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Railway depot becomes bottling plant

Southern Railway has turned one of its depots into a hand sanitiser bottling plant to meet the needs of colleagues on the front line, who are helping keep services running for key workers during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Set up in response to the pandemic in a matter of hours when normal suppliers started struggling to deliver, bulk deliveries of hand sanitiser have been decanted and packed into 1,000 bottles by the team at Horsham Maintenance Depot, ready to be sent on to hubs around the rail network, across Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern. Empty bottles are returned for recycling.

Logistics manager Tessa Holme said: “We make sure each delivery we get is spread as far afield as possible, and in a few hours the team were able to run like a factory production line.

“We’ve been crazy busy, flitting between bottling, forklifts and deliveries. The team has been great, showing great diversification.”

Once decanted the team distributes to locations from Gillingham, Ashford to Barnham, Brighton and London. Deliveries are also made to Thameslink and Great Northern’s Letchworth distribution team for onward delivery to keep their teams stocked up.

Letchworth distribution manager Sarah Collett said: “For the past month we have been operating a full service, supplying all kinds of material from ticket stock, stationary, bags, boots, posters, leaflets, COVID-19 supplies including sanitiser, wipes, sprays, gloves and much more.

“I am so proud of my team for their contribution to ensuring stations are kitted out with their every need, on top of movement of IT equipment, lost property, water, furniture and still carrying out minor works on stations.

“They have continued working through these hard times ensuring that we keep up the normal day to day running of Letchworth Distribution Centre.”

Significant extra efforts have also been made throughout the crisis at locations across the Govia Thameslink Railway network, with additional cleaning on trains and at stations.

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