Virgin Trains launches on-board entertainment system

On-demand entertainment comes to rail travel with BEAM, a new app developed by Virgin Trains

Film star Liam Hemsworth stands next to a Virgin Train with BEAM technology at London Euston station

Film star Liam Hemsworth helped launch Virgin Trains’ BEAM at London Euston this summer (Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images)

They already have the fastest train service in the UK, but now Virgin Trains has launched BEAM – a brand new in-journey entertainment system that promises to make train journeys fast and fun for travellers.

BEAM is an on-demand service that allows train passengers to watch movies and TV shows at no extra cost. By downloading the Android or iOS app to a mobile or tablet before travel, customers can relax and be entertained from the comfort of their seat – whether they’re in Standard or First Class.

What to watch on Virgin Trains

The latest blockbuster films and TV shows (including new episodes and cult classics) will be available. The service will also include games and magazines to provide entertainment during trips.

Patchy reception during the journey shouldn’t affect the system, either. According to Virgin Trains, a dedicated server on its Pendolino services hosts BEAM, meaning on-board Wi-Fi can stream it direct to passengers’ devices.

This means the system doesn’t need the internet to work, so there’s no buffering or break in service through the whole journey. Even when the train is in a tunnel or in the middle of a field with no mobile reception, it should continue to play smoothly.

Pick up where you left off

The app will only allow customers to watch content while on board a Virgin Train. But BEAM will remember what has been watched as long as the same device is used to access the app. This means that passengers can continue with their movie or show on their next journey.

BEAM is available now on Virgin Trains West Coast Pendolino services. It will hit other West Coast trains later this year and begin rollout on East Coast trains from September 2016. So passengers will be able to settle in for a movie marathon all the way from Euston to Edinburgh.

The Virgin Trains BEAM App can be downloaded from The App Store and Google Play.

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