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Highland Line gets ready to clean up over Christmas


By Tom Ramage

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London North Eastern Railway has boosted its army of cleaners as trains and stations are expected to get busier in the run-up to Christmas.

An extra 35 people have been recruited into the cleaning team, further enhancing LNER’s increased levels of cleaning in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.

The new recruits take the total number of cleaning staff to 336, the highest number to date. LNER and its cleaning partner, Atalian Servest, is also introducing a new uniform for cleaning staff.

Ready for action!
Ready for action!

LNER’s director of safety and operations, Warrick Dent said: “The safety of our customers and staff remains our top priority and we are doing all we can to ensure our customers can travel with confidence.

“We’re increasing the number of cleaners working onboard our trains and in our stations. We’re also investing in more industry-leading equipment, including Storm ‘fogging’ devices, in effect creating an army of LNER ‘Stormtroopers’ who will continue to work around the clock to keep everyone safe.”

The investment will see a 14 per cent rise in cleaning hours provided by Atalian Servest. It will result in an extra 1,400 hours of cleaning each week, increasing the total number of weekly cleaning hours to almost 12,700.

Record levels of enhanced cleaning have been carried out since March as part of LNER’s pledge to operate a ‘Covid Secure’ service. Specialist teams are using superior sustainable disinfectant products and high-grade equipment, including ‘fogging’ devices, which kill viruses on hard surfaces and in the air.

The teams have been following a two-stage disinfectant process both onboard and in stations, with customer touch points, surfaces and toilets cleaned to the highest standard.

Since March, more than 382,000 hours of cleaning have been undertaken by teams working across the East Coast route with 11, 880 hours spent deep cleaning stations.

Since July, more than 360 swab tests have been carried out to test for traces of Covid-19 on high-frequency touch points. All the tests have returned negative results thanks to the intense cleaning being done.

Warrick Dent added: “The new staff will only strengthen our industry-leading cleaning regime. They will have a strong presence onboard LNER services, delivering even more cleaning during journeysand providing further reassurance for our customers as more people to return to rail travel.”

To ensure social distancing, LNER services are reservation only and customers continue to play a key part in keeping everyone safe, by making sure they wear face coverings in stations and onboard services unless they are exempt. In addition to the enhanced cleaning, onboard ventilation systems are providing a continuing supply of fresh air which is cycled every six minutes on all our trains.


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