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Author Topic: Open Windows on Trains to Stop Corvid  (Read 1326 times)
eightf48544
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« on: October 12, 2020, 10:53:16 am »

Putting this here because I'm not sure if i heard correctly. Caught somthing on Radio 4 about dressing up warm on trains this winter as someone is advisng windows should be open to provide ventilation.

Did I hear right?
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stuving
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2020, 11:29:32 am »

Yes and no. As reported in yesterday's Sunday Times, RDG will discuss the subject of ventilation vs. COVID at their board meeting tomorrow (Tuesday). There is an RSSB input, and Ali Chegni was quoted as saying that "it is better to keep the windows open than to be exposed to the risk of infection". Obviously most trains have HVAC systems and no opening windows, and he added that they would be turned up (flow) and down (temperature). Also all doors to be opened whenever possible.

I hadn't realised that RDG publish minutes of these board meetings, but they do (albeit only to list topics, not give details). I would have thought that the need to keep ventilation levels high was known ages ago, and have been discussed before. But it isn't mentioned there - maybe TOCs just did it anyway. I can see they might need to make a new and more formal decision if hyperventialting conflicts with normal practice about keeping temperatures comfortable, and it might even call for a suspension of some legal requirements.
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2020, 12:11:42 pm »

...and he added that they would be turned up (flow) and down (temperature). Also all doors to be opened whenever possible.

I have to preface this by saying this is not a sexist post  Grin

I was only watching something on TV last night in which a woman was complaining that aircon systems tend to be set too cold for the average member of her gender.

Despite my gender, during the unusually hot summer period in 2018 which coincided with my 14 day all line rover, I started to get cheesed off with sitting in mobile fridges, usually LNER and GWR ones

I was also under the perhaps misinformed impression that the virus prefers cold environments to warm ones

Huh
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stuving
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2020, 12:37:02 pm »

...and he added that they would be turned up (flow) and down (temperature). Also all doors to be opened whenever possible.

I have to preface this by saying this is not a sexist post  Grin

I was only watching something on TV last night in which a woman was complaining that aircon systems tend to be set too cold for the average member of her gender.

Despite my gender, during the unusually hot summer period in 2018 which coincided with my 14 day all line rover, I started to get cheesed off with sitting in mobile fridges, usually LNER and GWR ones

I was also under the perhaps misinformed impression that the virus prefers cold environments to warm ones

Huh

I'd agree about overchill in HVAC settings, but then I'm something of a delicate tropical flower. And I'm sure the consensus used to be that women were (very broadly speaking) less sensitive to cold, havng (again broadly) a thicker layer of subcutaneous fat. Maybe that's out  of date - if it depended on more men doing heavy labouring work, the lack of which has allowed them to catch up in the obesity stakes (even before Rishi Sunak's "eat out to insulate yourself for cold trains" campaign).

High temperatures do "kill" the virus, but to do it fast enough to help here needs such high temperatures they'd kill people too. Where I'm seeing contradictory research reports is in the effect of humidity, and the rate of inactivation under "normal" conditions.
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infoman
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2020, 03:36:18 pm »

Maybe installing static extractors fans might suffice,

not sure that the wind coming out the other end could be dispatched too though.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2020, 05:44:38 pm »

I think that open windows on trains might make it more possible for corvids to enter. This is most likely to happen while stationary as it would have to be an extremely nimble corvid to fly through the window of a moving train.
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Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2020, 07:15:10 pm »

Perhaps the OP is still under the impression that we are talking about Bird Flu 😷
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2020, 09:31:55 am »

Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2020, 01:45:34 pm »

Regarding temperature and viral spread, it is generally true that viruses are preserved by colder temperatures and degraded or destroyed at higher. Yes, in order to kill (if you can kill a virus) all viral particles outright the temperature would have to be higher than humans could bear, but the idea is to reduce the number. Just like we wear facemasks not full PPE. Infection is probabilistic, it's not the case that one viral particle entering your lungs infects you. So I don't see the case for reducing heating.

Open windows should help dilute the covid load without allowing corvids in (and I hope it was clear my earlier post wasn't meant to be making fun of the OP's typo, which is after all an incredibly common one nowadays) but most modern trains don't have opening windows. Whether air-conditioning helps is going to depend on how it works. Does it stir the air around in the carriage? See the studies of that infamous Chinese restaurant. If it continually introduces new air from outside, then it should presumably be a good substitute for windows. But it would surely make sense to keep a comfortable temperature as well.
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Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
stuving
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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2020, 05:20:40 pm »

Regarding temperature and viral spread, it is generally true that viruses are preserved by colder temperatures and degraded or destroyed at higher. Yes, in order to kill (if you can kill a virus) all viral particles outright the temperature would have to be higher than humans could bear, but the idea is to reduce the number. Just like we wear facemasks not full PPE. Infection is probabilistic, it's not the case that one viral particle entering your lungs infects you. So I don't see the case for reducing heating.

Open windows should help dilute the covid load without allowing corvids in (and I hope it was clear my earlier post wasn't meant to be making fun of the OP's typo, which is after all an incredibly common one nowadays) but most modern trains don't have opening windows. Whether air-conditioning helps is going to depend on how it works. Does it stir the air around in the carriage? See the studies of that infamous Chinese restaurant. If it continually introduces new air from outside, then it should presumably be a good substitute for windows. But it would surely make sense to keep a comfortable temperature as well.

The link between those things is something I perhaps left out. There have been standards for trains' HVAC against which all "recent" one were procured. These do have minimum external air flow requirement, so 100% recycling isn't allowed, though in very cold weather they may still reduce total air flow to maintain temperature. Heating capacity is limited, and at some point as external air temperature goes down either its flow rate or temperature has to be reduced.

In this case what I imagine RDG were considering was whacking the external air flow to MAX and the recycled air to MIN (or even blanking it off). That's probably not a condition that the buyers or specifiers though too hard about, so its effects might be unintended. If temperature has priority, it will have to be turned down to keep the airflow as high as possible. But never mind - maybe we'll get another mild winter, at least in GWR land.
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