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Supporting Entities in Charge of Maintenance (ECMs) - TF25 Bogies

As part of our unique position in the freight sector, NCB was asked to help the industry investigate some engineering issues with the TF25 bogie - a cutting edge piece of wagon technology.

NCB were asked, as an independent body free of commercial ties, to support the ECMs and the Private Wagon Federation (PWF) in investigating and following up problems with TF25 bogies. Initially, a number of different types of vehicles fitted with the TF25 were inspected and we arranged these inspections during scheduled audits to help keep the costs down.

Problems with TF25s were related to; centre pivot metal to metal contact, wheel lift bracket fasteners coming adrift (with National Incident Reports issued as a result), leaking dampers, and broken springs. There were a number of other perceived problems but, following our investigations, these proved to be unfounded.

Using our specialist knowledge we worked closely with the PWF and the ECMs and took up the issues with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM), Axiom Rail. Axiom Rail was happy to co-operate with us and we jointly investigated a number of issues with good results.

One example relates to the wheel lift bracket fasteners: Our investigations revealed that poor workshop practices were responsible for incorrect installation of the fasteners, despite the fact that the OEM’s instructions were clear. For example workshops had used the wrong type or old fasteners, had applied incorrect torque loading, or had applied the wrong or no chemical locking.

With the cooperation of all the companies involved, the OEM has now issued an engineering instruction clearly stating the method of fastening. We now check that this instruction has been adhered to as part of our subsequent vehicle and site audits.

This action has meant that the number of fastening issues has virtually disappeared. We feel this success is principally down to our unique ability to gain an overview of all ECMs wagons and encourage best business practices across the industry.

Work is now being done on damper leakage and the centre contact problems. There’s still some ground to cover, but we’re hopeful we’ll be able to get further successful outcomes.

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