Freeloading pigeon has new role on Brighton line trains

Pigeon fare dodger image by Robert MacMillan (via Shutterstock).
A fare dodging pigeon waiting for the 1652 to Marlow at Cookham station. We think. Image by Robert MacMillan (via Shutterstock).

Whether you leave your train at Liverpool Lime Street, or any of the Manchester stations, the next people you notice on leaving the train are the ticket barrier staff. Northern and Merseyrail hire Revenue Protection Officers from an external body and stop fare dodgers from freeloading. In the animal kingdom, only those of the winged or small furry variety can negotiate their way past the ticket barriers. With the former, pretty straightforward. Especially when you happen to be a pigeon without a Season Ticket or a Permit To Travel.

Continue reading “Fare Dodging Pigeon Cleans Trains”

As air fresheners are added to Washington Metro trains, should we be adding Shake ’n’ Vac to the 0745 from Southport?

Class 150 Sprinter DMU interior image by Peter Skuce (Creative Commons License: Attribution-Share Alike)

Before the smoking ban in 2007, many public transport concerns prohibited smoking on its trains, trams, and buses.  Apart from the fact it meant smelling of smoke on your commute, its dangers are well documented.  Smelly food can also be a bete noire for travellers.  With this possibility, Washington Metro have proposed a radical solution: air fresheners on trains. Continue reading “Should Air Fresheners Be Added To Trains?”

How eight Mumbai teenagers created a new approach to train cleaning

Mumbai Train Line
Thanks to eight teenagers, the daily commute to Mumbai could be cleaner. Image by Albert Bonjoch (via Shutterstock).

It’s a late Saturday afternoon aboard the Liverpool Lime Street train to Wigan North Western. After its return journey, the train’s next stop will be Allerton depot, where it will be cleaned for the next shift. It is strewn with litter from doorway to fold-up table. With bits of newspaper and drinks cans sharing the third carriage with St. Helens Central bound passengers. These days could be over, thanks to eight Mumbai teenagers who have created a novel approach to train cleaning.

Their invention hasn’t only impressed engineers; it has been seen by India’s railway minister, Suresh Prabhu. The teenagers, aged 12 to 14 years old, have invented a system where rubbish can be deposited through a vent. Their system has split vents in each compartment of the coach. With a foot pedal, passengers can deposit their waste into the vents. Then the refuse would be sucked up by a system similar to a vacuum cleaner. Having attracted the interest of India’s railway minister, it aims to make train cleaning easier.

The rubbish is sucked in with the vacuum system, where it is collected in waste chambers underneath the coach. Each coach will have three waste collection chambers. The students estimated that each passenger generates five litres of waste. For example, a British Rail Mark III coach (74 standard class seats) would potentially carry 370 litres of waste – slightly more than a small wheelie bin.

In the UK, our trains tend to have litter bins beside the doors. Our use of saloon style carriages rather than compartments could make installation difficult. Installing a similar system where most carriages have airline seating would make for tighter legroom (which is no good for tall passengers). On a diesel multiple unit (such as those seen on the Wigan Wallgate to Southport route) this would mean less space for its underfloor engines.
Clean Hire, 22 February 2017.

Some straightforward tips on getting the better of leaf fall season

Autumn leaves image by Moomusician (via Shutterstock).
Autumn leaves image by Moomusician (via Shutterstock).

To many of us, this is autumn.  In rail speak, autumn is known as The Leaf Fall Season.  We have all heard about the ‘leaves on the line’ comment for the best part of three decades.  From St. Helens Junction to Georgemas Junction, or Liverpool Lime Street to Birchwood and Selly Oak, it’s the bane of railways.  As a consequence, the leaf fall season has an effect on timetables. Continue reading “The Leaf Fall Season: Infographic”