Main line trains, Tube carriages and stations could be sprayed with a powerful new anti-flu disinfectant.

The non-toxic disinfectant, called nano silver-titanium dioxide coating (NSTDC), is being introduced on the Hong Kong metro rail system by the MTR company.

MTR is part of a consortium bidding for two new UK rail franchises - London Rail and West Midlands.

MTR said it would monitor the progress of NSTDC in Hong Kong and this would be reflected in its plans for the UK.

A Transport for London (TfL) spokesman said: "TfL, including London Underground, has developed plans for dealing with flu in close consultation with the Government and other agencies.

"We are in regular contact with other metro networks from cities around the world, including MTR in Hong Kong, and we share the best practice and technological innovations. We would, of course, be interested in any measures which could be shown to be effective."

MTR is using NSTDC on all of its trains and stations. The special nano coating will be applied to all surfaces touched by its daily 2.5 million commuters in Hong Kong.

The NSTDC disinfectant, which has been certified as effective in killing a wide range of bacteria, viruses and mould including the H1N1 flu virus, will be used on escalator handrails and the buttons on ticket issuing machines.