Train makers Alstom has launched a new ‘pit stop’ style approach to the maintenance of its Virgin Pendolino trains.
Formula 1 driver Rubens Barricchello marked the occasion by driving one of the tilting Pendolino trains into Alstom’s train depot in Wembley, north London.
This new style of train maintenance, influenced by Formula 1 racing, means teams can anticipate any repairs that need to be carried out the same evening and put in place the right people, parts and equipment at the right location on the specially conceived pit stop roads before trains arrive.
Alstom uses its on board telemetry, Traintracer, to analyse fault data from the train management systems during the day. This information is then sent via wireless communication to the maintenance teams for immediate action.
Alstom calculates that the pit stop approach will bring a 30 per cent overall saving to maintenance task times. This can then be channelled into increased reliability or availability as required by Virgin.
On inspecting the various Pit Stop workstations at Wembley, Barrichello emphasised the importance of team mates working hard behind the scenes to deliver peak performance.