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Anti-flu spray could be used on UK's trains

PA / Jon Land | October 23 2006

Main line and Tube trains and stations could be sprayed with a powerful new anti-flu disinfectant, it was revealed today.

The non-toxic disinfectant, called nano silver-titanium dioxide coating (NSTDC), is being introduced on the Hong Kong metro rail system by the MTR company.

MTR is part of a consortium bidding for two new UK rail franchises - London Rail and West Midlands.

MTR said today it would monitor the progress of NSTDC in Hong Kong and this would be reflected in its plans for the UK.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman said: "TfL, including London Underground, has developed plans for dealing with flu in close consultation with the Government and other agencies.

"We are in regular contact with other metro networks from cities around the world, including MTR in Hong Kong, and we share the best practice and technological innovations. We would, of course, be interested in any measures which could be shown to be effective."

MTR is using NSTDC on all of its trains and stations. The special nano coating will be applied to all surfaces touched by its daily 2.5 million commuters in Hong Kong.

The NSTDC disinfectant, which has been certified as effective in killing a wide range of bacteria, viruses and mould including the H1N1 flu virus, will be used on escalator handrails, the buttons on ticket issuing machines, Add Value Machines, as well as buttons and handrails in lifts within MTR's stations.

Inside the company's train carriages, the extra protection will be applied to all grab poles and strap hangers.

George Lee, MTR corporation safety and quality manager, said: "Germs and diseases are most commonly transmitted through the hands. They pick up bacteria from public surfaces which may then be passed into our bodies if we rub our eyes, nose or mouth before washing our hands.

"This latest innovation is part of MTR's focus on continuous improvement and innovation through the use of new processes and new materials, in order to provide a better and safer service for our customers. We will obviously be monitoring the progress of this and reflect this in plans put forward here in Europe."


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