Clean linen to greet you on trains soon

Concerned about complaints of stained and torn bed-sheets, blankets and other linen in air-conditioned coaches, Western Railway (WR) has decided to adopt an automatic laundry system. In the first phase, washing machines will be installed at Ahmedabad, Surat, Mumbai, Junagadh and Indore railway stations.

While the system is operating at Indore railway station, it will start in the coming few weeks at Mumbai and Ahmedabad. At Mumbai, machines will be placed at CST and Mumbai Central stations.

Automatic washing machines will steam wash, dry, press and fold bed-sheets, blankets and other linen. According to sources, WR will implement the system under BOOT (Build Own Operate and Transfer). Tenders for inviting contractors have been floated and a decision is expected to be taken soon.

Sources added that each machine will have capacity of six ton ne(per shift). If it is operated in three shifts it can cater to the needs of 37 trains daily.

“We wanted to improve linen service in air-conditioned coaches. Also, we had to incur high transportation cost to bring washed bed-sheets and other stuff from contractors,” said Sharatchandra Yaan, chief PRO of WR. According to him, contractors engaged for the task were not doing their work properly which has forced WR to take action. “This system will not only save costs but will also solve problems faced by passengers,” Yaan added.

The existing system of laundry in WR is that the linen is owned, washed and supplied by small contractors at a cost of Rs25 per bedroll. Though they are supposed to replace the bed-sheets/blankets every year, they do not do so citing heavy losses. That’s why stained or torn bed-sheets/blankets/pillows are provided much to the chagrin of passengers.

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