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Training the next generation of rail engineers

27th January 2017


Electro-mechanical engineering specialist Houghton International welcomed apprentices from train operator Greater Anglia last month as the first delegates on its new ‘Introduction to traction motor and MA set repair’ training course. The course aims to share knowledge and help educate the next generation of rail engineers in key areas that impact the performance and reliability of the rolling stock they maintain.

The four day, hands-on workshop offers an introduction to the repair, maintenance and life extension of electromechanical assets in the rail industry. Alongside a general overview of traction motors and MA set repair, it provides an insight into the best practice rotating machine testing, fault diagnosis, general overhaul and major repair procedures. Delivered via a mix of classroom and workshop sessions, participants see traction motors (AC and DC), MA sets, HST alternators and inductor coils and get the chance to participate in general overhaul, rewinding and fault diagnosis.

Callum Raywood, apprentice at Greater Anglia, comments: “I found the training very enlightening because it explained comprehensively the systems and principles within the machines that we conduct testing on. Genuinely this knowledge has already helped me during my work, simply because when people try to explain things about MAs, I know exactly what they are talking about and can ask useful questions based on what I learned.”

Chris Robson at Houghton International, says: “The training is designed to help apprentices or those new to the industry to get a better understanding of the components that make up the vehicles they work on every day and what they should look out for whilst in operation. We have been working in the rail industry for over 15 years now and strongly believe collaborative working is key to successful delivery and that all staff can benefit from an enhanced understanding of the intricacies of the products to help identify faults early on and improve maintenance procedures.”  

Suited to those who work in engineering and maintenance, on completion of the course participants will leave with the knowledge and confidence to identify faults, understand failure modes and recommend rectification work.

Rob Evans, fleet support engineer at Greater Anglia, adds: “At Greater Anglia we are continually looking to improve the reliability and performance of all of the sub-systems on our rolling stock. Having worked closely with Houghton International to develop the products that they overhaul on our behalf, and on the processes used for overhaul and maintenance, we wanted to explore how we could invest in training of our technicians to support this work, and other rolling stock maintenance activities that we undertake. Houghton International proposed a comprehensive, week long course, with clear objectives, to develop the understanding of electrical rotating machines that our maintenance technicians have. 

“The first course was attended by our apprentices and feedback has been extremely positive. We hope to send further technicians on this training soon, supporting the component reliability improvements that we have achieved in conjunction with Houghton International.”









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