Reliability and Maintenance Engineering

Reliability and Maintenance Engineering

What is reliability and maintenance engineering?

Operating rolling stock cost-effectively requires proactive, timely and well-planned maintenance regimes that help reduce the risk of service disruption and prevent costs from escalating.

Ricardo experts will help you optimise your current rail maintenance regimes and processes using the latest maintenance models and best practices across the industry.

Our rail maintenance services include implementing data-driven techniques such as condition-based maintenance, coupled with applying best practice RAMS (reliability, availability, maintainability and safety) techniques.

What are the benefits of reliability and maintenance engineering?

  • Applying the latest maintenance models, including Reliability Centred Maintenance (RCM3)
  • Applying risk-analysis methodologies, including obsolescence analysis on spare parts
  • Implementing data-driven techniques as condition-based maintenance, including planning, support and developing business cases
  • Performing reliability and maintenance analysis on rolling stock performance and operational processes
  • Conducting maturity-level assessments, including gap analyses on maintenance strategy, plans and processes
  • Providing sector-leading vehicle damage detection and diagnostic systems
  • Providing fleet auditing services to monitor asset condition and defects, allowing you to do proactive maintenance and repair
  • Reliability and maintenance engineering
  • Providing on-site production support and tooling for solving highly complex failures and preventing and monitoring recurring failures

The benefits of reliability and maintenance support

With our support, you will be able to closely balance maintenance costs with rolling stock RAMS performance - leading to notable improvements in the reliability and availability of vehicles.

Other benefits include:

  • Lower overheads
  • Reduced in-service delays, resulting in better patronage and stronger financial performance
  • Cost-effective modifications and greater efficiency in operating processes
  • New insight into possible longer-term improvements;
  • The potential to extend the life of rolling stock through optimised maintenance.

See also: service pages for Digital Asset Monitoring and RAMS

Get in touch with our teams via: [email protected]


Recent projects

Real-time defect reporting

A major UK train operator needed frontline support with real-time defect reporting to its depots. We undertook in-service defect audits, which involved vehicle inspections and consultation with train crews. Defects were entered into a bespoke database to be sent on to the maintenance teams before the vehicles completed their diagrams. This allowed the operator to take corrective action in a timely manner and enabled more effective management of their performance contract with the third party maintainer.

Daily condition reporting for a franchise operator 

We provide daily inspection resources for a major UK train operator to record the condition of its train and station assets. A bespoke SQL database was developed to store, manage and report the recorded data. Now, the operator can report the condition of its train and station assets to its franchising authority on a regular basis, and make sure that passengers can enjoy a clean and reliable service.

Malfunction data capture

We were commissioned by the largest train operating company in the Netherlands for a project to improve the reliability of its operations. We developed a system to categorise malfunctions and implemented a series of improvement programmes. The project contributed to improved efficiency, reduced costs and increased passenger satisfaction levels.