Greater Anglia has invested more than £23 000 in an Eco Bot 50 cleaning robot for use on the platforms and concourses at Stansted Airport station. It is fitted with more than 20 sensors and cameras so it can avoid obstacles and prevent collisions, does not require any human intervention, and automatically returns to its charging point when the battery is low. ‘This innovative piece of equipment has allowed for the cleaning of the concourse to take place overnight, providing our operatives additional time to clean high touch point areas such as the toilets and waiting rooms’, said Alex Orr, Head of Operations at contractor Carlisle Cleaning.
Clapham Junction, Guildford, London Bridge and London Cannon Street, Charing Cross, Victoria and Waterloo stations now offer the SignLive video call sign language interpretation service, and have RoomMate wall mounted electronic devices in accessible toilets which provide visually impaired passengers with a bespoke audio description of the location of the toilet, flush and hand basin to help them use the facility safely and independently.
Network Rail has awarded specialist gauging software company D/Gauge a contract to provide clearance assessments for the entire network.
After French politicians backed a measure which would restrict the use of short-haul flights within France where the same journey can be made by rail in under 2½ h, RSSB’s Director of Sustainable Development George Davies said ‘this is the sort of intervention we should be aspiring to in the UK. To make this happen here we need a similar commitment to high speed rail to release capacity for lower carbon journeys, and to electrification to make train travel even greener.’
Grand Central now offers reservations up to six months in advance. ‘While our trains were in hibernation we used that time to engage with our passengers and communities and this is one of the things they told us they wanted — the flexibility to plan and book their journeys well ahead and benefit from our great value discounted fares. That opportunity is now available through the Grand Central website and telesales service’, said Commercial & Customer Policy Director Louise Blyth.
LNER is providing 16 to 24-year olds with work experience through six-month job placements as part of the Department for Work & Pensions’ Kickstart Scheme. ‘The last year has been an incredibly challenging time for young people who are just starting out in the world of work’, said Craig Laughton, LNER’s Head of Learning Experience. ‘We therefore jumped at the chance to create opportunities as part of the Kickstart scheme, introducing young people to the wide variety of different professions in the rail industry and providing them with new experience and skills that will aid them in their future career.’ People interested in taking part should speak to their Jobcentre Plus Work Coach.
Paul Watson has been appointed Operations Director at Eave, which has developed smart ear defenders for railway workers. Customers include HS2 Ltd, Galliford Try, Costain, Skanska, Ferrovial, VolkerLaser, LendLease and BAM Nuttall.
Northern is working with Specialist Autism Services to make Leeds, Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Victoria stations into autism friendly hubs. The 12-month programme will include staff training, while detailed line guides can be downloaded to help people prepare for travel. ‘We want to make our trains and our wider network as accessible as possible, and this programme is the next step in the journey to deliver a Northern that works for everyone’, said Commercial & Customer Director Mark Powles.