London Euston has recently completed its very first trial of using ultraviolet technology for the health and safety of commuters.
Following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a roadmap out of lockdown. One thing we know is that the rail industry and way people travel will never be a ‘back to business’ case. Passengers will expect to return to clean and reliable services, with a vigilant post-pandemic system in place.
The trials, led by Network Rail have been applying the anti-viral technology to areas within the stations which are most frequently touched.
Escalator handrails are one of those places and engineers have inserted the ultra violet kit so that it radiates unto the handrail surface, killing 99.99% of bacteria every time the escalator rotates during use. Sterilizing and putting a stop to the potential spread of Covid-19 to the many potential returning commuters in the coming months.
Joe Hendry, Station Manager at London Euston, said: “Throughout the pandemic station cleaning teams have made a heroic effort to protect passengers from harmful germs and control the spread of coronavirus.
"I’m proud this technology is part of a Network Rail trial at London Euston as the rail industry shares best practice as we emerge from the pandemic. I hope this UV technology will give passengers returning to public transport confidence when lockdown travel restrictions can be eased.”
Though this being a positive and innovative step in regards to containing and eradicating the spread of coronavirus. There will be much interest and much anticipation to see how other issues such as social-distancing and overall travel confidence will be addressed in the industry, additionally to the recent government rail fair increase announcement. Albeit calls for freezes and discounts in hope to attract passengers back to railways.
Leeds train station looks to follow in regards to the trials where nitric oxide gas looks to be used to sterilize handrails. The success of these trials will have to stand the test of time and whether this strategy will be implemented nationwide remains to be revealed, as the government works through its plan and road map out of lockdown.