Watch how it takes 500 people and 10,000 sponges to clean Northern's fleet of trains

If you’ve ever wondered where trains go to have a bath, all is revealed - and it takes a lot of sponges.

Train operator, Northern has released a video highlighting the monumental task its team of 500 train presentation operatives have to keep its fleet of 345 trains clean and tidy. It comes as part of an appeal to customers to take their rubbish with them when they leave the train. Each year, the team carries out 695,000 ‘carriage cleans’ and work their way through 32,759 microfibre cloths, 10,300 sponges, 1,724 litres of toilet cleaner and 2,265 litres of floor and surface cleaners. They also replenish some 26 million pieces of toilet tissue and 778 litres of hand soap.

Richard Holt, head of train presentation for Northern, said: “Some of the cleaning we undertake is wholly understandable given the natural wear and tear of thousands of people using our trains every day. But things like chewing gum on seats and an excess of litter are just two examples of avoidable issues my team has to face. It’s a near-military operation to keep the fleet to the high standard we’ve set ourselves in the post-COVID world – and we take every opportunity to carry out cleaning duties throughout the day, between services and during the night. I hope this video will make people realise the effort that goes in to keeping Northern’s trains clean and tidy – and think twice about leaving litter behind when they’ve finished their journey.”

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The massive operation to clean Northern's trains every year n- which includes 32,759 microfibre cloths

Northern carries out train cleaning duties at 42 locations on its network, including four main TrainCare Centres at Allerton (Merseyside), Newton Heath (Greater Manchester), Heaton (Tyne & Wear) and Neville Hill (West Yorkshire). Northern is the second largest train operator in the country with nearly 2,000 services a day connecting more than 500 stations across 3,000 km of track in the North of England. On Sunday December Northern’s new timetable comes into effect and all customers, especially those who have made regular journeys on the same train times, are advised to check online journey planners before they travel to ensure their service operates at the same time and calls at the same stations.