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Thursday, July 25, 2024

Northern app gives ‘to the minute’ updates on train cleanliness

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Northern is developing an app that will let its team of over 500 train presentation operatives know ‘to the minute’ when any given train on their network was last cleaned.

It is part of a new plan led approach to the ‘basic cleans’ that take place in carriages while trains are waiting at stations during passenger service.

Train presentation staff will be able to easier-identify which trains are most in need of attention, based on real time data, rather than tackling them on a ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

Richard Holt, head of train presentation at Northern, said: “The technology we’re developing will give my team a level of insight parents can only dream of when it comes to their children’s untidy bedrooms – knowing exactly ‘to the minute’ when a space was last cleaned.

“It will enable them to ensure the right trains receive the right attention at the right time – which is essential when the time available to complete a ‘basic clean’ can be very limited.

“With over 2,500 services a day departing from stations across 3,000km of track, the cleaning task facing my team is massive.

“This new approach was the brainchild of one of our graduate trainees, Sebastian Chromiak, who deserves the credit for taking this challenge and finding a data-driven solution.”

For its work on this new approach, the train operator has been nominated for a Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) ‘Award for Excellence’.

Holt added: “Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our customers’ expectations in terms of train cleanliness has, quite rightly, increased significantly. My team has worked incredibly hard to maintain those new high standards and to be nominated for a CILT Award for Excellence is a testament to their efforts.”

The CILT Awards for Excellence celebrate industry best practice in logistics and transport and recognise the brightest talent and most pioneering organisations across the UK. In their category (Operations Management), Northern has been nominated alongside online fashion giant Boohoo and supply chain specialist Wincanton.

In 2022, Northern released a video to highlight the monumental task its 500 train presentation operatives have to keep its 345 trains clean and tidy.

Northern carries out train cleaning duties at 42 locations on its network, including five main TrainCare Centres at Allerton (Merseyside), Newton Heath (Grater Manchester), Heaton (Tyne & Wear), Neville Hill (West Yorkshire) and Hull Botanic Gardens (East-Riding).

Each year, the team carries out 695,000 ‘carriage cleans’ and work their way through 32,759 microfibre cloths, 10,300 sponges, 1,724 litres of toilet cleaner, and 2,265 litres of floor and surface cleaners. They also replenish some 26 million pieces of toilet tissue and 778 litres of hand soap.

Image credit: Northern

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