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Revealed: The top websites rail users browse ‘on the go’

Northern has revealed the most popular websites accessed by its customers whilst travelling on-board their trains.


After ‘pings’ to update time, date and location settings – as well as people connecting to virtual private networks (VPNs) – the top destination websites are:

1. Google 6. Spotify
2. Snapchat 7. X (formerly Twitter)
3. Whatsapp 8. Facebook
4. Instagram 9. iTunes
5. TikTok 10. Gmail

Mark Powles, commercial and customer director at Northern, said:

“One of the benefits of letting the train take the strain is that you’re free to relax and enjoy the journey.

“It’s clear our customers use the time on-board to keep in touch with friends via social media and other messaging apps as well as relax and listen to music.

“For those using the train to commute to work, the average journey time is 25 minutes in each direction – that’s 50 minutes a day they can use in a way that suits them rather than sitting in traffic behind the wheel of a car.”

Northern has a long-running campaign to encourage people to convert their commute from road to rail. Using the ‘Savings Calculator’ on the Northern website, anyone can compare the cost, journey time and carbon footprint of their commute versus the same journey made by car.

WiFi on-board Northern services is delivered in partnership with ‘Friendly WiFi’ – a government-initiated safe certification standard for public WiFi.

Friendly WiFi aims to reassure users that the service meets minimum filtering standards – particularly in areas where children are present, such as in Northern’s stations and on-board their trains.

Northern has been a member of the scheme, which is delivered in partnership with the UK Council for Child Internet Safety (UKCCIS), since 2017.

In 2023, Northern warned people against viewing ‘NSFW’ content (Not Suitable For Work) on their trains and told them to ‘wait till you get home’ out of respect to other passengers.

Northern is the second largest train operator in the UK, with 2,500 services a day to more than 500 stations across the North of England.