Ultraviolet lamps for tram disinfection

Railway operators in Poland are tackling the coronavirus pandemic by implementing various, sometimes extraordinary, solutions. Meanwhile, the public transport companies are also trying to keep pace with the trend. Among them is MPK Kraków that has begun to disinfect its trams by using ultraviolet lamps.

To test the solution, MPK Kraków has chosen several types of trams and buses. For several weeks, the municipal transport company will disinfect them with ultraviolet lamps paying special attention to those elements touched by passengers (buttons, handrails, handles, ticket validators and ticket vending machines). MPK Kraków applies eight ultraviolet lamps “UVC PERUN” supplied by Polish company EKO-Technika Jędrzej Zawadzki. These devices have already proved the efficiency in removing bacteria and viruses at the hospitals.

Two stages

The disinfection takes place every day in a separated section of Podgórze tram depot due to safety reasons (ultraviolet waves are harmful to human skin and eyes). One ultraviolet lamp has a wavelength of 254 nanometres. Due to the dimensions of trams (including a length of 26 metres), their cleaning from the viruses is divided into two stages. Initially, the lamps are installed in the front part of a tram, then in its back part. The disinfection process in each part lasts for 7 minutes.

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Disinfecting a tram stop in Kraków, source: MPK Kraków

Other measures

Moreover, MPK Kraków has implemented the other measures to fight against the virus spread. Of course, the public transport company reduced the tram and bus traffic on the streets of Kraków. Since the mid-March, they are running according to the Saturday timetable. MPK Kraków has been disinfecting its entire fleet and the stops around the city. It also provided its staff with several recommendations.

The tram and bus drivers are required to open doors on each tram and bus stops, including those on request. They are also committed to keeping the door opened at the termini in order to ventilate the vehicles. Starting from 4 April, the tram and bus drivers do not switch on the air-conditioning systems. The latter measure was temporarily introduced in accordance with the recommendation of the Powiat (County) Sanitary Inspector in Kraków.

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Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko is editor of online trade magazines RailTech.com and RailFreight.com.

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