Unsurprisingly, the number of travellers using the onboard Wi-Fi service on the National Express East Coast railway tripled during the first month in which it was free throughout the train.

As part of its aim of making travel simpler (or in order to bag the franchise) National Express committed to making Wi-Fi free to all customers when it took over the franchise during December 2007.

Wireless access was was previously only complimentary in First Class, and cost £4.95 an hour in Standard accommodation.

The switch to free usage has tripled the number of users to date, with numbers rising from 30,000 a month to more than 100,000 in January alone, with 85% of laptop carriers taking advantage of the service.

Alan Hyde, head of communications at National Express East Coast, said: "The popularity of the service has surpassed our expectations and we are delighted to have had such a positive impact on people's journeys".