Preventative maintenance – better than cure

GBRf has teamed up with 3Squared to help eliminate avoidable locomotive failures that can cause potentially costly delays on the rail network and to establish a unique train driver review process.

The Remote Data Download application (RDD) will stream in near real time from each locomotive data such as fuel and coolant levels and train performance details such as speed and braking.

The data will be fed into 3Squared’s RailSmart fleet defect reporting and corrective action programme.

Analysis of the data will allow GBRf to identify and deal proactively with any issue likely to cause a problem with their locomotive fleet before it happens.  This preventative maintenance approach will reduce asset downtime and increase fleet utilisation.

This data is also to be used by GBRf in a ground breaking, first of a kind for the industry review of train driver performance.

Currently all drivers must undergo a review with an assessor each week, month or quarter.

Assessors travel out to a locomotive, download data provided by the on-train monitoring recorder, take it back to the office and then review with the driver.

This process is carried out with all drivers.

The GBRf-3Squared solution, however, turns this model on its head.

Now data is sent electronically in real time to the freight operator’s systems and is checked by the system for any irregularity such as speeding or excessive braking.

Those TMs that might then require support to improve are highlighted by the system, thereby allowing GBRf assessors to focus on the individuals that require support the most.

This proactive and targeted model of support will help to reduce dramatically the risk and likelihood of incidents.

GBRf’s class 66 locomotives will be fitted with RDD technology by the end of the year, with the rest of the fleet following that.

Dean Duthie, Head of Major Projects and Facilities said “RDD is revolutionary, allowing us become more proactive in how we keep our locomotives running for longer on today’s network, maximising fleet availability and the ability to monitoring re-occurring failures, thanks to having real time data, at the click of a button”

This data can also act as a supportive tool for our frontline operations giving analytical feedback on driving performance.”

Tim Jones, 3Squared MD said: “Locomotive failures can be costly to the freight company and disruptive to passenger and freight train services.

“The Remote Data Download application will help create a preventative maintenance regime for GBRf identifying any potential problems before they become critical.

“With new features being added as the project progresses, RDD is a major step forward in the safe management of the company’s fleet and the development of its train crew.”