Toilet, Tanks, and Pipes Overhaul

06 January 2017

Keeping train toilets operational is essential to ensure passenger comfort. TBM Rail has successfully designed, fitted, overhauled, serviced and maintained toilet systems for most of the UK rail fleets. This has been done from the Crewe base, or at maintenance depots located around the country.

Passenger survey results confirm that the closure of train toilets causes annoyance and frustration to rail customers. National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS) scores also play an increasingly important role in influencing rail franchise decisions. Put simply, Train Operating Companies (TOCs) cannot ignore the issue of unreliable or unavailable train toilet facilities.

There is an obvious solution: regular maintenance of train toilets.


The servicing of Controlled Emission Toilets (CETs), storage tanks and the replacement of key pipes and other parts is the only way to achieve increased reliability of train toilet systems. Although many operators regularly flush through pipes with water, this will not help to remove the longer-term build-up of deposits on the pipes and other vital parts.

Eventually, the toilet systems will fail and sensors will keep facilities locked to the travelling public. Scheduled maintenance throughout the year will mean passenger services remain open longer.

TBM Rail overhauls a range of train toilet systems, including Evac Compact and 2000, Temoinsa, Semlet K and Dewald units. Our technicians remove and later reinstall the tanks after extensive testing. The toilet units are serviced, cleaned and descaled using acid-based solutions. The fluids are safe and fully compliant with the latest EU regulations. Each seal and gaskets is assessed and replaced where appropriate, and the tank insulation is also replaced when required. The parts, tank and pipes are then pressure-tested before refit. This complete overhaul service is done on a seven-day turnaround.

For urgent requirements, TBM Rail also has a mobile cleaning unit that can be transported to customers at rail depots around the country. The powerful RWR cleaners can be used to remove blockages and keep on top of lime-scale and any build-up of other deposits.


During the overhaul process, TBM Rail strips down all components connected to the train toilet system. Our team replaces flush nozzles, values, and each section of pipe work. Each component is thoroughly cleaned using the industrial washer, containing citric-based fluid. The main storage tank and linked pipework goes through the acid wash.

TBM Rail is fully approved to move hazardous solutions to the rail depots where acids are used in the cleaning process. We then return acids to the Crewe base, where approved companies collect and dispose of the used solutions safely.

Feedback from TBM Rail clients confirms that the toilet tanks and associated piping that has been overhauled is between 75% and 90% more efficient than units that have not been serviced for five years or more. For TOCs, one of the criteria of franchise operation is that non-critical parts should be overhauled and maintained every five years, in line with OEM specifications.

Overhauling toilet systems is costly, but the longer-term benefits are immense. TBM Rail has the facilities at Crewe to service large numbers of units, and the mobile team and equipment is available to carry out installations, overhauls and servicing at TOC depots across the UK.

TBM Rail offers a range of options that can help train operators keep toilets open for use, meaning that rail customers enjoy journeys in comfort. That results in increased satisfaction, great feedback and ultimately translates into better survey data that can affect franchise renewal decisions.

For more information about TBM Rail’s toilet overhaul service call 0844-8008577 or email [email protected]

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