Minister calls for human waste train dumping to stop
A transport minister has called on train operating companies to stop dropping human waste on railway tracks.
Susan Kramer has branded the process as 'utterly disgusting', joining the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) in demanding action.
The organisation has said the practice is a health risk.
Speaking in the House of Lords, Kramer said:
“This is just utterly disgusting and I think it does speak to the fact that customer service has not always been at the centre of railways because customers I think are very concerned about this issue."
Responding to the call from Kramer, companies have said that trains built without their own on-board toilet tanks were already being slowly phased out; the modern replacements see waste being removed by pump when the vehicle arrives in the depot.
Old rolling stock continues the practice however, leaving Bob Crow from the RMT to say:
“Not only is it a filthy way of disposing of effluent, but it also poses real health risks and dangers for RMT members out there working on the tracks”
Track workers dealing with the issue have no choice but to wear PPE clothing.
The issue was also raised in parliament by Judith Wilcox. Speaking 20 years after rail was privatised, she said:
"I am very sorry to see that still we have raw sewage going out on to the lines.
"It is a terrible thing to see after all these years since November 5, 1993 that we should still be doing that."
Mainline InterCity 125 trains are being replaced from 2017, but the issue will still remain in regards to local diesel trains.