Dishing the dirt – the numbers behind cleaning South Western Railway trains

Wednesday 21st February 2018

In the first 100 days of its new franchise, South Western Railway (SWR) delivered on a key pledge to deep-clean every train across the network.

This involved 15,188 hours of elbow grease across six different train depots by 45 members of staff.

Now SWR has committed to deep-cleaning trains every 30 days, on top of the routine daily tidy.

Passengers will also begin to notice improvements in on-board presentation standards over the course of the current SWR franchise with the interior refurbishment of trains and brand new fleets being introduced across the network. These introductions will help to refresh the look and feel of many trains and are very much welcome by dedicated Train Presentation teams who will be deep-cleaning units every 30 days, from now on.

What are the numbers behind the dirt?

  • Over 65,000 seats are deep cleaned each month 
  • Over 1000 packs of tissues are used each week 
  • 100,000 ml of soap is used each month 
  • Since November, more than 15,000 cleaning cloths used 

Charlie Hatcher, South Western Railway’s Head of Train Presentation, said: 

“The goal of the initial 100 day clean was to achieve a baseline level of cleanliness and to then build on this in the immediate months ahead which we have now started to do. Our team swept and vacuumed seat upholstery, mopped train floors, removed graffiti and chewing gum and scrubbed clean thousands of windows, panels, grilles, ledges, luggage racks, litter bins, tables and toilets.

“We’re determined not to rest on our laurels as we'll be making sure  our trains are as clean and pleasant an environment for passengers as possible. That’s why we’ve committed to deep-cleaning our trains every 30 days – seven times more regularly than previously. I’m confident that our passengers will begin to see the difference very soon, if they haven’t done so already.”

An interior refurbishment programme of SWR's fleet of Class 444 and 450 Desiro trains is now underway with the first refurbished train due to enter passenger service at the end of March.