Deutsche Bahn to double cleaners on trains and make station toilets free
Germany's national rail company is taking a number of measures to improve its cleanliness amid the coronavirus pandemic, including hiring more cleaners and making WCs at some stations around the country free of charge.
The number of cleaning staff on trains is set to double to 500 by July, according to a report on Tuesday by the Funke Media Group. By August, a total of 600 of these “en-route cleaners” will be staffed in trains travelling throughout Germany.
In total, Deutsche Bahn employs 4,300 cleaners, both on board and on the ground at its stations around Germany.
The en-route cleaners are tasked with cleaning and disinfecting contact surfaces such as door handles, grips and handrails during the train journey, as well as the toilet facilities, according to the report.
The company also purchased 19 million face masks, which it is selling at the on-board bistro of long-distance trains for €1.50 each.
Deutsche Bahn is also planning on cleaning up its act at its train stations, according to the report. It will install disinfectant dispensers at around 180 stations and 150 service stores in the coming months.
In addition, the WCs at the 20 largest stations - such as Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Frankfurt or Cologne - will also be free to access for anyone. They typically cost 50 cents to €1 to enter.
At stations, ticket and snack machines in particular are cleaned frequently. In addition, all long-distance trains are therefore cleaned and disinfected before they are used in the factories.
"We are cleaning our trains and stations more than ever before," said Berthold Huber, a member of Deutsche Bahn’s management board, to the Funke Media Group.
"At the same time, we are asking our passengers for their help. If everyone keeps to the rules of hygiene and masks, everyone will reach their destination healthy and safe."
Deutsche Bahn has been hit particularly hard by the corona crisis, with the company reporting an 85 percent drop in passenger numbers in April. However, the company has received a multibillion-euro-rescue package from the government to weather the effects of the crisis.
en-route cleaner - (die) Unterwegsreiniger
door handles - (die) Türdrücker
handrails - (die) Haltestangen
cleaned frequently - häufig geputzt
We're aiming to help our readers improve their German by translating vocabulary from some of our news stories. Did you find this article useful? Let us know.