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Mechanized Cleaning of Coaches in depot (DRC) during primary maintenance- (BBQ model)- ::

Coaches of different types viz, AC coaches, Non-AC coaches including pantry cars, power cars, inspection carriages, tourist cars etc. are cleaned intensively both internally & externally with exposed fittings in maintenance depots of the railways at originating end.

On an average a train (rake) has to run more than 20 hours a day and generally returns home after 4 to 5 days especially in case of long distance traffic. More than 60 to 70 passengers’ use facilities in a coach continuously for many hours and by the time it returns back home, it is extremely dirty. Floor is mucked, toilets are stinking, berths are full of stains etc. It is believed that once a thorough cleaning is done before departure, the train is likely to remain clean for quite a distance. That means each & every items fitted in the coaches needs to be cleaned thoroughly with the help of good cleaning agents, tools and equipments. This is called “Primary Maintenance”. Similarly coaches/rakes are maintained at terminating end by foreign railway which is termed as “Secondary Maintenance”.

A full rake comprising of various types of coaches is cleaned during primary maintenance on Pit lines /Washing lines using installed hydrant line, electrical lines, cleaning equipments, tools, tackles etc. Two of the Southern Railway’s most prestigious and long distance trains viz. TN Express and GT Express were given to us under private branding of Eureka Forbes Limited at Basin Bridge Maintenance Depot, Chennai for Southern Railway in 2006. The scope of work was to design & develop service benchmarks for mechanized coach cleaning and also develop mechanism to verify service quality. On completion of this pilot project, TN & GT express trains were established as most cleaned trains in Indian Railways by independent passenger survey.A detailed project specifications with defined processes, verifiable parameters and service guarantee was developed and handed over to Southern Railway on behalf of which was then circulated from Railway Board to all the other Railways for replicating. This service product design is called “Depot Rake Cleaning”.

Mechanized cleaning of Primary & Secondary coaches in depot is a step-by-step sequential process of cleaning and is required to be measured in terms of each of these service activities by the inspecting representative.


Service Design:

  • The rake is divided into no. of workstations with each workstation comprising of 6 coaches.
  • The service processes are performed simultaneously in each of this workstation and events are recorded.
  • There are 20 activities defined sequentially in order of its weight age on customer perception of cleaning. Each activity is assigned as weight The activities are specifically defined for each coach type viz. AC, Non-AC and Pantry car.
  • The activities take place simultaneously both inside and outside of the coach.
  • Each workstation activities are monitored and controlled Workstation Supervisor also called WSS.
  • The Labour deployed for cleaning are designated as “Jet Cleaner”, “Floor Cleaner”, “Vacuum Drier”, “Wall Cleaner”, “Berth Cleaner”, “Toilet Cleaner” etc.
  • The manpower is deployed @ 1.0 per coach for primary coaches and @0.5 per coach for secondary coaches.
  • A set of cleaning equipments comprising of 1 portable high pressure water jet cleaner, 1 portable mini single disc floor scrubber and 1 wet & dry vacuum cleaner is deployed on each of these workstations.
  • 1 set of these equipments are kept as standby for any breakdown.
  • HP jet with regulated pressure is used for cleaning of exterior panels, undercarriage and end panels.
  • Single disc scrubber is used for scrubbing of floor inside coach i.e. PVC and aluminum chequered floor.
  • Wet & Dry Vacuum Cleaner is used for drying floor areas including toilets.
  • Necessary infrastructure facilities are created for availability of water & electricity on the washing line.
  • Garbage is collected and segregated in polybags for bio and non-bio waste. These polybags are then disposed off to nominated garbage bin in depot.
  • To be eligible for payment for a coach, the service provider should be able to complete all the 20 activities as defined in the charts.
  • Each activity has been assigned a weight depending upon its importance for passenger satisfaction. The weights are assigned purely on the importance of that activity from the passengers’ perception of service quality.
  • Each activity is then multiplied with a factor of 10. The sum total of a coach is then treated as performance score in percentage.
  • A perfectly cleaned coach is defined as the one, which has got the rating of 100% on each of the 20 activities performed during the cleaning service process.
  • The processes are defined step by step in service process flow chart and each of them are important for achieving overall service quality.
  • Railway nominated representative shall check the service quality based on the processes followed by the service provider in cleaning the coach.
  • The scores for each coach is recorded in a separate card and a total is made for the no. of coaches cleaned.
  • The payment shall be made per coach basis and therefore only those payments will be allowed whose scores are 80% and above.
  • A comprehensive coach wise work execution card will be duly filled for the measurement of cleaning processes by each workstation supervisors for the day as “Process Measuring Card” format.
  • The final score card will be recorded in the score card for the given rake from these process measuring cards.
  • Services are perishable, produced and consumed simultaneously by the user. Quality of services can be guaranteed if each process in the service delivery system is checked and measured. Resources required to deliver cleaning services are equipments, technology, Labour, consumables, chemicals all these contribute to final quality.
  • Cleaning services being highly intangible in nature, the results are measured in terms of sequential step by step mechanized processes. For a good service quality every element of cleaning services such as Labour skill, supervisor, equipment, chemicals, tools etc are important and therefore quality of services can be guaranteed by checking following parameters periodically.
    1. The quality of cleaning should not affect the glossiness of the parent material or the paint whichever applicable.
    2. On physical verification, no stains, spots, marks, pasted labels and any other substance should be found on the surface area inside or outside.
    3. Cleaning agent used for different surfaces should not affect the glossiness of surface on the exterior of coach. Whatever chemicals fall on the exterior of coach should be wiped thoroughly.
    4. The quality of cleaning for the interior wall panels, PVC floor, seats/berths should be checked with the help of a “WHITE CLOTH” so that when wiped should not show any traces of dry dust on the cloth.
    5. The stainless steel items, which are not polished with metal paste, should not have any dry marks of water.
    6. No water marks should be visible on any glass surface.
    7. The inside roof portion of the coach also should be free from dust, dirt, cobwebs etc. When wiped with white cloth, it should not show any traces of dust on the cloth.
    8. The Aluminum chequered plates should be free from all types of muck and other substances. It shall be shining.
    9. The pantry cars, storeroom racks, walls, kitchen room, partition meshes, grills, gas room etc should be free from oil & greasy surfaces.

This product is denoted with an arrow showing downwards () indicating train is at halt for long hours and is at rest. The colour fill is yellow which indicates knowledge, which was gained in first project and expanded further in the interest of passengers. This was the second “service product” designed by us.

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