As a rail systems specialist, I have worked for numerous railway companies over diverse geographical locations in extremely different conditions. From a freight rail company in Queensland, Australia to a metro extension project in Edmonton, Alberta, I’ve worked with diverse weather conditions, schedule frequencies and railway systems designs.
I have also had the unique experience of working in numerous different railway departments including rolling stock, signalling, systems, governance, construction, operations, and maintenance. These experiences have provided me with great insight into the sometimes-conflicting requirements of different departments under one company. For example:
- Operations’ objective is to maximize the trains’ time on tracks (utilization).
- Maintenance’s purpose is to provide routine inspections and repairs, which requires removing equipment from operation.
- Engineering’s ambition is to provide more equipment to measure, analyze and automate. To deliver this requires equipment to be removed from operation and/or more equipment to be installed and therefore maintained.
Since these different departmental requirements sometimes conflict and compete, cross-department communication and data sharing is essential.