Govia Thameslink Railway’s (GTR) entire fleet of Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express trains – as well as all stations and staff areas – have been treated with a powerful new virucide that sticks to surfaces, killing the COVID-19 virus for up to 30 days.
A specially-developed app has also been introduced which tells staff, at-a-glance, when each train carriage was last cleaned with the long-lasting viruscide.
The product further improves GTR’s enhanced cleaning regime, in which stations and staff areas are treated with more short-term virucides and all 2,700 of its train carriages are sanitised every night.
While the current UK government advice remains to only use public transport if absolutely necessary, the new product provides another layer of protection for passengers who are unable to avoid travel, such as key workers and staff who are valiantly supporting the national effort against the pandemic.
To help support everyone’s focus on keeping their hands clean, GTR has also ordered 1,000 no-touch hand sanitisers for staff and passengers, which are now being distributed to stations across the operator’s network.
Steve Lammin, Govia Thameslink Railway’s Engineering Director, said: “Since the outbreak of this pandemic, we have been doing all that we can to protect our passengers and staff by ensuring that our trains and stations have enhanced cleaning regimes, as well as a switch in focus to high-touch areas and the increased use of anti-viral agents. We are now using a product that will kill the coronavirus for up to 30 days and we are applying this to surfaces across our network on a 21-day cycle. We want to do everything possible to work with passengers and staff to keep them safe, and this will further protect everyone who is working so hard for this country.”
Electrostatic ‘wands’ have been used around stations and staff areas, and GTR is deploying ‘Storm’ virus-killer backpacks which were used in NHS Nightingale Hospitals, as they cover large areas quickly. On trains, the new product needs to be applied traditionally with a microfibre cloth. In all locations, it is applied only after the entire surface area has been thoroughly cleaned and degreased.
Stations, trains and staff areas were already receiving enhanced cleans through the introduction of additional extra staff, new 24-hour virucide products and a switch to focus attention on passenger and staff touchpoints. Use of the 30-day viruscide will help GTR renew its focus on out of reach places to further improve the appearance of trains.