Huntingdon and St Neots railway stations have been treated with a long-lasting viruscide designed to kill off the coronavirus.

Train operator Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) says it will repeat the operation every 21 days in a bid to beat the virus.

GTR engineering director Steve Lammin said: “Our travel safer pledge means we are taking extra steps to protect people from the coronavirus by boosting cleaning with this 30-day viruscide, providing touch-free hand sanitisers, and running as many trains as possible.

“I would remind passengers to avoid the busy times of the day, wash or sanitise your hands before and after each journey, wear face coverings, maintain social distancing, and if possible buy your ticket in advance or pay by contactless.”

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GTR has been carrying out an enhanced cleaning regime and has used the viruscide at its stations and on board trains.

The system involves the use of high-pressure dry steam and microfibre units to thoroughly clean the area before electrostatic wands are applied, together with the use of backpack misting devices which coat surfaces with the product, forming a molecular bond.

Details of busy trains and stations are being posted on the rail websites to enable passengers to avoid them where possible and to plan their journeys with more confidence, with the alerts also being attached to trains on the National Rail Enquiries journey planner www.nationalrail.co.uk.

The 30-day viruscide is part of a package of measures introduced by GTR since the start of the pandemic which includes 100 extra cleaning staff and 40,000 extra hours of work cleaning stations, trains and staff areas, all 2,700 carriages being sanitised overnight, targeting passenger and staff touch points for extra cleaning with 21,600 being completed in three months and new techniques being bought in such as bleach fogging where someone has been confirmed as having Covid-19.

GTR has also introduced social distancing measures with one way and queueing systems at the busiest stations, 19,000 floor signs, 25,000 train signs, posters and announcements, together with 1,000 touch-free sanitiser stations and a staff app to monitor travel hot spots.

It has also updated its “Key” smartcard so customers can buy season tickets on their phone and load them on to their card, avoiding ticket machines and booking offices.