IRELAND is to become the first country in Europe to have wi-fi on all its trains.
Iarnrod Eireann passengers will enjoy free internet access on rail services by the end of the year. Travellers on inter-city services and commuter routes into Dublin can already surf the web while travelling.
The roll-out is being funded by the National Transport Authority. More than 250 carriages in the fleet are already equipped.
The technology will be installed on DART, the Dublin-Belfast route and 17 commuter carriages before the end of the year, meaning all services will have wi-fi.
The move is part of government plans to have all public-transport services equipped with internet access by next year.
Some 80 of the Dublin Bus fleet and almost all of the Bus Eireann fleet is already internet-enabled. Plans are in place to provide wi-fi on Luas services in Dublin from 2013.
"One of the great benefits of rail travel is that you can use your t ravelling time productively, for work or leisure," said a spokeswoman for Iarnrod Eireann.
She added: "Other operators might have their whole fleet of trains that are wi-fi enabled, but no country in Europe would have universal access.