Event Summary: Root Cause Analysis Increases Locomotive Reliability:
Amtrak instituted a program that coupled Reliability Centered Maintenance(RCM) with Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to increase rolling stock reliability. The RCM-RCA program at Amtrak combined features of RCM and RCA into a unique methodology to achieve success. A case study of the High Horsepower electric locomotive (HHP-8) power module failure RCA project is described in this paper. The initial focus of the RCA was a persistently high failure rate of power modules. Power modules are expensive to purchase and labor intensive to replace. Additionally, power module failures take locomotives out of revenue service.
• The availability of the HHP-8 fleet has been increased by approximately 80%.
• Changes were made to the maintenance, condition monitoring, and troubleshooting procedures for HHP-8.
• The physical, human, and latent roots causing the high failure rate of HHP-8 Power Modules were determined. The use and analysis of the locomotive’s condition monitoring system has been made a daily requirement. The 92-Day and Annual procedures for cleaning power systems equipment have been modified.