Virgin Trains unveils new on-board entertainment app for passengers
7 June 2016 • Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer, European Railway Review
Virgin Trains has launched a complimentary on-board entertainment app which is streamed directly to passengers’ own devices.
BEAM – Virgin Trains’ new entertainment portal will provide passengers with free on-board content including 200 hours of TV and films as well as magazines and games.
Developed by on-board infotainment provider GoMedia, and launched at London Euston station yesterday, the new service is the first-of-its-kind for the UK rail industry. The fully integrated infotainment system delivers the app straight to personal devices – whether mobile or tablet– via Virgin Trains’ on-board Wi-Fi, from a content server hosted on the train.
Infotainment system delivers the Virgin Trains app straight to a mobile or tablet
Earlier this year, GoMedia joined forces with Virgin Trains to improve the waiting and boarding experience for Virgin Trains’ passengers travelling from London Euston. The two companies developed an ‘Earlybird Boarding’ system which sends a text message to passengers, containing platform and boarding information.
To access the entertainment, passengers will need to download the BEAM app from the Apple or Android app store on their phone or tablet before they get on-board. And if the destination arrives before the end of the film, then BEAM will remember exactly where it left off, allowing passengers to finish their viewing on the return journey.
Patrick McCall, Co-Chairman for Virgin Trains, said, “The new BEAM app will make our passengers’ journeys fly by, feeling like they’ve arrived at their destinations before they know it. We’ve worked really hard to provide a fantastic range of entertainment to cater to all of our customers’ tastes and are really proud to offer this service that is the first of its kind to the train industry. At Virgin Trains we pride ourselves on continuously improving our customers’ on-board experience and so will continue to update the content on BEAM to guarantee our passengers have the latest entertainment on offer. The new service is more advanced than the systems currently available on planes as customers use their own devices, which normally have larger screens with better picture quality than standard seat-back devices.”
Roger Matthews, managing director, GoMedia, says: “We are delighted to be working with Virgin Trains to provide a ground-breaking entertainment service to their passengers. Our platform makes use of Virgin Train’s existing on-board Wi-Fi infrastructure, so not only can passengers stream great movies, TV shows and more over the trains’ Wi-Fi network, those passengers wishing to use off train connectivity for lower bandwidth data uses will find it to be far more efficient. With approval of the GoMedia platform from all major content owners, Virgin Trains can offer customers premium video programming from Hollywood studios, BBC Worldwide and more, contributing to an altogether outstanding customer experience.”