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TIMPS Addresses Transport Canada’s New Track Safety Rules

Ensuring safety in railroad operations is one of the key underlying ideas that spawned our flagship product – TIMPS (Track Inspection, Maintenance, Planning, and Scheduling). The recent update to track safety rules issued by Transport Canada echoes our position that the rail industry needs to take action to mitigate risks in rail operations. According to Transport Canada, the changes to track safety rules are made to address “major risks that could cause derailments due to the condition of railway infrastructure.”

The new rules specify safety requirements railway companies must follow when inspecting and maintaining their railway track infrastructure. These changes to the track safety rules will require many railroads to update their operations to ensure they follow the updated rules.

TIMPS (Track Inspection, Maintenance, Planning, and Scheduling) app offered by TekTracking is in a unique position to help railroads meet these requirements efficiently, safely, and cost-effectively. TIMPS revolutionizes all aspects of track inspection & maintenance using the latest mobile technologies. It augments the railroads’ current track and roadbed inspection practice while providing digitized inspection and maintenance reports to support failure trend analysis initiatives. TIMPS eliminates current manual track inspection processes and adds to the efficiency, worker safety, and accuracy of track maintenance.

TIMPS connects all essential stakeholders through an easy-to-use mobile application, connected to a cloud-based server. Track inspectors log and report the latest inspection status to the server via TIMPS mobile app. The cloud-based server provides a complete picture of the track inspection and maintenance status to key personnel responsible for track maintenance.

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how the built-in features of TIMPS will help railroads smoothly transition into a safe rail operation as required by the new TC track safety rules:

 

Track Safety Rules & Overlapping Features of TIMPS

Training, Qualification and Quality Assurance

Track Safety Rule UpdateHow TIMPS Will Help in Implementing the Rule
Strengthen and standardize track inspector and track supervisor training and designation requirements.  With TIMPS, the supervisors have access to review track inspector defect records in real-time and provide immediate and informed feedback to reinforce standards and training.
Strengthen approval of track maintenance and repair work in order for the work to be approved by competent staff (e.g., professional engineer) capable of verifying that the work was done according to company standards and procedures.Maintenance projects are directly tied to reported defects. Maintenance may be planned based on priority as well as future capital maintenance programs. TIMPS accelerates the Project/Maintenance approval due to digitization of track defect reports – qualified maintenance personnel can review detailed reports of defects found and the repairs performed.

Continuously Welded Rail (CWR) Management

Track Safety Rule UpdateHow TIMPS Will Help in Implementing the Rule
Require companies to develop CWR management plans which include elements such as comprehensive installation and maintenance requirements.TIMPS mobile application contains the railroads’ day-to-day work instructions for constructing and maintaining CWR, including generating reports recording the measured rail temperatures during both plug remediations and the joint re-welding process.
Require companies to follow their CWR management plans.  TIMPS provides a company-wide CWR management plan by capturing the required data capture and generating reports.
Require that the CWR management plans, and changes to the CWR management plans, be approved by a Professional Engineer for a Class 1 railway and by an engineer for any other railway.  In TIMPS, approval of any plan or process may be assigned to the role of Professional Engineer or Engineer with verifiable credentials. These standard roles are created to allow permissions-based access to only certain areas of the TIMPS platform.
Require companies to file their most current CWR management plans with Transport Canada.With TIMPS, the CWR management plan may contain a role specific for TC to gain access to view and download plans, reports, data, and any other information identified and approved by the railroad. With this level of integration, communicating up-to-date safety plans and information to government authorities is greatly simplified.

 Track Geometry

Track Safety Rule UpdateHow TIMPS Will Help in Implementing the Rule
Define combinations of track geometry conditions.TIMPS supports combinations of track geometry conditions for automatic alerting of emerging defects.
Establish thresholds for the combinations of track geometry conditions that require remedial action(s) to be taken when these combination(s) of track geometry conditions are detected.TIMPS allows the railroad to set required remediation based on established thresholds.  

Rail Wear Management

Track Safety Rule UpdateHow TIMPS Will Help in Implementing the Rule
Require companies to develop rail wear management plans which include rail wear limits for each section (weight) of rail in service and prescribe the action(s) to be taken when rail approaches or exceeds limits.TIMPS will automatically manage the measured data for each rail section and provide alerts over time as conditions degrade.
Require companies to follow their rail wear management plans.Railroads may use TIMPS as a track inspection and maintenance standard and incorporate rail wear management plans focused on extracting key data from required rail wear measurement data. TIMPS can analyze and perform trend analysis on rail wear.
Require that rail wear management plans, and changes to rail wear management plans, be approved by a Professional Engineer for a Class 1 railway and by an engineer for any other railway.In TIMPS, approval of any plan or process may be assigned to the role of Professional Engineer or Engineer with verifiable credentials. These standard roles are created to allow permissions-based access to only certain areas of the TIMPS platform.
Require companies to file their most current rail wear management plans with Transport Canada.  With TIMPS, the Rail Wear Management plan may contain a role-specific for TC to gain access to view and download plans, reports, data and any other information identified and approved by the railroad. With this level of integration, communicating up-to-date safety plans and information to government authorities is greatly simplified.

Rail Surface Management

Track Safety Rule UpdateHow TIMPS Will Help in Implementing the Rule
Railway companies must develop internal standards which define the rail surface conditions caused by rolling contact fatigue (e.g., crushed heads, localized surface collapse, corrugation, and rail end batter) for which they must inspect. These internal standards must establish acceptable limits for these conditions and establish corrective action(s) to be taken when conditions approach and exceed limits.TIMPS mobile application contains the railroads’ day-to-day work instructions to inspect rail surface defect conditions based on the railroad’s standards. Measured data and detailed images of surface anomalies are captured in TIMPS for comparison to the future conditions.
Require companies to follow their internal standards.Through required data capture and reports, TIMPS provides a company-wide reference to internal standards. Basically, when TIMPS is adopted by a railroad, the internal standard is predominantly provided by TIMPS.

If you want to know more information on TIMPS or how it can help your railroad with the new track safety rule updates, please book a session with our consultants using this link.

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