Keeping rail passenger facilities open

19 September 2016

Speak to most rail users, or take a look at the latest passenger survey results, and it’s obvious that the closure of train toilets causes frustration – and that’s putting it mildly.

TBM Rail provides workshop-based and mobile cleaning services to address the problems that cause train toilets to become out of use.

Closed, unhygienic and poorly serviced toilets all result in decreased customer satisfaction. That’s bad for business, and with social media embraced by most mobile phone users those negative stories spread quickly.

What usually makes matters worse for travellers is the lack of information. That’s not down to ill-informed staff on the UK train franchises, as most rail companies ensure that their employees provide service details as frequently as possible. Still, customers are – quite literally – desperate for information.

So why are toilets out of action?

Many train toilet closures are often down to health and safety considerations. If there is a blockage in the pipes, or the storage tank is nearly full, an automatic sensor ensures that the doors to the toilet remain locked. That’s inconvenient, but it ensures passenger safety.

We have all been there. A long journey ahead and one, sometimes two toilets on a busy service stay closed – and there is rarely time to jump off at stations to get to the toilet.


What can be done?

The answer is regular, effective maintenance of train toilets, the servicing of tanks and the replacement of vital pieces of hardware that keep the intricate mechanisms working efficiently. And that doesn’t mean simply flushing pipes with water. It often needs much more than that.

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


TBM Rail’s toilet services

So what does TBM actually do? The workshop at Crewe (Cheshire) is centrally located to serve the rail network quickly. It is equipped to take toilet systems from all train types deployed by UK operators. The experienced technicians at TBM Rail provide the necessary expertise to remove and later reinstall the tanks. The toilet units are cleaned and descaled using acid-based solutions that get the pipe work looking like new. Don’t worry, they are safe and fully compliant with the latest regulations.

Crucially, the build-up of deposits is removed – and that means that blockages are less likely to occur. Seals, gaskets and tank insulation is assessed and replaced where appropriate. The tanks and pipes are then pressure tested before being returned for refit – and TBM Rail operates the complete overhaul service on a seven-day turnaround.


For those more immediate requirements, TBM Rail also has a mobile unit that can be taken direct to customers at rail depots around the country. The powerful RWR cleaners can be used regularly to clear blockages and keep on top of lime-scale and any build-up of gases.

The summer months that bring warmer weather often result in increased build-up of deposits. That leads to blockages, awful smells on active train services, and it can mean toilet closures. Regular cleaning during the summer, plus scheduled maintenance across the winter months will mean passenger services remain open longer.

Making use of the expertise and bespoke equipment offered by TBM Rail is a cost-effective solution for rail operators looking to achieve better customer satisfaction.

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

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