Passengers on a train from Guangzhou to Hong Kong enjoyed free wireless network access on Friday, marking the first Wi-Fi access service on Chinese trains.

Train No. T809 departing from Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong province, was equipped with the first onboard train Wi-Fi service, allowing passengers to surf the internet, buy tickets, chat and work online, said Sun Changsong, general manager of the Guangzhou Railway Group Cultural Advertising Corporation.

The other 23 trains between Guangzhou and Hong Kong will have the service soon, with a trial service term of three months before official operation.

Sun said passengers often find themselves unable to make phone calls, send text messages or surf the internet because of poor mobile signals on fast-moving trains, making the railway Wi-Fi project a necessity in the smartphone era.

Developed by Beijing-based FeiTian-Tech Corporation and the Southwest Jiaotong University, the onboard equipment is capable to provide WiFi service to 1,000 people at the same time, according to Sun, without mentioning whether the service will charge when it is officially launched.