters since the end of 2014, the company said. 28,500 sockets for laptops, tablets and mobile phones have been installed in trains and the 80 most frequently used train stations all have free WiFi

What do you think of internet access on Swiss trains? Let us know your views.

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