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fitted’ to a complete fleet of trains in the UK rail industry, with the cost of developing and fitting the remote monitoring equipment a relatively modest £285,000. This was funded jointly by NEEA and the Rosco, Porterbrook.


The success of the system has seen reliability of the Class 90s improved by almost 200 per cent, with the miles per casualty (MPC) rate now at 15,632 miles per failure in service. Already the development

has been recognised by industry peers in winning the Engineering Award at last year’s Rail Innovation Awards, with NEEA’s engineering director John Ratcliffe describing the innovation as ‘a practical and innovative way of reducing delays caused by train failures through the development skills of our in-house fleet engineering team’. But the benefits do not finish with just understanding the causation and remedy for delay- incurred faults. The equipment can also be used to monitor other aspects of performance, such as driving practices and the way in which environmental and weather-related issues can impact upon the way the

locomotive reacts. It can also record train service performance activity, including areas such as point-to- point train running times and station dwell times, for example. This is useful in understanding

timetable performance as an aid to what adjustments can be done as part of on-going and future timetable modelling. The project has been developed

in stages, with the initial pilot involving one Class 90 that was modified in 2009. Following rigorous testing of how the remote monitoring actually performed, the fitment was then rolled out across the other Class 90 locomotives and DVTs in 2010.

Where next? Given the success of the innovation, could it be extended to other fleets? Some initial studies have taken place to look at the viability of adopting a scheme for the EMU and DMU fleets operated by NEEA. The good news is that Network

Rail has approved the fitment of the Class 153 and Class 156s as part of the industry performance fund. Work is now well under way in adapting the design for the DMU fleets and fit out should begin in September this year.

May course reveals principles and practice of operational planning


There is still time to enrol on the IRO’s course on

operational planning principles and practice. Running from Friday 20 May

until Sunday 22 May at Network Rail’s signalling school in Leeds, Operational Planning – Principles and Practice, is a classroom-based course, aimed at those either relatively new to the subject or who wish to further their career development and expertise in this particular field of rail operations. The course looks at the core

principles associated with the planning and delivery of train services, with specific focus on the rail network itself, timetabling, access and projects and development. The IRO’s learning and

development manager Tricia Meade explained: ‘The aim is to give students a comprehensive introduction to operational planning on the UK’s rail network.’ Specific topics covered will

include: l The nature of railways and the need for planning;

l How track layouts and signalling affect the train service;

l Understanding rules of the plan; l Presentation of timetable information;

l Access and planning timetables; l Types of train planning; l Infrastructure implications; and l Resource planning. And the benefits to the student?

On completion, those taking part will develop an understanding and appreciation of the basic principles of train planning and performance, the construction and implementation of the train plan and the interaction between the plan and the infrastructure over which the services operate, including the impact of engineering work. The course fees are £880. This

includes course material, overnight accommodation on Friday and Saturday evening and dinner on the Saturday evening. To enrol on the Operational Planning – Principles and Practice course, or for further information, email: education@railwayoperators

Irish Area

For information on Irish Area events, contact Hilton Parr at:

Scottish Area

22 June: Visit to Shields Depot in Glasgow. Details on website.

For further information on the IRO Scottish Area, contact Ross Campbell on: 0141 242 8620 or email Jim Gillies at: scottish@

North West Area

12 May: Visit to Longsight Depot. Time: 17:15. Transport will be arranged from Manchester Piccadilly. Numbers limited. June: Social event: details will appear on the IRO website in due course.

All events and enquiries should be via Roy Chapman at: ironw. General membership enquiries

to Carl Phillips at: northwest@

North East Area

10 May: Evening visit to York IECC and Route Control. Meet at York station Platform 9 near Pumpkin. 7 June: Talk by Gordon Cox of Network Rail: Managing Freight Operations, Life within a FOC. Location: The Academy, Platform 9, York. Time: 17:30 for 18:00 start.

For information on North East Area events contact David Monk-Steel at: northeast@ or telephone: 01751 473799 during office hours. North East Area meetings normally take place at 17:30 for 18:00, in York.

Midlands Area

9 May: Talk: From Sandwiches to Silver Service: the hidden challenges of on-train catering provision. Location: Derby. 25 May: Area visit. Further details on

For information on Midlands Area events contact Julia Stanyard on 0121 345 3833 or email: Unless otherwise indicated, our events start at 17.30.

South West Area

For information on South West Area events, contact Chris Prior by email:

South East Area

14 May: London Midland Open Day. Time: 10:30-17:00. Location: London Midland’s HQ, Birmingham. For further information, visit the IRO website. To register, please email 16 May: Interactive Debate on High Speed 2. Speakers: Gordon Pettitt and Andrew McNaughton. To register, please email: glen.

the website in due course. 18 June: Family Day, East Lancs. Railway. Details to appear on website.

More information on website. 4 June: Careers Development Day with workshops and presentations. Please email for more information. 11 June: Javelin test trip from Ebbsfleet to Stratford. For more information and to book a place, contact: glen.merryman@ 13 June: Operations control. Time: 1630-18:30 Location: East Anglia House, near Liverpool Street. For further information and to book a place, please contact: glen.

All South East events take place at London Underground’s HQ, 55 Broadway, St James Park, SW1, unless otherwise indicated, with a 17:30 for 18:00 start. For further information on the IRO South East Area, contact Jonathan Leithead by email at: jonathan.leithead@

More details of area events are listed on the website at www.

MAY 2011 PAGE 33

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