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Call for action on 'disgusting habit'

Published 19th March, 2015 by Neil Nixon

Call for action on 'disgusting habit'

The chairman of the company behind the first 'airline style' equipment for emptying on-board train toilets has condemned the 'antiquated' practice of dumping toilet sewage directly onto railway tracks. Harvey Alexander, chairman of Smith Brothers & Webb, said he could hardly believe that raw sewage was still being deposited on railway lines in the 21st century without any safeguards for railway workers or the public.

“Quite frankly, it beggars belief that raw sewage is being sprayed out along railway lines in this day and age and causing an unspeakable mess,” said Alexander. “Let's not forget that if a train is travelling at speed and the wind is strong then toilet spray from a train can be thrown out in a smelly cloud that can land on rail workers at the side of the track - it is absolutely disgusting. And rail workers are not the only people at risk - there has been at least one instance of train toilet waste spraying over the garden of a house that was simply adjacent to a rail line where old-fashioned rolling stock was running. It is time this antiquated practice is abolished. You wouldn't want to be drenched with toilet spray and neither would I. Rail companies should invest in upgrades to fit modern toilet systems onto old rolling stock, with on-board tanks for toilet waste that can be hygienically emptied at their depots.”

The BBC documentary programme Inside Out revealed recently that one in 10 of the UK's train carriages deposit toilet waste straight out onto the tracks, leading to potential public health risks from the sewage.

Smith Brothers & Webb claims to have made a breakthrough in the technology for emptying on-board train toilet tanks. It is the first in the world to use 'airline style' technology to make its contained effluent transfer (CET) systems three times faster than conventional models at emptying train sewage tanks. “It's a high speed solution for high speed trains, and equally it is a high speed solution for slower trains,” said Alexander. &rdqrdquo;Our CETs make it easy for operators to empty their on-board sewage tanks quickly with minimal downtime. They make it easier for train operating companies to run trains with modern toilet facilities to a tight timetable.”

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