The tunnels just outside King’s Cross station are a noted blackspot for mobile phone coverage for people arriving or leaving the station – but that should change soon.
A joint project is adding phone coverage transmitted into the tunnels, and the first of the new antennas was installed during the recent closure for rail maintenance works.
The delivery of the project, funded by LNER working in collaboration with Network Rail and the mobile network operators, will mean the tunnels will be the first on the country’s operational railway to be fitted with a new bespoke solution installed by Linbrooke.
Due to some local issues with the tunnels, they could not use off-the-shelf components that would usually be supplied to boost phone signals, so a bespoke design incorporated a new joint antenna into a single unit, and this was the first time it has been used on a live railway.
The installation should be completed later this year, enabling the phone coverage in the tunnels to be switched on.
James Downey, Finance Director at LNER said, “Our customers have told us that reliable Wi-Fi and mobile connection is a key consideration when they are making decisions about travelling by train, with many expecting the connection on the train to be as strong as home.
“This section of our route is a popular spot for customers to make calls or send messages, as they approach London King’s Cross or just get comfortable in their seat to begin their journey north. Those calls, messages and meetings will now benefit from an improved, more reliable signal, meaning our customers can stay better connected.”