Lesson 4: Keeping the Shop Humming

Bartlett & West

Aside from the services performed and the ability of maintenance personnel to use the space, a major consideration for an efficient shop is how locomotives access the facility. Class I Railroads track how long a locomotive is waiting for a repair. If a shop's yard doesn't have adequate sidings and tracks, repositioning locomotives within the shop will mean longer delays for repairs.

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As such, a properly designed shop will need to consider which services might need to be done sequentially, which might be done individually, and how to design tracks that allow for efficient workflow. Services such as brake pad changes, oil and lube changes, and fueling can be done on repair-in-place (RIP) tracks outside a shop. Locomotives that need more extensive service can be moved directly into the repair shop and bypass other tracks.

Having a properly designed track in and out of the shop and sidings for locomotive storage can reduce the amount of time spent staging rail equipment for repair or the need to back locomotives in and out of repair areas.

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