Hi-tech Equipment to Test Train Cleanliness

Hygiene monitor being used to test surfaces on a Greater Anglia train
Hygiene monitor being used to test surfaces on a Greater Anglia train

Greater Anglia has deployed new equipment to make sure trains are being cleaned as effectively as possible.

The train operator is using five 3M hygiene monitors to quickly detect biological residue on board trains.

The process involves a swab to test high-touch areas. The swab is used to collect a sample which is inserted into a handheld unit which checks for Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), an indicator of biological residues. The samples react with a lab-produced chemical not unlike the enzyme luciferase which is found in fireflies. The chemical reaction creates light; more light indicates a greater amount of residue on the surface being tested.

Results are then synchronised with one of Greater Anglia’s servers to enable train cleaning managers to monitor the effectiveness of its cleaning regimes.

The monitors are the newest piece of equipment Greater Anglia has utilised for cleaning and sanitising trains and stations. The company has spent £600,000 for new equipment, additional cleaning routines, new and additional detergents and more staff.

Seven fogging guns are being used to spray a fine targeted mist of anti-viral disinfectant to quickly kill bacteria and viruses in the air, on floors, furniture, walls, ceilings, and other surfaces. Every carriage in the Greater Anglia fleet had been fogged by the beginning of September; the company is now fogging them again. They’re also being used to sanitise waiting rooms, toilets and other areas at stations.

Eight Pacvac backpack vacuum cleaners have been depoyed to help with the “turnaround cleaning” of trains after one service arrives at a station and before it departs on the next one. The units are fitted with four filters which clean the air as well as the floor and upholstery.

Peter Tyler, Greater Anglia head of train presentation, said: “We’re doing everything we possibly can to keep our trains as clean and sanitised as possible.

“This new testing equipment enables us to check that our cleaning is as effective as possible, so that our customers can travel with us, confident that they are being kept safe.

“Our cleaning teams have been doing a great job and have really stepped up to the mark to keep everyone safe.

“Other staff, including our catering and station teams, have also stepped in to carry out additional cleaning on high touch areas such as ticket barriers and ticket machine touch screens.”