Wifi & power sockets on the train

The ability to connect to the internet or power varies widely across European trains. Sadly, there is no standard network so coverage, reliability and cost will vary.

The most reliable way to use the internet while travelling is to take a dongle for mobile broadband or use your smart phone as a modem and connect your phone to your laptop. Just make sure you check the associated roaming costs so you don't get a nasty surprise when you get home. 

IN THIS ARTICLE

Eurostar

  • Wifi on board?: Yes.*
  • Wifi at the station? Yes**.
  • Cost: Free on board applicable trains and at London St. Pancras and in First Class lounges.
  • Power Sockets: On the trains, carriages 5 and 14 in Second Class have power sockets. All First Class seats have power sockets.

*Currently the new e320 trains are equipped with wifi, and Eurostar is planning to add wifi to all the original e300 trains.

**You can access Wifi from the following train stations operating Eurostar services: London, Ebbsfleet, Ashford, Paris and Brussels. First Class & Business travellers can access this for free, Standard Class passengers will incur varying costs. St. Pancras station has free Wifi enabled for everyone, business and departure lounges included.

TGV

  • Wifi on board?: WIFI is currently available for free on TGV between Paris-Lyon, and for a fee on TGV Lyria services and TGV Est. Free on board WIFI is due to be rolled out across the TGV network during 2017: Paris - Strasbourg : June 2017, Paris - Bordeaux, Paris - Lille and Paris - Rennes all  August 2017. 
  • Wifi at the station? Lots of stations are Wifi-enabled but with varying availability and costs
  • Cost: Usually free. Travellers need to enter their ticket number to access TGV Connect. Data limits apply. 
  • Power Sockets: All First Class seats have power-points for laptops & mobiles with European-style two-pin sockets. Very few Second Class seats have power sockets. 

ICE

  • Wifi on board?: Yes 
  • Wifi at the station? Sometimes.
  • Cost: Free in all classes. It is also free in the First Class lounges of some stations.  
  • Power sockets:  ICE1 & ICE2: only the seats around a table have power sockets in both classes. On ICE3, there are sockets between every pair of seats in both classes.

Thalys

  • Wifi on board?: Yes.
  • Wifi at the station? Sort of*.
  • Cost: Free for First Class and Business travellers. Standard class: €6.50 euros for 60 minutes or €13 euros for your whole journey. You can log in and pay on board from your device, or buy an access card at the bar.
  • Power sockets: Some carriages, but not all, are fitted with European 2-pin power sockets. Thalys carriages are fitted with power outlets in carriages 2, 3, 12, 13, 22 and 23. Carriages 1/11/21 do not have power outlets.

*Wifi is available in several stations which serve Thalys e.g. the Eurostar lounge at Brussels-Midi or in Burger King at Amsterdam Central. However, these services aren't affiliated with Thalys.

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