back to article Can't view memes on London-Southampton train? It's the worst line for mobile coverage

The London Waterloo to Southampton train line is today named the worst major commuting route for frustrated wage slaves desperate to get a signal on their way to and from the office. Using data from the major networks' performance last year, a report by analysts IHS Markit's RootMetrics ranked eight of the UK's most popular …

  1. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

    Where are we going?

    The picture* looks like the short rail link on the Isle of Wight, rather than London - Southampton.

    Ticket to Ryde, anyone?

    Or whatever. How can we know?

    *As at 1515 on 10th April.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Where are we going?

      That's what I thought. The picture is of the knackered old train that runs from Ryde pier head down to Shanklin and vice versa on the Isle of Wight. Remember the local adage : if it's 2018 on the mainland, it's 1918 on the Island.

      Anyway, they shouldn't give decent mobile connectivity to the people of Southampton. They don't appreciate nice things.

      1. nematoad Silver badge

        Re: Where are we going?

        "...if it's 2018 on the mainland, it's 1918 on the Island."

        Close but no cigar. The trains are from 1938 as Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese says, Ex Northern Line I believe.

        I did notice that at least some of them have been given a new lick of paint recently so not quite as shabby as in the picture.

        And yes, that is a shot of Ryde Esplanade station and what that has to do with the London to Southampton route is anybody's guess.

    2. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

      Re: Where are we going?

      That's what I thought as well - ex London Underground 38 stock

      1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

        Re: Where are we going?

        To the Hovercraft Museum!

        "Having visited Ryde and sampled the delights of the Isle of Wight, including its 1938 vintage tube train, ..."

    3. asdf Silver badge

      Re: Where are we going?

      To this Yank the Isle of Wight will forever be a Who live album first and an actual physical place a distant second.

    4. Mike Ozanne

      Re: Where are we going?

      "The picture* looks like the short rail link on the Isle of Wight, rather than London - Southampton."

      Regular user between waterloo and bournemouth.. that isn't any of the stations between those two points nor is that rolling stock used by South-Western, Southern, GWR, or Cross-Country i.e all the franchises that pass passenger traffic via Southampton.

      Cell service on the South West mainline is indeed diabolical with mahoosive black holes between Woking-Basingstoke; Basingstoke-Winchester; Shawford-Parkway; Totton-Brokenhurst and Sway-Hinton Admiral.

      Onboard Wi-Fi sucks the big one as well with slow(er)/stalled responses corresponding with the cell black-spots....

  2. balrog

    Surely HS1 to Ebbsfleet is worse

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shut up whining and read a book.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm a milennial. What is this "book" thing of which you speak, old man?

  4. Tony Gathercole ...

    Commuter routes?

    Are there really only eight major communting routes into London? No mention of any of the Kent Lines (including as already noted in another comment, HS1) nor Chilton, North Thamesside (C2C), Overground, Great Northern or the northern Thameslink services to Bedford. Are they better or worse than Waterloo to Southamption (and what about the many branches off the old LSWR mail line)?

    And since when was Euston to Glasgow considered as any kind of commuting route to London? At several hundred miles long there must be a significantly variable service - although I do seem to recall that WTWC arehave providing some kind of additional mobile signal boost in their trains when they were refurbished.

    Seems either sloppy reporting, or that the origional survey didn't think through how to describe its work across the national rail network.

  5. Alex Wilson

    I'm in Ryde right now... and yes that's our crappy train! Oddly, we have the most on time trains in the country and the fewest train cancellations!

    So its not all bad...

  6. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


    Other factors included the Waterloo route having a lot of deep tunnels.

    There are only a few tunnels BUT there are a lot of deep CUTTINGS on the LSWR Mainline.

    Pretty well any Railway Line (note not Train Line...) or Road that runs through a cutting will have signal problems (of the mobile kind) unless there is a mast right beside the cutting.

    The Reading-Redhill line has real signal problems to the west of Dorking and south of Crowthorne.

    As for the Wage Slaves needing to keep in contact with work while commuting...???? Just say no and use the time to relax and get your head straight either for the work day ahead or looking after the sprogs in the evening (other parental and non parental activities are available). One old boss of mine used to complain about not being able to phone me on my journey to/from the office. As I commuted by Motorcycle he just didn't get it that it was better to arrive safely rather than listen to his [redacted] ramblings.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      Any boss that expects you to answer a call while you are in control of a vehicle should be reported to HR for endangering the lives of others.

      I'm moving to Southampton if it means I get peace and quiet on my commute.

      Mine's the red and white striped top.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Eh?

      I didn't realise we worked for the same rambling imbecile. AC for obvious reasons

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Coming in at fifth was London Victoria to Brighton,

    Have you ever been on this line? Its full of tunnels and cuttings and the drop out rate is huge. Add to that the 12 carriage packed to the gills trains overloading the cells and half the time its amazing you get anything at all.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Woooot? The best coverage is on Paddington to Reading? A stretch of line that would be frequented by those travelling to Three HQ (Maidenhead), EE (Bristol), Vodafone (Newbury) and Slough (O2)... well I never!

    The issues with the Southampton line aren't any better with onboard WiFi either as it all routes via Vodafone.

  9. dmacleo

    serious question

    are they required to provide stable signals by any law/regulation?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: serious question

      Yes, It's covered under the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 for the block system of signalling.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >Stonham said that even though the London-Paddington line scored well for coverage, "there is still a lot to do".

    I'm guessing that was supposed to be the London to Reading line. Of course, as soon as you get out of Reading heading towards Didcot the signal disappears to virtually nothing.

    The Reading to Waterloo line gets a good signal along itself, other than the notspot at Richmond - cue lots of idiots shouting "hello" at their phones.

  11. GIRZiM

    Re: Shut up whining and read a book.

    I think the observation by Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse that the people of Southampton don't appreciate nice things might b e relevant here: do people from Southampton read?

    I mean, they can't even spell 'Southhampton' properly for a start!

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Shut up whining and read a book.

      Far as I know, people in Southampton are still in the 'brick' era of mobile phones, partly because they dont understand modern technology, but mostly because its difficult to hit each other over the head with an iPhone mini....

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sarfeast has mobile signal issues on trains, rest of UK looks on and shakes head sadly

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And train operators point to figures saying “it can’t be that overcrowded if they can use their mobile phones”...

  13. lesession

    London-centric as ever

    Try any of that Internet browsing nonsense on the Buxton-Manchester line!

    Mind you we're lucky on BUX-MAN if the train that turns up has got all its wheels on; at least some of the rolling stock give you free showers in some seats when its raining.

    But on the bright side, we're looking out the window at the Peak District, not London ...

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: London-centric as ever

      But on the bright side, we're looking out the window at the Peak District, not London ...

      Well... you say that, but mostly we're looking out of the window at fog, or snow, or cloud, or rain...

      Actually seeing the Peak District is quite rare...


  14. Phil Parker

    Try getting a signal on large sections of the Chiltern line from Birmingham to London. Hardly out in the sticks, but still rubbish coverage.

    1. GIRZiM

      Re: out in the sticks

      > Try getting a signal on large sections of the Chiltern line from Birmingham to London. Hardly out in the sticks, but still rubbish coverage

      If the location in question is not in London, it is (by very definition) out in the sticks - it's where they build houses out of sticks, instead of bricks like in London.

  15. GX5000


    Japan has its problems but rude, loud and annoying people on their phones isn't one of them.

    This culture of drones stuck to their phones has to wake up before it's too late.

    Someone pull the pacifier from their face before it's too late.

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