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India’s train cleaning revolution has begun

Karan Thapar, Director, Inventa Cleantec Pvt Ltd

As India’s rail network expands in leaps and bounds, its cleaning requirements are skyrocketing too. Modern coaches need modern cleaning methods, without compromising on sustainability. Karan Thapar, Director, Inventa Cleantec Pvt Ltd lists some of the new solutions that can meet these high standards.

With a vast population and a massive influx of people, India’s trains experience constant wear and tear, spills and litter. Regular cleaning not only enhances passenger experience but also contributes to maintaining public health and hygiene. Moreover, clean train coaches are essential for the preservation and longevity of the trains themselves, reducing maintenance costs and improving safety.

It is essential to ensure both the interior and exterior of trains are kept pristine. To achieve this goal while prioritising environmental sustainability, India has embraced eco-friendly automatic coach washing plants. These innovative facilities not only provide efficient cleaning solutions but also incorporate an impressive water reuse system, reducing water consumption by up to 80%. Using advanced robotic systems, high-pressure jets and specialised brushes, these plants ensure a thorough cleaning of both the interior and exterior of train coaches.

 Water recycling

The water reuse process involves a series of filtration and treatment steps. After the initial cleaning cycle, the used water is collected, treated and recycled back into the system for subsequent washes. This closed-loop approach ensures that a substantial amount of water is conserved and recycled, making the automatic coach washing plants an environmentally responsible solution.

High pressure jets

The high-pressure water jet cleaning system used for cleaning applications effectively removes dirt, dust, graffiti, and other contaminants from the exterior surfaces of train coaches. This not only improves aesthetics but also contributes to the maintenance and longevity of the trains, preventing corrosion and structural damage.

Cleaning interiors

The interior cleaning process focuses on maintaining a hygienic and healthy environment for passengers. The cleaning systems shall ensure use of efficient vacuuming systems and non-toxic cleaning agents to ensure thorough cleanliness.

New technologies

To meet the growing demands of cleanliness and efficiency, new technologies have emerged in India, specifically nano chemistry for long-term contact sanitation and the use of foldable mini scrubber-driers capable of cleaning under the compact furniture of Indian railway coaches. These advancements will revolutionise the maintenance practices of the Indian railway system, enhancing cleanliness, and elevating passenger satisfaction.

Nano chemistry

A groundbreaking field that deals with materials and processes at the nanoscale, this has opened up new avenues for interior cleaning in railway coaches. By leveraging the unique properties of nanoparticles, nano coatings can be applied to various surfaces, providing long-term contact sanitation. These coatings act as a protective barrier, preventing the accumulation of dirt, dust, and harmful microorganisms.

The application of nano coatings to frequently touched surfaces, such as handles, armrests and tables, significantly reduces the risk of cross-contamination and the spread of infectious diseases. These coatings not only repel dirt and water but also exhibit self-cleaning properties, eliminating the need for frequent manual cleaning and reducing maintenance costs. The antimicrobial properties of nano coatings also inhibit the growth of bacteria and viruses, creating a healthier environment for passengers.

Inaccessible areas

Cleaning under compact furniture in Indian railway coaches has always been a challenge due to limited space and accessibility. However, the introduction of foldable mini scrubber driers will revolutionise the cleaning process, making it more efficient and effective.

These mini scrubber driers are cordless battery operated machines with up to two hours of working time between charging cycles on one battery. A battery can easily be swapped with another pre-charged battery to handle more work load. Specifically designed to navigate narrow spaces, these machines can reach areas that are difficult to clean using traditional methods. Equipped with compact dimensions and flexible cleaning heads, they can effortlessly manoeuvre under berths, seats and other furniture, ensuring a thorough and comprehensive cleaning experience.

The foldable design of these scrubber driers allows for easy storage and transportation, maximising the efficient use of space within the railway maintenance facilities. Additionally, their ergonomic features and user-friendly controls enable the cleaning staff to operate them with ease, reducing physical strain and enhancing productivity.

The mini scrubber driers employ advanced cleaning technologies, including rotating brushes and powerful suction capabilities to effectively remove dirt, dust and stains from various surfaces.

Future trends

As the country continues to modernise its railway infrastructure, the focus on eco-friendly train cleaning must remain a priority, ensuring a safe, hygienic and environmentally responsible journey for passengers. It can achieve higher cleanliness standards, cost-effectiveness, and improved passenger experiences. The integration of nano chemistry and mini scrubber driers represents a paradigm shift in the maintenance and sanitation practices of railway coaches, contributing to a safer and more enjoyable journey for millions of passengers across India.

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