Northern Trains developing app which will allow staff to see the last time trains were cleaned

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The new app has been described by Northern Trains as technology parents ‘can only dream of’

Northern Trains, which operates services in and around Manchester, could be on the verge of a tech breakthrough. The company is working on an app that will let its team of over 500 train presentation operatives know ‘to the minute’ when any given train on their network was last cleaned.

This is part of a new strategy from Northern to clean the trains most in need of attention first. At present, the company operates on a ‘first come first served’ basis for cleaning its trains.

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The new approach to cleaning, Northern, has been nominated for a Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) ‘Award for Excellence’. The winners will be announced at a ceremony in London on Thursday September 28.

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."

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A Northern Train being cleaned (Photo: Northern) A Northern Train being cleaned (Photo: Northern)
A Northern Train being cleaned (Photo: Northern) | Northern Trains

On the award nomination, Holt added: “Since the COVID-19 pandemic, our customers’ expectations in terms of train cleanliness has, quite rightly, increased significantly. My team has worked incredibly hard to maintain those new high standards and to be nominated for a CILT Award for Excellence is a testament to their efforts.” 

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