MOBILE telephone users are to benefit from the replacement of carriage windows on Austrian Federal Railways. Windows in ÖBB’s older coaches contain a thin layer of metallic insulation. This blocks mobile phone signals, but is not found in newer vehicles.

Spokesman Robert Herbst said the replacement is ’a gradual process and will take some time. We are also installing repeaters to boost signals.’ Other changes include the fitting of on-board power points for laptops and phones.

The work is being carried out in response to customer demand and increasing mobile phone ownership. ÖBB’s Head of Passenger Services Robert Struger said the cost is about Sch115000 per carriage.