July 2012 in Train Operations
The reporter believes that the electrical switchgear is being 'signed off' with only a visual inspection rather than a full examination taking place. This means the power is never actually switched off, presumably to limit the disruption it would cause to station facilities such as lighting and ticket machines.
A full examination and essential maintenance normally requires the switchgear and power to be turned off because fuses, circuit breakers and terminals need to be checked for overheating. A lack of maintenance could potentially lead to a fire breaking out.
The reporter would like First Great Western to:
Response from First Great Western
First Great Western (FGW) undertake, in accordance with theIEE regulations, a period inspection and test of all the leased stations and buildings for which we have maintenance responsibility.
As part of this test there is a requirement to isolate the mains supply and other parts of the system which allows the switch gear to be operated, inspected and tested.
We also undertake additional on-going maintenance, which sits outside of the period inspection and testing regime. For example, where we have identified installations with higher levels of electrical loadings, we perform thermal imaging checks. We also undertake a yearly visual inspection on all our electrical switch gears to identify any visual indications of deterioration and overheating in accordance with the maintenance specification contained inSFG20.
Therefore, the programme of works includes both full maintenance and visual inspection visits. Our property department regularly checks received job sheets against the maintenance programme. As a result we are confident that our contracted Electrical Maintenance Engineers are conducting all required tests according toIEE regulations. However, following receipt of this report, FGW will undertake additional audits and on site checks to ensure compliance with our supplier contract.