Don’t accept mucky train seat covers

28 September 2018


Nobody wants to sit on dirty seat covers, but the Autumn and Winter months in the UK throw up some big challenges for train operators. But come rain, shine, wind or snow we’ll still be cleaning seat covers…

Who doesn’t love those autumnal colours? Fabulous. However, forget leaves on the tracks for a moment – that stunning red, gold, brown and yellow foliage means issues for rail carriages. It looks great until it mushes down, sticks to shoes, trousers and bags.

And let’s not forget the dirt and grime that also follows passengers onto trains. The paying rail customers don’t mean to bring nature along for the ride, but it’s hard to avoid the stuff when you’re rushing for a train in an early morning downpour.

Then, along with the inconsiderate minority who still put feet on seats, some leaves and muck finds its way onto those covers.

That’s no problem to workers in protective clothing, often accustomed to such conditions. But anyone in suits, those heading to an important meeting, or parents with young kids won’t want a close-up brush with Mother Nature.

There’s also the issue of hygiene. The unseen, the germs that lurk below, or come in with the leafy debris. Let’s face it, dogs don’t discriminate where they go about their business! That gets passed on, whether it’s the bottom of our shoes, crisp packets or fallen leaves.

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Keeping train seat covers clean

TBM knows a thing or two about cleaning train seat covers. We offer many other passenger comfort services to rail fleet operators, but seats are one of the first things that people notice when they catch a train.

Most of us look for a seat when we enter a carriage. It’s hard enough during peak hours, but to find an empty space only to notice that the seat is dirty and unhygienic will leave a lasting impression – and not a good one!

Such memories regularly pop-up when customers are asked to complete railway questionnaires, such as the National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) that Transport Focus completes every six months.   

There is no quick fix. However, some operators have embraced ongoing maintenance. That means building seat cleaning into daily/weekly and monthly maintenance plans.

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TBM partners rail operators

TBM receives batches of seat mechanisms and seat covers from rail franchise operators every day. Some are heavily soiled (dirt, coffee, leaves, blood, sick… you name it) and some look okay, but you can be sure there are germs in there somewhere.

Let’s face it, these seats get some serious use. So we treat them all the same and give them the full TBM process. There’s a quickie video to give you and idea… HERE. 

We’ve been offering top-quality cleaning using industrial dry-clean machines for many years. We know the quirks, we know how to check the safety and integrity of covers, and we know how to tackle those stubborn stains that a quick jet-wash will never properly remove.

We’re good at it. We do a thorough job.

What this means is that train operators that keep on top of seat cover cleaning have carriages that look better.

You have to be sensible about these things, as it’s almost impossible keeping hundreds of seats in pristine condition when thousands of passengers use them each day, and the British weather must also be considered.

But, when you make an ongoing effort, the on-board standards for passengers remain high. That’s reflected in those NRPS scores!

If you’d like more information about what TBM can offer your fleet please call 0844 800 8577 or email [email protected] for further details.

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