Rail freight company GBRf has launched a new application for the maintenance of its fleet which includes a first of its kind train driver review process.
The Remote Data Download application (RDD), developed in partnership with technology consultant 3Squared, will stream near-live data such as fuel and coolant levels as well train performance details such as speed and braking. The data will be fed into 3Squared's RailSmart fleet defect reporting and corrective action programme.
GBRf said this preventative maintenance approach will help it reduce asset downtime and increase fleet utilisation. The data will also help GBRf check the performance of its train drivers, in a new industry-first review process.
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.
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 drivers that might then require support to improve are highlighted by the system, allowing GBRf assessors to focus on the individuals that require support the most.
GBRf said this proactive and targeted model of support will help to reduce the risk and likelihood of incidents.
Dean Duthie, Head of Major Projects and Facilities, said: "RDD is revolutionary, it allows us become proactive in how we keep our locomotives running on today's network for longer, 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 front line 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."
GBRf's Class 66 locomotives will be fitted with RDD technology by the end of the year, followed by the rest of the fleet after that.
(Photograph caption: 3Squared's RDD technology being fitted to GBRf Class 66 locomotive.)
Posted on: November 12th 2018