In 2020-2021, British railway operators saw their revenues decline sharply as services operated at reduced capacity due to the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Two years later, the UK railway industry is now set on the path of recovery, but Covid-19 has changed the rules of the game for good.

The spread of the virus has caused British train users to dramatically raise their expectations about hygiene and cleanliness, as discovered by Transport Focus’ weekly surveys of UK train passengers.

Out of the Britons that responded to the survey, more than three quarters said that cleanliness on public transport was more important to them now than it was before the pandemic.

However, only 14% of train users ‘strongly’ agreed that trains are now cleaner than they used to be before the pandemic.

But, what is even more striking about the data comes from those who do not use trains: more than half said that they would not feel safe if they had to make a train journey.

To feel more confident in cleanliness, the public now expects evidence of good cleaning processes while on board.

Boosting in-service cleaning has become an essential strategy to retain customer loyalty and gain new business,  but it does come with its fair share of challenges.

Besides having to meet the basic health and safety requirements, an effective cleaning strategy should take into account the different designs and materials of a fleet’s rolling stock.

On top of that, train fleet managers must do all of the above while keeping down labour costs and optimising cleaning times.

To do that, you need the right cleaning products.

This is why we have put together this guide to CHELA’s Rail, Train & Station cleaning chemicals.

Interior Train Cleaning

Fabric and leather

FOAMING UPHOLSTERY CLEANER SPRAY – R-257: Tygris R257 is a solvent-free, aqueous-based cleaner formulated to remove grease and grime from fabrics, including upholstery, carpets, rugs and other porous fabrics. The foaming action ensures penetration and even distribution of the spray, making the cleaning of vertical surfaces easy.

LEATHERCLEAN – 88An aqueous polish that has good cleaning and protecting properties for use on interior leather and plastic surfaces of vehicles. It is quick and easy to use and has a pleasant perfume.

VAC EXTRACT – 464 Foam-controlled carpet and upholstery cleaner with excellent cleaning properties. Can be used in all vacuum extraction carpet and upholstery cleaning machines using hard or soft, hot or cold water. Great on greasy soils as well as general grime.

Hard surfaces

CHELAGUARD®ChelaGuard® is a unique high-performance protection system which provides unrivalled surface protection for all non-porous substrates. ChelaGuard® is exclusively offered as a total package to the UK Transport Industry by Halo Rail/Stewart Signs, Specialist Compliant Coatings, and Chela Ltd.

ELITECLEAN HD – 97: Highly dilutable and effective hard surface cleaner and degreaser for general use on all surfaces. Removes grime, hydrocarbon, and food oils and greases. Quick-acting with moderate foam.

GUARDISAN®MAX – 914: 1000 litres dilutes to 5000 litres of standard Guardisan Fresh, a versatile and effective single product that can replace the following: floor and panel cleaner, seat upholstery shampoo, window cleaner, disinfectant, air freshener, and deodoriser. Ideal cleaner for use inside trains, buses, and coaches. Cleans all flooring types, PVC, rubber, aluminium plates, and panels.

MEGAPLUS WIPES – 254: Mega Plus Wipes is a biodegradable low hazard metal cleaning and renovating product especially developed to safely and quickly remove rust and corrosion from all types of ferrous and nonferrous metals.


MARATHON®ECO – 1031: Extremely durable dry-bright emulsion floor polish, with excellent wear properties and gloss. For use on non-porous synthetic surfaces, PVC, and rubber floors. Assessed by 4-Rail for use in rolling stock

MARATHON®ACRYLIC SEAL – 406: For use on hard and soft floors including marble, terrazzo, limestone, concrete, pavers, sheet PVC, PVC tiles, asphalt, and linoleum. May be used for exterior, as well as interior use, and is a good base for emulsion polishes. It is not removed by normal emulsion polish strippers.

Toilets and washrooms

BIOFRESH ROSE – 594: Long-lasting and highly perfumed, locks malodours, freshens ambience. Ideal for use in carriages, buses, and coaches.

BIOGEL – 250: High performance, powerful toilet/CET additive designed to be utilised within the rolling stock environment. BioGel 500 is highly perfumed and contains specialist odour lock technology to ensure high levels of odour control and performance.

GUARDISAN HP – 3253: High performance cleaner specifically designed for use within the rolling stock environment. Can be used on all carriage and toilet surfaces including floors, panels, sinks, glass, plastics, ceilings, and the toilet bowl.

Glass and screen

CARRIAGE DESCALE – 246: Dissolves and removes unsightly scale caused by hard water and detergent residue, as well as iron stains. Particularly effective on glass but is also good for use on painted surfaces. Leaves glass and painted surfaces clean and scale-free.

GUARDIAN®GLASSKOTE – 1067: High performance glass protection system designed to create an easy clean environment. Suitable for the UK Real Industry, PSV, and CV market.

SCREENWASH – 637: Can be diluted with up to four volumes of water for use in summer. Scientists tested for use in the rail industry. Ideal for PSV use, as well as for trams, metro, and underground.

Exterior train cleaning

Body work

EUROWASH SUPER CONCENTRATE – 1136: High, concentrate, high performance alkaline detergent cleaner formulated to remove traffic film, brake dust, dirt, grease, and other similar soil from the bodywork of rail carriages. It is highly effective for both use in Automatic Brush Washes and for manual exterior cleaning.

FLEETCLEAN PLUS – 99: Near neutral pH leaves paint and glass gleaming and sparkling clear. Rinse water sheets no streaks, no spotting. Works in hard or soft water, surfaces stay clean longer. Helps prevent re-soiling. No cationic surfactant. Economical in use. High dilution and exceptional resistance to corrosion.

ISR SHEENPLUS – 477: A high performance concentrated train cleaner designed specifically for use through foam arch equipment.Will remove iron brake dust, general grime, tunnel dirt, oil, scale and metallic pollution without damaging the paintwork. Eurowash® ISR Foam has been tested to their material compatibility protocol by Scientifics Ltd and been shown to be suitable for use in the rail industry.

SUPERSHEEN HIFOAM – 438: Alkaline cleaner for rail and underground rolling stock. Removes traffic film, brake dust, dirt, grease, and other similar soil from the body work of rail carriages and traction units.

SUPERSHEEN ULTRA – 1123: Mildly alkaline cleaner for rail and underground rolling stock. It can be used both in automatic brush washes and manually. Removes traffic film, brake dust, dirt, grease, and other similar soil from the body work of rail carriages and traction units.

Graffiti removal

ERAZE LIQUID – 828: A powerful, yet safe graffiti removing liquid that works well on smooth surfaces and a range of other substrates. It is simply sprayed, wiped, or brushed on and the graffiti is gently removed. Use on paint and powder-coated surfaces, metal, glass, masonry, brick, and concrete.

FARECLA G3 REGULAR GRADE PASTE COMPOUND – B-359: A thick paste that quickly and safely removes ingrained dirt, stains, graffiti shadow, and graffiti, including leather dye. It is suitable for use on painted and meal surfaces and its unique action removes even the most stubborn ingrained dirt and graffiti.

We are available to offer any advice and support you need with these products. If you have large-scale requirements and seeking procurement advice, please do not hesitate to contact our team.