The demand for access to broadband data services in high-speed trains is increasing as more people are travelling to and from work, which is not met by the existing radio frequency technology. Therefore an alternative technology known as free space optics (FSO) could be readily adopted that could overcome the bandwidth bottleneck problem. The study presents a mathematical model of an FSO link for ground-to-train communications link and analyses the system performance in terms of the signal-to-noise ratio and the bit error rate (BER). The authors show that the simulated BER is in good agreement with the predicted results for bit rates up to 50 Mbps. The link budget analysis for the proposed system is also presented showing a link margin of 17.75 dB.