Emma's diary entry - May 2011

Working with a fault team, Emma is getting involved in identifying and fixing faults on the line and dealing with a variety of new equipment. She's also learning some important skills for the job.

Emma Taylor

Since my last diary entry I have been working with the Westbury fault team. I work 12 hour shifts on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, where I get involved with the everyday faulting and maintenance of the railway.

A really rewarding job

I have been finding the faulting particularly interesting as I enjoy following certain procedures and tests in order to try and identify a problem. It's a good challenge and thoroughly rewarding to be able to fix and confidently walk away from the fault.

I have been involved in faults such as responding to a failed Yodalarm on a public crossing. This is what provides the public with an audible alarm to warn of an approaching train. After taking voltages on each part of the circuit we found that the Yodalarm itself needed to be replaced.

I have also been helping out with many filament failures. This is when the bulb switches from main to auxiliary as a result of a filament failure. In most cases it is simply the bulb needs changing and nothing more is required to be done. These are just a couple of examples of faults which I have particularly enjoyed investigating, however there are many more such as track circuit failures and point failures which I have also enjoyed getting involved with.

I have also been improving my knowledge and understanding of carrying out maintenance on all the different types of equipment along the railway. I have been involved with signals, AWS systems, points, location cases, track circuits and much more.

What I'm learning

Getting involved on the fault team has made me more aware of circuits and has also allowed me to practice reading prints and other engineering diagrams. The ability to read prints and diagrams is an important part of the job as you need to be able to refer to what parts of the equipment is required to be worked on in order to achieve a particular outcome. For example what fuse should be pulled to isolate power, or what links are required to be slipped to achieve a certain aspect.