Metrolink installs new air filters on trains

Dec. 28, 2020
The filters are made with a high-efficiency fiber treated with an antimicrobial technology that filters 99.9 percent of impurities and provides Metrolink with another layer of protection for riders and employees.

Metrolink has installed new antimicrobial air filters on all its train cars to ensure the air passengers breathe throughout their journey is safe and clean. 

The PuraShield air filters, built by Purafil, reportedly capture and destroy airborne microbials on contact. The filters are made with a high-efficiency fiber treated with a proprietary antimicrobial technology. That technology involves copper and silver ions jointly attacking the viral and bacterial cells, weakening the cell walls, then sterilizing, suffocating and starving the pathogens. The filters screen out 99.99 percent of the staphylococcus bacteria, 99.91 percent of the H1N1 virus, 99.96 percent of E. Coli bacteria and 99.58 percent of the SARS virus.

The new filters work with Metrolink’s Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system, which is itself another protective layer. Intake vents draw in outside air, send it through the HVAC system, then distribute the filtered and cleaned air into the cars. Through this process, the filters screen out and kill not only viral and bacterial particles, but biological and atmosphere odors, providing a more pleasant experience for riders. 

“With every passing day, we learn more about ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and take necessary steps to keep our riders and employees safe aboard our trains,” said Metrolink Board Chair Brian Humphrey. “Understanding the airborne nature of COVID-19, we installed new state-of-the-art air filters that improve the air flow aboard our trains and destroy 99.9 percent of impurities. Together, with enhanced cleaning, physical distancing and our face mask requirement, this new step reduces the exposure risk of infection.” 

In March, Metrolink began implementing a new multi-faceted health and safety program to keep riders and Metrolink employees safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. These efforts include a face-mask requirement at station platforms and aboard trains, enhanced cleaning and sanitizing measures, and partnerships with leading health and safety institutions for guidance on health matters. 

Metrolink joined the American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) national Health and Safety Commitments (HSC) Program in September and pledged to take the necessary steps to keep riders and employees safe from the spread of COVID-19. Metrolink trains display APTA’s Seal of Commitment reflecting the pledge to institute policies and practices to protect the health and safety of its passengers. The HSC also helps transit agencies nationwide share information and deliver the highest safety standards as more becomes known about the COVID-19.

“Our focus since the beginning of this crisis has been on ensuring health and safety,” said Metrolink Chief of Safety and Security Don Filippi. “We significantly enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, which include a daily deep cleaning of the trains. We expanded our Clean Care Crew that wipes and disinfects trains throughout the day and uses an electrostatic sprayer to mist hospital-grade disinfectant on all train cars – including hard-to-reach places.”

Passenger feedback led to Metrolink doubling its hand-sanitizing stations and keeping a ready, fresh supply of masks available for riders arriving without them. Face masks are required on Metrolink platforms and trains and riders can be assured there’s plenty of space for physical distancing by using the online tool How Full is My Train?.