Northern developing app providing ‘to-the-minute’ data on when it was last cleaned

Northern developing app providing ‘to-the-minute’ data on when it was last cleaned

Northern is developing an app that will allow passengers to check ‘to the minute’ when their train was last cleaned.

The app is part of a new plan-led approach to the basic cleaning of carriages that takes place while trains are waiting at stations during passenger service. The app will use GPS data to track the location of trains and will update in real time to show when each train was last cleaned.

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’.

This new app is a welcome development for passengers who have long complained about the cleanliness of Northern trains. In a recent survey, 75% of passengers said that they were unhappy with the cleanliness of Northern trains.

The app is expected to be launched in the coming months. Once it is launched, passengers will be able to download the app to their smartphones and tablets. The app will be free to use. In addition to providing information on when trains were last cleaned, the app will also provide other useful information, such as the location of the nearest toilets and the availability of wheelchair spaces.

For the staff, the app will be able to easier identify which trains are needing attention, based on the real time data. This new process will be a departure from the previous ‘first come, first serve’ basis.

Photo Credit: Northern

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