Commuter trains set to sparkle with new £1.2m Ilford washer

Published on: Tuesday, 30 November 2021
Last updated: Tuesday, 30 November 2021

The new carriage washer at Ilford depot. Credit: Greater Anglia

Greater Anglia’s commuter trains near London are set to sparkle thanks to a new carriage washing machine installed at Ilford depot.

The £1.2m machine can handle up to six of the company’s new five-carriage Alstom commuter trains per hour and a total of 40 in a 24-hour period.

The trains, which travel through the wash as they leave the depot to enter passenger service, do so at a maximum speed of 3mph to ensure that all carriages are clean. Detergent is mixed with around 225 litres of water to wash each carriage.

The new machine is more efficient compared to previous models, using around 10% less water compared to the system it replaced. Each wash is logged electronically, showing exactly how many litres were used per train. This easily alerts the team to any problems or leaks so they can be quickly fixed.

The machine took just under three months to fit, calibrate and test, with work starting in September.

Martin Moran, Greater Anglia’s Commercial, Customer Service and Train Presentation Director, said: "We are very pleased to have a new train washer at Ilford.

"The new washers will improve the quality and standard of train washing, as well as helping to save up to 10% of the volume of water needed, compared to what was previously used.

"Our new trains look great and we want to keep them looking this way for years to come, which is why we are heavily investing in cleaning. We are currently in the process of replacing every single train in our fleet to make our customers’ journeys easier and more comfortable.

"I would like to thank everyone who was involved in this project."

Greater Anglia has installed new carriage washers at Colchester, Clacton, Southend Victoria and Orient Way sidings as part of a £4m project to improve train cleaning as the company introduces new trains.

The train cleaning upgrade is part of a £1.4bn investment in transforming train services in East Anglia. Greater Anglia is currently in the process of replacing all trains in its fleet with brand new ones, which are all longer, with more seats, USB and plug sockets, fast free Wi-Fi, air conditioning and improved accessibility features as well as dedicated cycle spaces.

Many Greater Anglia passengers have continued to wear face coverings and the Government has now made it compulsory to wear face coverings on public transport at all times, unless people are exempt.

Greater Anglia is continuing with enhanced cleaning and sanitisation of trains and stations, especially high touch areas such as door buttons and grab handles.

The company’s new and refurbished trains have air conditioning, which sucks in fresh air every six to nine minutes. Trains without air con have opening windows – and all trains have doors which open at stations, providing additional ventilation.