Case Study Track Resurfacing

Darren Hawkins supervising tamping works at Appledore Level Crossing, Devonport.

Situation / Driver:

  • Track resurfacing is a process of lifting and lining the track with the tamper to restore the correct track geometry.
  • The role of the resurfacing team is to restore the track geometry to meet the relevant Technical Standards for track construction or maintenance.
  • The work is carried out as part of major renewal projects or as part of the regular maintenance cycle.
  • A ballast tamper, or track resurfacing machine, picks up and resurfaces the track by “packing” the ballast around the sleepers.
  • This ensures the track is aligned correctly, providing a more solid foundation for the track and a smoother ride.
  • Performance of the tamper was not meeting TasRail’s expectations.

Impact this was having:

  • Reduced performance and reliability.
  • Inefficient production time.
  • Desired Future State:
  • Productivity increase.
  • Reduced downtime.
  • Maintain engagement of employees – a great team!
  • The Approach Undertaken and Solutions Implemented:
  • In the last 16 months there has been a determined effort by the resurfacing crew to improve both reliability and performance of tamping machine TT7, culminating in a Kaizen event in July 2017.
  • Looking back at the last 12 months there has been a significant increase in productivity and reduced downtime.
  • Most of the credit goes to the tenacity and perseverance of the resurfacing gang leader and his crew.

Benefits Achieved:

Snapshot August 2016 and August 2017

  • The Kaizen event has contributed to increased production and reduced breakdown impact.
  • Efficient re-fuelling using the new service truck B-12-SQ .
  • The relative ease of repairs carried out in the field due to having parts on the truck.
  • Finally the discretionary overtime and staggered start time to maximise on track time.
  • Lean 5S has been implemented so that the team are set up to have what they need where they need it using point of use storage.
  • Key performance indicators (KPI’s) are being generated through Power BI giving data and information to understand performance of the Tamper and drive continuous improvement.