20.1 Periodic maintenance on the cars is divided into three procedures, the weekly, the 45 day, and the annual. It seems that all maintenance done on the LRVs is done on a time basis
and not a mileage basis. The current maintenance procedures are a result
of some knowledge of the LRVs and past experience with the heavy rail cars, but there is also a lot of " kneejerk reaction"
items included. For instance, when we started having a wear problem with the pantograph heads, management decided we were to check the pantograph tension on each weekly -- do they really expect
the springs to get that out of adjustment in a 45 day period? Also, with the burning of the pantograph on 5031, they decided we should give the entire pantograph a close walk-around inspection, regardless
of the fact that it didn't burn up as a result of loose hardware, but rather hardware that wasn’t even installed. The point I'm trying to make is that they always react to a problem, instead of acting
beforehand out of knowledge. They always wait until something happens and then they over react because it's the only way they know how to correct a bad situation (the best case-in-point are the
two crashes at BWI airport!)
20.2 With 53 cars, WEEKLYs are done five days a week on midnight shift, although we usually sneak two in on Saturday nights to get a head start (and of course, to keep us
busy). Attachment "A" is an example of the weekly inspection report. A couple of readings are taken on the weekly, and as far as most of us are concerned, they are not needed for anything. The
hub-odometers readings are recorded because management feels this is the only way they can verify that we actually went to the car and looked at it, but I know of several instances when phony numbers
were written down and the foreman didn't even notice. No-one has ever been able to explain to me why the air pressure readings from the cab pressure gauge are recorded. What difference does it make, especially
since the gauges, once in, are never calibrated..... all they do is provide a relative indication of what's going on with the air and braking system. The weeklys provide the same kind of service you would expect
if you can still find a full service gas station. All the light bulbs are checked, inside and out. Proper door operation is verified, especially the sensitive edges so the doors don't close on people. All of
the switches and control functions are checked in each cab. A walk-around is performed to check the external door switches and stepwell lights, as well as the general appearance of truck mounted
hardware. The undercar is checked for loose or broken anythings, the brake pads, and to clean and lubricate the coupler face and electrical pins. The roof top is checked for junk laying on
the roof and the condition of the pan head and hardware (Once, I actually did find a catenary wire clamp laying on the roof).
20.3345 DAY INSPECTIONS, as the name implies, are done roughly every month and a half. They are also called PIs, for Periodic Inspections. This
interval will no doubt have to be adjusted once the new cars arrive. These are now done down the Cromwell shops, part of the justification for the shops existence. As part of this maintenance, things not
done on a weekly basis are performed…… Things like the wheel profile is checked, oil level in the gear boxes is checked, and proper operation of the HVAC units is checked.
20.4ANNUALS are performed throughout most of year except for during the baseball and football seasons, when they need as many cars as possible. During the annuals, trucks, HVAC
units, air compressor, and couplers are swapped out, in addition to the stuff they do for the PI’s.
20.5BRAKE RATE TESTS are performed after every annual, accident, and wheel truing to make sure the braking and acceleration rates conform to the original specification. There
are four sets of tests. Each set is performed on an uphill grade and a downhill grade. The four tests are: 1) Acceleration, 2) Braking with dynamic and friction brakes, 3) Braking with friction brakes only,
and 4) Track brakes. Acceleration is tested at full power and up to 40mph. Braking with dynamic brakes is tested from 40 or 45mph at full service braking. Testing with friction brakes only involves
cutting out one of the propulsion modules (which eliminates dynamic braking) and is performed from the computer limited speed of 25mph. The track brakes are checked from 12mph or so, by pulling the master
controller into the full stop position. At the beginning of each test, we also check the speed limits in the wash and yard mode, check the overspeed stopping action, and check the deadman
operation. The results of these tests are recorded on a multi-track medical type chart recorder using the computer outputs in the rack below the computer. A laptop PC is connected to the RS-232 port on the
computer to download the output channel assignments. The test can only be performed if the tracks are dry, and usually takes about 20 minutes to complete. Testing used to be performed either in front of the
shops or between chain markers 590 and 620 in Timonium, but is now done on shop track 12 in the yard. Due to the over cautious MTA, they clear both track 11 and 13, place cones all over the place, and don’t
allow vehicles to cross the yard tracks at the north end of the yard.