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Prime Minister David Cameron has promised to make free Wi-Fi available on all trains in England and Wales by 2017, as part of a new £48 million scheme.

The commitment will extend to several train operators including Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN), Southeastern, Chiltern, and Arriva Trains Wales, who will need to meet the commitment as one of the conditions of their new franchises and direct award agreements.

Funding will then subsequently be awarded subject to satisfactory proposals being received, according to Mr Cameron, who said he was "pleased" to bring greater connectivity to rail passengers.

"Passengers that make over 500 million journeys every year with the four rail operators, TSGN, Southeastern, Chiltern, Arriva Trains Wales, will all benefit from this investment," he added.

Rail Minister Claire Perry said that free Wi-Fi is "a priority" for many people, as being able to keep up with work, connect with friends and check the latest journey information helps make rail travel "more productive". She added: "We are investing record amounts in the rail network as part of our long-term economic plan, and this investment will ensure that passengers will soon have a railway fit for the 21st century."

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