In a tough year for rail networks and public transport, React Specialist Cleaning provides levels of hygiene to allow them to keep working.
It’s been a tough year in 2020 for rail and public transport operators across the UK. With the latest lockdown restrictions in England, many of them have trimmed timetables again in November. But they must still provide some level of service, which can be especially difficult with lower revenues. The extension of the emergency deal for Transport for London on 1st November highlights how difficult the operating environment has become. To help them keep working in current circumstances, transport networks need to be kept clean, and operators need to think carefully about infection control. With our dedicated rail network cleaning teams, we deliver levels of hygiene that help.
Public transport must keep working
The public transport network is a vital part of the national infrastructure and is one of the things that keeps the UK economy moving. The railway network alone is massive, covering over 9,800 miles of track and more than 2,500 stations. Then of course there are local transport networks such as the London Underground or the Glasgow Subway. And when you factor in public transport on the roads too, you’ve got a huge infrastructure which public transport providers need to keep clean to keep working.
In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, the rail network and other public transport systems are operating with a fraction of normal passenger numbers. This of course makes it easier for operators to maintain social distancing. Nevertheless, there is still an imperative to maintain hygiene in train carriages, buses and stations to limit contact transmission of coronavirus and other pathogens. Crucially, many passengers on public transport are still key workers, making it all the more important to protect them from infection. Given the increased need for thorough cleaning and decontamination, the task of transport network cleaning needs to be left to the specialists. Whether it’s the interior of train carriages or railway station platforms, we have dedicated transport cleaning teams to provide scheduled nightly cleaning and ad hoc services.
Cleaning and infection control in the Covid-19 pandemic
It’s essential for rail operators and other public transport providers to deliver infection control for public safety. Interior touch points, seats and tables, and onboard toilet facilities must all be kept to the highest standards. We have a rigorous four-step infection control methodology: test, clean, disinfect and test again. We first test surfaces such as door handles and buttons, handrails, ticket machines for the presence of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP). This is an indicator molecule for biological residues, including transmissible viruses which can remain stable on hard surfaces for up to 72 hours.
Next, we wipe down surfaces with a pH-neutral cleaning solution, such as warm soapy water. This removes lingering dirt and dust to which pathogens can attach themselves. In many ways, the third step – using a virucidal disinfectant – is most crucial. Most common agents contain chlorine compounds which can cause health issues and discolouration of surfaces when used incorrectly. As a safer choice where possible, we adopt environmentally friendly alternatives which can be just as effective. We also deploy such methods as fogging or UVC light in specific circumstances on train carriages. And our final step, to provide confidence that we have decontaminated surfaces effectively, is to perform further ATP testing.
Safety first in railway station and depot cleaning
Beyond the interior of trains or buses, it’s also vital to keep stations clean and clear. We offer the highest quality service standards to remove all litter and rubbish, and to ensure all areas are clean and free of dirt. We can cope with cleaning high-level canopies, which face the full force of the weather and are often particularly fouled by bird guano. And it’s not just public areas on the rail network which need regular and ad hoc cleaning. Depots, maintenance pits and access platforms can become heavily soiled, notably with oil and engine fluids.
We’re RISQS accredited, to give station operators added peace of mind that our services are of the highest quality. And all of our trackside team are Personal Track Safety (PTS) qualified, allowing us to tackle the complex and demanding tasks of trackside cleaning and decontamination. Our rail network and public transport cleaning service positively influences passenger and staff experiences. Our focus is always on maintaining the safety of all users. For cleaning stations and infrastructure, we work when station platforms are empty where possible. But when we do have to work around passengers, we work with station supervisors and duty managers to minimize disruption. We’re here to help rail networks to keep working.
To find out more about React Specialist Cleaning and how our services allow the rail network and public transport systems to keep working, contact one of the team today.
Post by Shaun D. Doak
Shaun is the CEO of React Group plc., a business dedicated to specialist cleaning, hygiene and decontamination. He is deeply committed to making sure that every one of our company’s clients receives the highest possible level of service. An expert in HVAC and commercial and industrial cleaning methodologies, Shaun has extensive experience in the facilities management and renewable services sector.