The special artwork was unveiled on Friday 24 July at Ashford depot. It coincides with government guidance which makes face coverings compulsory in England while in confined public spaces such as supermarkets and shops. Face coverings are already required on public transport (unless you are exempt).
With lockdown restrictions easing further over the coming weeks, and more services including gyms, leisure centres and swimming pools set to reopen this weekend, Southeastern is preparing to welcome more people back to the railway and said it had implemented a raft of measures to ensure that passengers can travel safely this summer.
David Statham, Managing Director at Southeastern said: “Last month the Government announced that face coverings would be required to be worn on public transport to ensure a safe travelling environment, and now we’ll see them introduced in more settings including shops. We wanted to create an eye catching way to reinforce the importance of wearing face coverings whilst travelling with us because they not only protect the public, but keep our rail colleagues safe too. It’s certainly a new experience for us all to get used to, so we hope the new artwork puts a smile on the faces of our passengers, under their masks of course!”
Southeastern also said that as well as asking the public to wear face coverings, the train operator had put a number of additional measures in place at stations and on trains. This includes increased daily cleaning routines using a product called Zoono, which stays active for 30 days, social distancing guidelines, extra sanitisation points, one-way systems at stations and encouraging passengers to purchase tickets before they travel to minimise contact.
“As more people start returning to the network, we want to reassure our passengers that we’re taking extra steps to provide a safe and clean environment, including enhanced cleaning regimes and constantly monitoring our operations to ensure we’re providing sufficient space and comfort onboard.
“We recommend that in addition to wearing face coverings and carrying hand sanitiser that passengers plan ahead, travel at quieter times and register for one of our contactless tickets by visiting the Southeastern website,” Mr Statham said.
Passengers travelling into London and the South East are being encouraged to look out for the new specially liveried trains, which will be running on the network from Saturday 25 July.