Railway Revolution: Railways To Introduce High-Tech Odour Detectors To Ensure Cleaner Train Journeys

These measures aim to enhance passenger comfort and safety while travelling.

by Mallika Khurana
Railway Revolution: Railways To Introduce High-Tech Odour Detectors To Ensure Cleaner Train Journeys

The Indian Railways is taking several measures to address the persistent problem of smelly trains and unpleasant odours at stations, which is a common complaint among passengers. In response to numerous grievances received through the Rail Madad app, the Railway Board has decided to explore the use of innovative technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), new chemicals, and updated watering systems.

Indian Railways Tests New Tech To Fight Smelly Trains

Photo Credits: Canva

A recent meeting of senior railway officials discussed these complaints and possible solutions, according to the Economic Times reports. As part of their strategy, the Railway Board is considering using IoT-based technology to detect foul odours in trains. A Mumbai-based startup, Viliso Technologies, has developed a promising technology for odour monitoring that will be tested in some train coaches, including Linke Hofmann Busch and Integral Coach Factory variants. This will also allow officials to evaluate the effectiveness of the existing housekeeping services and maintenance systems on board.

For the newer premium Vande Bharat sleeper variant trains, the Indian Railways has introduced ergonomic toilet designs to minimize unpleasant odours. These trains also offer passengers amenities like a hot water shower in the first-class AC cars. In addition to modern technology and new designs, traditional cleaning methods are also being updated. 

The Railway Board has recommended using Clonon concentrate, a chemical cleaning product that targets odour-releasing bacteria, for cleaning train toilets, platforms, and offices. This recommendation follows a proposal by Dimple Chemicals & Services, a company based in Pune.

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Plan To Tackle Odour Issues And Improve Passenger Experience

train station
Photo Credits: Canva

To further improve passenger comfort and address the odour issue, the Indian Railways is also examining its coach watering systems. Proper watering is essential to ensure that toilets and washbasins function effectively for passengers. However, there is a need for better infrastructure and pathways to allow workers to access the coaches during the water-filling process. According to the Economic Times, the Centre for Advanced Maintenance Technology (CAMTECH) suggests increasing the water filling time from 10 to 15 minutes per train rake to allow for better service and safety. Despite these efforts and recommendations, the implementation of these measures varies across different zones. 

By upgrading its methods and facilities, the Indian Railways aims to enhance the overall passenger experience and resolve the complaints of smelly trains and stations.

Cover Image Courtesy: Canva