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Cutting costs not corners T

rain reliability is at the heart of the railway industry, but in order to achieve this, rolling stock must be kept in good working order and regular maintenance, including cleaning, is essential. However, the aerodynamic nature of rolling stock means that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep it in pristine condition and therefore effective cleaning can prove to be very expensive.

There are a range of modular solutions available that are designed to suit the individual requirements of the location and the contours of a range of rolling stock profiles. The flexibility of the design allows for a number of configurations which include drive through or stationary cleaning or a combination of both, together with front and rear cleaning. Each bespoke system makes efficient use of the space available and can be configured for single or bi- directional washing.

However, one element that is just as important is water recycling and treatment, which can provide savings of up to 60% by recovering water from the wash apron, treating it and using it again for the wash cycle.

Water recycling

Reducing the cost of cleaning is just one of the reasons why Garrandale developed the new train wash system, because the original design hadn’t been specifically developed for a

38 | rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 13

customer with a need to reduce the flow of water from their site into the local authority system. This is a common problem in many areas and, while developing a solution to meet their needs, we looked into storing the water so that it could be discharged over a period of time.

This research led to the development of our water recycling system which, through the installation of a series of filters, could clean the water that was being stored ready to re-use in the cleaning process.

The entire cleaning cycle is now carried out in three stages. The first, which includes the application of the detergent, uses fresh water. The recycled water is then used in stage two for rinsing away the detergent.

The final rinse then uses fresh water to ensure a streak free finish. Waste water is collected from the apron after every cleaning cycle, filtered and re-used providing significant savings over cleaning systems which use fresh water for every cycle.

Engineered solution

Garrandale has managed to provide an ROI of two years at certain locations, after which time considerable savings can be accrued. But whilst the obvious benefit of this solution is the cost savings for the operator, there are many other reasons why this is becoming the system of

choice – the most notable being that it can be custom designed to suit any existing location and equipment.

As with many of the solutions that Garrandale supplies to the rail industry, our water recycling system does not adopt a ‘one size fits all’ approach and we are able to draw upon on our engineering expertise to develop a system which meets the needs of each individual site and operator. These solutions can be designed around an existing site and train wash equipment, or the entire system can be custom designed to suit a new facility.

The water recycling system can also be customised for individual rolling stock profiles as our engineers will carry out a full survey prior to design, taking into account the location, rolling stock and the configuration of the cleaning system.

The need to reduce costs in the rail industry is constant but that doesn’t mean that you need to cut corners because water recycling will provide those savings, whilst ensuring that rolling stock remains in the same pristine condition as the day it was rolled out of the factory.


Every year train operating companies spend millions of pounds washing trains in a bid to keep rolling stock in pristine condition – money which is simply washed down the drain. But there is a more cost effective solution, as David Bowmar from Garrandale explains.

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