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Case Study for NYCT Maintenance of Way

Business situationThe highest number of service failures on the New York City Subway were due to the signaling system. Significant emphasis was placed on reducing train delays and improving the train service for all riders. 46% of all the delays were as a result of the failing signal equipment. 
Technical situationFollowing a Pareto analysis of circa 22,000 failures, JBA identified the top 5 failure categories; Track Circuits, Switches, Train Stops, Insulated Joints and Track Wires. Whilst some of the identified failures of the signaling system would be fixed by the introduction of planned new systems, such as Communications Based Train Control [CBTC], the long timescales for their introduction would not address the immediate needs to improve the service. In the short term, it was considered more effective and efficient to understand and improve the performance of the existing building blocks of the current signaling system. Furthermore, some of these components would not be replaced by any new technologies. 
The SolutionHistorically unreliable locations were targeted for thorough maintenance intervention. Equipment refurbishment programs were managed and driven to reduce asset susceptibility to failure. Assets and the environment were brought to a good state of repair. Procedures, skills and tooling were improved to drive up the quality of routine maintenance of signal assets. Simple Work Processes [SWPs] and checklists were introduced for switches, train stops and track circuits, supported by appropriate training. Reliability focused training courses for switches and track circuits were set up, delivered to NYCT staff and subsequently handed over for internal delivery. Industry best practice solutions were implemented to eliminate common failure modes. These included:switch locknuts, new insulated varnish for insulated joints, new switch lubrication technology,magnetic wands for metal removal,insulated joint repair kits,synthetic gasket seals for air stops. 
The BenefitsThe key benefits delivered from the project were:40% reduction in significant delays.20.4 million fewer riders delayed each year.$116 million in annual savings to New York City.184 multiple failure switches repaired.174 multiple failure track circuits repaired.381 multiple failure insulated joints refurbished.210 multiple failure trainstops upgraded.691 staff trained in reliability based inspections.
 “In my 35 years of working for New York City Transit, JBA are the first consultants who truly understood our business, implemented real change and delivered sustainable results.” –Chief Electrical Officer“It’s great working with a group of guys who not only know or business, they understand our problems.” – General Superintendent – Engineering and Asset Planning

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