Author: Ben Mitchell -

This second blog is later than I had planned, mainly due to the hectic month I have just finished with the Asset & Operational Support team. Four months have flown by, and so too did my time within the team at Canary Wharf. The past four weeks have been a bit of a blur, trying to finish off as many of my projects as possible before the handover to the next Year in Industry student at the start of February.

One of my major projects that I managed to rush to completion before the end of my time was the testing of various protective wrappings for the axles of the trailer cars on the Victoria Line 2009 tube stock. A complete train is made up of 2 units, with each unit composed of 4 cars:

The DM, or Driving Motor, car.

The T, or Trailer, car.

The NDM, or Non-Driving Motor, car.

The SNDM, or Special Non-Driving Motor, car.

The trailer car, being the only car in the unit without four traction motors, has a far more exposed undercarriage than the other cars in the unit. The axles are therefore far more exposed and at risk to impact from debris and litter on the track. In order to mitigate some of the damage caused by impacts such as these, and to extend the service life of these axles, they are covered in protective wrappings that also serve as protection against corrosion.

Recently it has been found that Pandrol Clips, the metal clips that are used to secure the rail to the sleepers, are occasionally snapping and striking the axle. Impact craters deeper than 0.5mm are cause for scrapping an axle therefore there is a lot of interest in any wrapping that could be applied to extend their lifespan.

The test I designed focused on replicating the impact of a track clip striking the axle when the train is moving at top speed, which is limited to 80km/h during service on the Victoria line. Attaching a section of track clip to a secure mounting bracket and attaching this to the end of a weighted pendulum arm we spent a day striking the various wrappings we had covered the axle in. These included a thin ‘Solotape’ wrapping that is currently used, which ultimately came out as our recommendation going forward

Unfortunately I was unable to finish one of my others major design projects, but I am pleased to come away from my time with the AOS team with a nice portfolio of work to my name.

Following my four months with the AOS team I have now moved to the Integrated Stations programme, part of the Capital Programme’s Directorate. This is the second part of the yearlong plan of experiencing work within the track, rolling stock and stations teams within TFL.

Posted in: Department of Mechanical Engineering, Engineering placements, Undergraduate


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