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Rail News: Mechanical

LIRR notes locomotive reliability boost


MTA Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) is touting some recent changes to its locomotive maintenance program that have helped significantly improve reliability and reduce delays.

In October 2007, a consultant issued a report stating that LIRR’s fleet of 45 diesel locomotives was in “serious trouble” and had too frequent breakdowns, LIRR said. On average, the agency’s 22 dual-mode locomotives were breaking down every 12,425 miles rather than a targeted 30,000 miles.

LIRR then hired train maintenance consultant Booz Allen Transportation to identify recurring problems and recommend solutions. During the past year, the agency has implemented most of the dozen recommendations, such as: reorganizing its diesel maintenance operation, which is headed by a new general manager-diesel shops and yards, who reports directly to the chief mechanical officer; upgrading the Morris Park locomotive maintenance facility; tracking defective parts; implementing computer software to create a case history of recurring maintenance problems; improving mechanic training; and improving communication between engineers, crew members and maintenance personnel.

The improvements are paying off. During 2008’s first eight months, LIRR reported 32 percent fewer repeat maintenance problems compared with the records from the same 2007 period.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/23/2008