Business Travel Goes High Tech on the Rails

By Bizclik Editor


Feeling connected for work or leisure has become an essential part of everyone's life, especially when travelling for business. This is why Canadian transportation providers such as VIA Rail are working to give its clients the most reliable access possible to web and mobile services throughout their travel experience.

“Our research has shown that Canadians want a simple and seamless travel experience that covers the entire trip, from planning to post-trip. It is also critical for customers to always stay connected," explained Chad McLarnon, Manager, Business solutions for VIA Rail, who, in response to this research and growing customer demand for mobile services, recently launched its first ever mobile booking engine.

Accessible on any mobile device, all you need to do is type on your mobile web browser and you can buy ticket or rail passes in a secure environment, access real-time departure and arrival time updates for Montreal-Windsor corridor trains and develop a traveller profile to make ticket purchase easier and quicker.

Once booked, business travellers can, on the date of departure, show the agent at the boarding gate the e-boarding passes that appear on their smartphone and have their ticket scanned and validated, bypassing the ticket office and making it ideal, especially for people in the remote communities that VIA serves.

Once aboard, aside from the comfort, safety, and of course the views, business class on VIA Rail offers the ideal conditions for work or play: optimized lighting, seats equipped with power outlets and fold-out table for your portable computer or tablet, a delicious meal, exclusive access to the pre-departure and on-board lounges and, most of all, the world's fastest Wi-Fi system on rails.

Since January 2011 all train sets running in the Quebec City-Windsor corridor that include a business class car have been equipped with VIA's second generation Wi-Fi system and are successfully keeping passengers connected with a 99.5 plus per cent coverage rate.

So what makes VIA's Wi-Fi the “fastest on rails”?

The system carries eight antenna receptors on the roof of one of the front-most cars of each train set (known as the “brain car”) to ensure more “hit” points, which translates into fewer dropped signals and faster downloads. Also VIA aggregates not just one, but three wireless providers that service the corridor to ensure the system is constantly scanning the signals and choosing the strongest in any given area resulting in virtually no “black holes” along the route.

Business travellers can count on a system that rarely disappoints, and an opportunity for long stretches of productivity – or leisure - on their trip. More information on business travel is available at

-- News Canada


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