THE rail company running trains in Essex said it is exploring ways to stop toilet waste being dumped onto tracks.

A rail workers’ union has hit out at train companies for allowing excrement to be released from carriages, saying it can spray out and cover engineers working on the track.

Bob Crow, general secretary of the RMT union, said operator Greater Anglia was one of the worst offenders.

However the company has hit back at criticism saying it is looking to fit retention tanks to all its services over time, and added the facilities were to some extent in the hands of firms which lease out rolling stock.

Carriages are not owned by rail operators but are instead hired out.

A spokesman for Greater Anglia said: “A number of our trains already have retention tanks fitted and some additional carriages are currently being upgraded with new toilets and retention tanks.

“We are also looking into the potential options for extending these facilities across the rest of the fleet of trains used on our services in the future.”

In a statement the operator also said tanks were currently being fitted to rural services, including the Marks Tey to Sudbury line, while many services operating on routes to Clacton and Colchester already had tanks installed.