February 2011 in London Underground
A Train Operator raises concerns about the lack of regular cleaning of Piccadilly Line trains which can cause visibility problems. As can be seen in the picture below, the front windscreen of the cabs are very dirty preventing a clear view of the track and Platform Train Interface (PTI) monitors used in dispatch.
Operators are unable to see through the dirty areas of the windscreen which makes viewing PTIs difficult. There is the risk that Operators are unable to see and respond to any passenger safety issues, such as someone falling between the train and platform.
The problem is more pronounced during the winter months and in variable lighting, such as at sunrise. It is unclear if there is a procedure in place for how regularly the windscreens should be cleaned. Although new train stock has in-built screen washers, the older carriages require regular manual cleaning.
Could Tube Lines:
Tube Lines would like to thank the reporter for bringing this to our attention and hope that the following information will help to reassure that Tube Lines maintain a high level of cleaning on our trains.
The main areas to address this issue would be within the four main cleaning drivers and elements shown below.
24 hour clean (daily):
Mini clean (every 14 days):
Deep clean (every 42 days):
Target clean (average every 7 days):
Each of these activities target the cleanliness of the rolling stocks windows. The only external cab window clean however, is on the deep clean which is at a frequency of 42 days. We do also attempt to clean externally the cab windows when the trains are stabled in the middle section at Cockfosters depot, but this is an ad-hoc process as we are restricted in location to carry this out. A safe system working practice is being developed in order to allow more cleaning of the external surfaces in various locations outside of the sheds. There are approximately ten trains completed in the current process.
Piccadilly Line fleet carry out several inspections both in and out of service and key performance indicators are monitored for external and internal cleanliness. This is to mimic the mystery shopper survey scoring platform and identify any rogue trains that may require target cleaning outside of its frequency.
We do of course have the train wash (same as a car wash just bigger for a train), in which the frequency for external clean is within every five days. However, the train wash will not work below three degrees as a safety feature. During the inclement cold weather snap, the train wash was not working through this safety feature. This was further compounded by the train wash water supply pipe bursting, as another result of the weather. This meant that no trains were being externally cleaned by the train wash from the 21 December 2010 to 13 January 2011, which was the maintenance time to supply and fit the necessary parts to the train wash.
Piccadilly Line fleet also carry out liaison activities with LUL at both their tier one health and safety meeting and the depot liaison meeting, which was set up to identify such issues, hopefully we can increase the communication regarding this issue. Tube Lines will be are holding a couple of road shows and will ensure that cleaning is part of this. Moving forward in light of this issue, Tube Lines will be introducing the cab window exterior as a key focus for the target clean. When a window is identified, until we have made other arrangements, the train will be moved into a suitable position for the exterior of the window to be cleaned.