Two thirds of Britons say mobile phone coverage on commuter trains is so bad they cannot connect to the internet when they travel, while over half say poor and unreliable coverage makes their daily commute frustrating.
The figures come from a survey conducted by YouGov on just over 2,000 adults taking train journeys of at least 30 minutes during the first week of July 2017. The results paint a sorry picture of black spots and poor connection along Britain's train lines.
Over half (52%) of passengers said poor mobile phone coverage prevented them from working during their railway commute, while just 13% said the Wi-Fi service offered by their train route was any good.
With regard to connecting to train Wi-Fi, 63% said they were concerned over the security of networks provided, and 41% said they disliked handing over personal information to get online. Nearly a quarter (22%) said no WI-Fi was available on their train route.
A quarter of survey participants did not rate the mobile phone service on their train commute at all, stating coverage was poor and unreliable.
Ingo Flömer, director of product management at Cobham Wireless, a mobile communications company, said: "Because of a lack of mobile phone coverage passengers find it difficult to work during their business commute, unable to browse the internet, send emails, or even make phone calls. On-board Wi-Fi doesn't live up to expectations either."
As well as some train lines having less coverage generally than the built-up areas around each station, busier lines like those connected to central London suffer from congestion in the morning and evening rush-hour, as thousands of devices try to connect to the same masts along the route. Connecting to the mobile internet on trains outside of rush hour is usually more successful, but problems still remain.
Adding to this frustration are delays, industrial action from train and station staff, fare increases and disruptive engineering works.
Flömer adds: "Passengers are already frustrated with disruptions to rail services...These frustrations are compounded by train fare increases year on year. The results of the study are clear, more investment in mobile phone coverage would go a long way to improving passengers' train journey experience and ensure they stay connected to work during their busy commute."