With factories and workshops all over the country diverting their efforts to helping in the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, the railway has once again shown that it’s not to be discounted.
Southern Railway’s Horsham maintenance depot has been turned into a hand sanitiser bottling plant to meet the needs of colleagues on the front line, who are helping keep services running for key workers during the outbreak.
Set up in a matter of hours when normal suppliers started struggling to deliver, bulk deliveries of hand sanitiser have been decanted and packed into 1,000 bottles by the team at Horsham, ready to be sent out across Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern. Empty bottles are returned for recycling.
Logistics manager Tessa Holme said: “We make sure each delivery we get is spread as far afield as possible, and in a few hours the team was able to run like a factory production line.
“We’ve been crazy busy, flitting between bottling, forklifts and deliveries. The team has been great, showing great diversification.”
Once decanted the team distributes to locations from Gillingham, Ashford to Barnham, Brighton and London.
Deliveries are also made to Thameslink and Great Northern’s Letchworth distribution team for onward delivery to keep their teams stocked up.
Letchworth distribution manager Sarah Collett said: “For the past month, we have been operating a full service supplying all kinds of material from ticket stock, stationary, bags, boots, posters, leaflets, COVID-19 supplies including sanitiser, wipes, sprays, gloves and much more.
“I am so proud of my team for their contribution to ensuring stations are kitted out with their every need, on top of movement of IT equipment, lost property, water, furniture and still carrying out minor works on stations.
“They have continued working through these hard times ensuring that we keep up the normal day to day running of Letchworth Distribution Centre.”