Author Topic: Trains during the pandemic  (Read 865 times)

Fambo Number Mive

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Trains during the pandemic
« on: April 05, 2021, 05:50:07 PM »
I might need to take a train for an essential reason later this month. The journey is around 1 hour each way.

How safe are trains during the pandemic?

I've recently found out my blood pressure is a bit high so I need to be very careful I don't get COVID. I double mask and carry lots of hand sanitiser with me when I go out, but as you can't open the windows on trains unlike buses (and the doors don't automatically open at each station) I am somewhat worried. I haven't been jabbed.

Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2021, 08:55:30 PM »
If it helps set your mind at ease at all, I have quite a few mates who've had to get public transport in central London every day for work throughout the pandemic, and haven't had COVID (well, I guess it's possible they've had it asymptomatically, but a few of them have had regular tests which have always been negative). My flatmate had a daily hour-long commute either way on the Northern Line last year, and to my knowledge she never had it.

Re: "how safe are trains?" I'd imagine that depends partly on what the route is, what the carriages are like, how busy it normally gets, etc. If it's normally a commuter route or there are popular connections along the way, you may want to travel off-peak if it's possible to have any flexibility over when you make the journey, and depending on the frequency of trains, maybe allow yourself time to get on the next train or at least walk to the next carriage if it feels uncomfortably full (I suppose I'm thinking of the London Underground where trains are every few minutes, but obviously that advice isn't much use if trains are only once an hour).

I haven't had to get public transport regularly, but when I have done I tend to stand rather than sit (as I find it's easier to maintain distance/move away from someone if needed), but I appreciate that's not possible for everyone, and also an hour is a long time to be standing for anyone.

I think double-masking and distancing from other passengers as far as possible are wise precautions, but I'd try not to worry too much. I'm sure anyone here who actually has had to travel regularly throughout this thing can offer more helpful advice, though.

Ted-Maul

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Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2021, 09:11:30 PM »
There was a long period last year were most trains were running basically empty but i think you've missed that now and trains (round here at least) are starting to fill up again. Trains are bigger though and theres more space to move around and go and stand away from everyone

Some trains have windows that open but as has already been said, it's probably more important for there to be less people onboard. I'd second trying to avoid the busy rush-hour times, would it be possible to upgrade to 1st class where there may be less passengers in the carriage?

As for doors, I just let somebody else open them for me... or just use my elbow. Same for lifts etc.

Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2021, 09:21:02 AM »
Some trains have windows that open but as has already been said, it's probably more important for there to be less people onboard.

Aerosol accumulation is cumulative so while proximity is a big factor, ventilation is still likely to be of greater importance.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2021, 11:12:12 AM »
And trains without windows are probably recirculating air through some hvac system.

Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2021, 12:20:40 PM »
From some googling, the train standards for HVAC mandate 15m³/h/passenger fresh air and the recycled air will be filtered, which should take out virus particles. Maybe that is enough to prevent a build up of aerosols, especially when combined with doors regularly opening and closing.


Fambo Number Mive

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Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2021, 12:30:08 PM »
Thank you - I was trying to have a look on individual train companies websites - LNER were quite reassuring but I would be using GWR trains and their website gives no info on ventilation.

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Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2021, 03:32:05 PM »
It's mostly fine just avoid rush hour if you can. Rush hour near me is basically indistinguishable from "normal" because Southern Fucking Rail have cut the number of trains to match demand. Thanks lads!

Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #8 on: April 07, 2021, 12:05:42 PM »
From a TfL email today - it didn't have a link to a web copy:

Quote
The constant movement of our trains, our ventilation systems and the regular opening and closing of doors on Tube and rail services means that the air circulation on our trains far exceeds the recommended standards to reduce the risk of transmission, changing more than 20 times an hour. Guidance from the Rail Safety and Standards Board recommends that the air inside a train carriage should change around six to 12 times per hour.

Zetetic

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Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2021, 12:16:23 PM »
I'm assuming that even nearly empty Class 220s still smell of reheated piss (but it's okay because there's a constant in-flow of new air over the warmed-over shit).

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Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #10 on: April 07, 2021, 03:37:32 PM »
From a TfL email today - it didn't have a link to a web copy:

This must be why no-one in human history ever caught a cold from someone on the tube.

Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2021, 03:54:21 PM »
The constant movement of our trains

Re: Trains during the pandemic
« Reply #12 on: April 08, 2021, 12:10:33 AM »
Avoid if you can. Colds and flu spread easily on trains, so Covid certainly would IMO. London Underground the worst (I remember blowing my nose and it's black snot in London after using the Tube for 6 years, so perhaps biofiltering not the best). Unless proper air filtering has been introduced now, I guess. And many people are now vaccinated in the UK, so herd immunity is coming soon. However, personally I'm avoiding public transport for the rest of this year. It's a personal decision though. You make your choices and take your chances...

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