Dutch Rail has started an experiment that lets its customers see which train compartments are relatively empty and therefore likely to have seats available.
To this end, the company has equipped 11 trains on the Zwolle-Amersfoort line with 280 infrared sensors. The data of these sensors is sent to an app that shows where there is room in the train (see illustration). Two minutes after the train has left a station, the app will be updated.
The app called Reisplanner Xtra also provides information about whether the train has wifi, where the quiet compartments are, where the first and second compartments are, and so on. It is unclear how long this test will run.
(Link and image: Dutch Rail. Via Springwise)
Tags: apps, Dutch Rail, infrared, trains, wifi
Each month ten Dutch Rail trains are equipped with free wifi, so that all 365 trains should have wifi by the end of 2013, Webwereld reports. This is according to schedule.
Currently wifi is free. Dutch Rail still has to decide if it will start charging money for usage after 2012. The national government gave Dutch Rail a 15 million euro subsidy for putting wifi on its trains.
In 2011 the number of trains featuring free wifi doubled, but usage quadrupled. Data rate and session length have stayed the same, 9MB and 40 minutes respectively.
Webwereld, a computer news site, asked some of its users about their experiences with the service. The consensus seems to be that it is as good as one can expect from ‘free’, but not better. Complaints centre on bad connections and slow speeds. One odd complaint is that the operator, T-Mobile, seems to be using German IP numbers. Users get to see the German Google when they want to search, and Facebook warns them that somebody is trying to log into their account from Germany.
Tags: Dutch Rail, government, Internet, subsidies, trains, wifi
Once we escaped the Schiphol airport tunnel earlier today, not just did I get to enjoy 5 minutes of free wifi, but Dutch rail was kind enough to tell me where I was, and where I was heading.
March last year the first Dutch Rail train was outfitted with free wifi. By then other European rail operators had already introduced wireless networking on their trains. In the Netherlands, both Arriva and Connexxion managed to get to the wifi grail before Dutch Rail. Arriva’s and Dutch Rail’s implementations are heavily sponsored by the national government.
Tags: Dutch railways, wifi
The Slurpr, a WiFi access point which aggregates up to six ‘available’ (actually, unprotected) 54 Mbps WiFi channels into (as the link puts it) “one bigazz, ‘free’ connection”. It is the latest invention of Dutch hacker, Mark Hoekstra and his friend, Boris Veldhuizen van Zanten. Of course, use of the Slurpr in its current incarnation will likely violate wardriving (warbiking in the Netherlands) laws in certain countries. One can bravely pre-order Slurpr at Mark’s site for EUR 999 (US$1,347) a box today.
Tags: hacking, wifi