Southeastern upgrades south London depot to improve train cleaning facilities

The train company, Southeastern has been upgrading its train cleaning facilities, with a dedicated interior repair and heavy cleaning operation within the existing Grove Park depot in southeast London.

Grove Park depot (c) Southeastern

The £1.5 million upgrade has added two 12-carriage platform level walkways, which markedly improves access to the train for cleaning. This makes it much easier and quicker to clean trains as the heavy equipment doesn’t need to be lifted in and out from ground level by the cleaning team.

It’s expected that will free up around 28 hours during heavy and overnight cleans by using the easy access walkways – time which can be spent cleaning trains instead of lifting heavy equipment.

In addition, another one of the six berthing roads in the main cleaning shed has been fitted with new power isolation, taking the total up to three. This extra road delivers more capacity for safer cleaning within the shed. There have also been significant drainage improvements to stay within water discharge limits.

Southeastern operates one of the largest fleets in the country, with just under 400 trains, and around a quarter of all train cleaning takes place at the Grove Park site, which adds up to just under 10,000 vehicle cleans per week.

Trains have been cleaned at Grove Park since 1959 but operations have now been reorganised so that even more trains can get their cleaning done there, while the maintenance needed to keep the trains moving can be carried out at Southeastern’s other depots including Ashford, Gillingham, Ramsgate and Slade Green.

Southeastern’s Mobile Interior Standards Team (MIST) will also operate from the centre – they’re the people who deal with on-board toilets reapiring and cleaning them when problems are reported by passengers.

Southeastern’s Engineering Director, Mark Johnson said: “We are working to build a better, more reliable, and sustainable railway and providing clean trains in good condition is a key part of that goal. Our first train presentation Centre of Excellence is going to help set new standards, improve customer satisfaction and ultimately, deliver better journeys.”

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