Train operator Govia Thameslink Railway, which runs trains in southeast England under the Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern and Gatwick Express brands, has treated its entire fleet of 2,700 carriages, as well as stations and staff areas, with a powerful new viruscide which sticks to surfaces, killing the Coronavirus for up to 30 days.
To apply the anti-virus coating, electrostatic ‘wands’ attached to ‘Storm’ virus-killer backpacks were used around stations and staff areas, as they cover large areas quickly. The same technology was used in NHS Nightingale hospitals.
On trains, the new product needs to be applied traditionally, using a microfibre cloth. In all locations, it is applied only after the entire surface area has been thoroughly cleaned and degreased.
Areas treated with the long-lasting viruscide will be swab-tested around a week after its application to ensure it remains effective. The treatment will be reapplied it every 21 days, well within its 30-day period of efficacy. In addition. a specially developed app tells staff at-a-glance when each train carriage was last cleaned with the long-lasting viruscide.
This special treatment, which provides another layer of protection for passengers and staff, is in addition to GTR’s already-enhanced cleaning regime, under which stations, staff areas and trains are sanitised every night.
GTR has also ordered 1,000 no-touch hand sanitisers for staff and passengers, which are being distributed to stations.
Engineering director Steve Lammin said: “Since the outbreak of this pandemic, we have been doing all we can to protect our passengers and staff by ensuring our trains and stations have enhanced cleaning regimes, with 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 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.”