Future of Rail Competition

Future Of Rail

NCT’s young engineer, Amanda Soutar gained the first runner up prize in the IMechE Future of Rail national competition, after winning the north west regionals, presenting ‘In Service Instrumentation of a Centre Pivot Bush’.

“The project in question was to measure the range and frequency of movement that a centre pivot bush is subjected to in service to validate the redesign of a bush that is currently failing. Centre pivot bushes are not a safety critical component however once the bush has failed, it causes a loud knocking sound, leading to an unpleasant experience for the customer.

My role in this project was to determine the mathematical model for the 6 degrees of freedom the bush has, procure the instrumentation required, design the attachments and instrument/solder all the connections, determine the method of recording in data, attach it to the train and monitor during on and off peak service times, and carry out post data collection analysis.

The information gathered from this exercise was good and included GPS data for the journey, strain experienced in the tie rods, acceleration experienced by the bush and the bogie frame, movement experienced in the X, Y, Z, pitch, roll and yaw directions all relative to time. The data collected provided a powerful insight into the life of the bush and the conclusions gathered are now being used in the redesign and accelerated life testing of new centre pivot bushes.”

-Amanda Soutar

ESR Technology would also like to congratulate all the other finalists that took part and especially Fahad Rage for his winning presentation on ‘Squat and Squat-Type Defects’ and Aimee MacDonald for her place winning presentation on ‘Mark 5 Coach Introduction for Caledonian Sleepers’. Both presentations focused on areas that ESR have a particular interest and expertise in (fatigue and noise).

The young engineers presentation provides an opportunity to get noticed within industry, gain experience in presenting technical information and refine their communication in technical environments, a very important skills in today’s technical world.


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