(from 1972 to 1995 second part)


The revision of the electric Diesel locomotives


The repair of the organs of the diesel-electric locomotives


The supply


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The revision of the electric Diesel locomotives


let us follow together, the course of the various stages of the maintenance of a diesel-electric locomotive, between the moment when it enters in revision and its exit of the workshops.


The programming of entry of an locomotive in revision is established by the Service Production of QM. As we saw in the preceding chapter, the release of the passages in revision is function to the mileage which the machine traversed. The revision of a locomotive represents then more than 200 tasks (works of dismantling, expertise, assembly, restoration, handling, essays, repair, alterations) and it concerns about ten different specialities (mechanics, freinistes, heat engineers, electricians, boilermakers, painters, welder, warehousemen etc.). The whole represents approximately 2300 working hours - to whom come to be added the time necessary for the restoration of parts,- distributed on around thirty workdays. On average 10 agents intervene every day on every machine in revision.


On the day "D", ie at the moment the locomotive crosses the heavy metal door of the "Montage", will start for her a makeover.

Arrived by its own means, or brought by a jitney, the machine sits on a path of disassembly. The first operation is performed, called "Stripped" is to drain the engine of its water, its fuel and oil. Bloodless, if one can say, it can then be carried out the disassembling of its components. The duration of the operations will be spread out over two days. The order of the operations of disassembling obeys a program worked out with an aim of avoiding with the various corporations being in the same place at the same time. Thus the following operation consists in removing of the locomotive, its roof. Once deposited, the elements which compose it and which are usually called “Pavillons” are laid out on specific feet in a building site close to the way of disassembling. Ceci fait une équipe se charge de les déséquiper afin de les envoyer rapidement dans l’aire de lavage adjacente à la voie de démontage appelée “ Zone 13 ”. A l’intérieur de la locomotive découverte cela va déjà beaucoup mieux. This made, a team undertakes of them déséquiper. This in order to quickly send them in the adjacent washdown to the way of disassembling called “Zone 13”. Inside the discovered locomotive, that goes already much better. The mechanics, the electricians and the freinists, specialized with this series of machines, activate themselves then in all the points of the machine, and they déposit the parts which will have to be revised or will have to be exchanged.

The general state of soiling of the locomotive is such that the work clothes of the workers at the end of the dismantling, are good for cleaning. Each week hundreds of work clothes and sent to a private cleaning. After their removal, the locomotive parts are placed in special baskets. Numbered with metal tags, not to be mixed with other gear, they follow a cleaning cycle consisting mostly baths according to their specific nature (steel or aluminum). The steel pipes receive an additional anti-corrosion treatment.


The Subsets, such as the "electric-generator" commonly called the "MD", the group of "refrigeration" called "the Fridge" and the "Wardrobe of electrical equipment" known commonly as , "the armoire", are extracted from the body of the locomotive with the overhead cranes of 60 tons. Cleaned, these subsets are then directed to sites specialised divisional workshops to undergo the revisions and repairs planned.


Emptied of most of its components, the locomotive is lifted and placed using overhead cranes, combined for the occasion, in the washing area where were removed the roofings. Cleaned completely, and its fuel tanks degassed, she is placed in Hall C, on a positions of review vacant .


The bogies, remained on the ground, are shipped directly into the hall A, where they will undergo a path parallel and similar as bodywork.

The interventions of the teams begin then methodically. They proceed to the restoration of the skeleton of the body, its outside then internal walls. These works, which follow upon meticulous expertises, are bringing very often to diverse operations of boilermaking. Gradually the restored bodywork is then rééquipée. The subsets return diverse workshops, resumed successively, their places in the bodywork . The electric wirings, the internal and outside doors, furnishing of driver's cabs as well as earth coverings, equipments of brake, the reservoirs of air etc., are either reconditioned, or replaced.


The locomotive is then rested on its bogies, previously set up on a way out, at the end of Concourse C near Paris. After making, on a pit, the operations links "bogie-box", we proceed to the multiple testing of electrical and brake before entering the running-in phase and calibration of the locomotive.


For some engines, the running in is performed prior to its implant. An on-line try will serve as last control, and will allow, following the possible retouches, to send back the locomotive towards its Warehouse holder with a maximum of guarantees.         


The duration of immobilisation of the locomotives within the workshops of QM is the object of a pushed study. Every intervention, as we have just seen him, follows a strategic chronological order. The interventions of the teams on the diverse under sets and on the bodywork follow a common program which is the object of a daily relationship to allow the return and the reassembly of all the subsets in due course in bodywork .

The plan above is applied to all the series for every type of revision. However the particular cases represented by the interventions made on damaged locomotives (collisions or set on fire) or entered at QM for an exchange of damaged organ will see this plan varying according to the realized expertises, and the possibilities of handling. On average, one hundred of locomotives of all confused series go enter and exit by year of Workshops of Quatre-Mares.


The repair of the organs of the diesel-electric locomotives

The revision of locomotives to Q.M. represents however only 30 % of the production of the establishment. The repair of organs represents the most important part with 70 % of the turnover. At the parts deposited of the locomotives in revision at QM, are indeed added those from the diverse deposits and the stores of the S.N.C.F.. Forwarded by the rail or by the road, they come to undergo the revisions and the necessary repairs in the various workshops specialised of Quatre-Mares. This reality, infers for workshops A1, A2, A4, A6 and A7 the realisation of works bound more to the notion of constitution of a steering wheel of spare parts ( minimum stock) than to the notion of exit of locomotives.


Here is how are distributed the activities, in workshops specialised of Quatre-Mares.


The workshop "A1" is specialized in sheet metal work, welding, painting and review of the refrigerants groups .


The boilerwork is responsible for the repair of sheet metal work and frames damaged by the number of years, fires or collisions. The Boilermakers straighten bodyworks, or exchange of the parties, sometimes important, their structures, whether it is in the hall "C" for the small interventions, or in the hall "H", when the scale of the works becomes too important.


In the hall "H", they realize preparations of series , parts of boilermaking (sheet steels or profiles), requiring the use of cutting machines, bending or welding. In short everything that twists, bends, rolls, bends, stretches or shrinks is their domain.


The weld is a natural continuation of the function "boilermaking". As of the time of the vapor, this speciality represents a very important load in the operations on locomotives, but also in the preparations of new parts. At the master's degree of the diverse techniques of solderings, always in the forefront of progress, it is necessary to add the reloading of parts arrived at their limit of wear.


The painting, of the locomotives and bodies, is also under the authority of the workshop "A1". The painting operations are performed either in the lobby "H", equipped with a hood and a string of special paint, or in workshops on specific organ such as the engines, for which a cabin was built in the Hall "A", and inside the locomotives on the editorial positions of Hall "C".


The outside of the bodywork of locomotives will be painted during 20 years on the ways of exits of the hall "C", before that one cabin of painting is built outside of the main building in 1985. This last one allows the usage of the modern techniques in particular the use of polyuréthannes paints or of paintings with water varnished.


The revision of the groups of refrigeration, locomotives in revision to QM, is also a part of works of "A1". This subset is major for a period of life of the diesel engines because he assures their cooling. The building site will be moved several times for various reasons and will elect sometimes residence in the hall “A” sometimes in the hall “C” or in the hall “H”.


Machining is the field of the workshop “A2” which, in the half-halls “D” and “E” Paris side, gathers the major part of the heritage of the machine tools of Quatre-Mares. The totality of the confection, realized on lathes, grinding machines, drill presses etc. is under his responsability. The machining, in series, parts with the dimensions reduced, at the machining of the frames of bogie and of the frames of engine, major the part of what is necessary for the revision and the maintenance of the locomotives is carried out by its agents.

In the workshop "A3", teams of worker are spread over the entire surface of the hall "C". Specialized originally at the type of gear, these teams specialize in early 1977 in the same types of tasks. This reorganization, called QM the "horizontal cut" was imposed by the significant increase in planned revisions annually for the BB Series 67400, which would have imposed, at the establishment, to duplicate the team. Agents and the teams were specialized by areas. (A team for the roofs of all series, a team for cabs etc.. ..).


In 1978, the establishment, fort of a fruitful experience to the workshop of diesel engines, will generalize the scientific management for the assembly of locomotives. Graphs of "PERT", exposed in the workshop, allowed to schedule the works planned with a precision without ambiguity; on the paper quite at least!.. But if the working time of a worker have exceeded the scheduled time, the entire organization downstream is collapsed. This experience will last actually not very long. Although logical, one soon realises that is very difficult to schedule the work of revision as opposed to building new equipment. Unforeseen events, such as the discovery of a broken screw, can often upset predictions, and to require a half day of work where a half-hour would have sufficed. The successive organizations, based on annual charges imposed, have saw sometimes the need to create in the workshop "A3" a team that specializes in accident repairs (RA), charged to replace damaged organs (exchange of diesel engine, the cooling unit, bogies etc. .. having suffered damage). When this was not the case, this expense was borne by the teams "boxes", by serial of locomotives.


Under the responsibility of the workshop "A4", are placed the review of the bogies, and repair of axles of locomotives. The revision of the bogies is carried out in the hall "A". Like the boxes of locomotives, the bogies are completely stripped, and their structures are subject to a considerable level of expertise before being re-equipped their engines and axles. After test runs, they are routed to the lobby "C", to resume their place under the boxes. L’activité "Essieux" occupe l’atelier dit “ des Roues ”. The responsibility of the axles includes, besides the axles the diesel locomotives in revision to QM, the axles of autoengines, as well as the axles the cars and the wagons. We find in the workshop of wheels, machine tools with appropriate dimensions. The many towers, there are the machines to wedge and remove the wheels of the axles.  

The workshop "A5", was in 1970, the name given at the workshops of "Buddicom". At the closure of these buildings in 1985, this name is attributed to maintenance crews and equipment installations.Although this workshop is not directly connected to the production, its responsibility contributes to it in a way. In fact all the machine tools of the establishment are revised by her agents. Add to it that, the maintenance of the machines of lifting, and handling, and all the electric installations of comfort as well as the heating of the diverse buildings and the workshops of Q.M. pass between their hands.


The workshop " A6 " is specialised in the electric equipment of machines. its work sites are installed in the half-halls "D", "E" and "F" side Rouen. In the half-hall "D", we find the teams loaded with the revision of the groups electric "turning" such as generators any series, and the engines of drive. Specialized teams intervene then, to the carcass of stators, (the rotors are revised in the workshops of Oullins). Some Installations of cleaning and étuvage private individuals to these techniques are installed there. In the half-hall "E" side Rouen are revised, and sometimes modified, the writing desks of driving of all the series of locomotives repaired to QM, as well as some elements indispensable to the electric functioning of locomotives, as the contactors of line and the returns of current. A part of this half-hall is occupied by teams loaded with the revision of the electric equipments and the cupboards of electric equipments of locomotives in revision to QM. Although since the conversion, these teams are placed, in the same way as all the electric specialities, under the responsability of the workshop " A6 ", they will be placed at the beginning of year 1992 under that of the workshop " A3 ". They will be grouped together with the mechanical teams, by series of machines, in two different sections, grouping together on one hand the series CC 72000 and A1A-A1A 68000/500 and on the other hand the BB 67000/200/300/400 and the BB 63000, with the aim of facilitating the organization and the follow-up of the revisions. In the half-hall "F", side "Rouen", are realized the revisions of the Auxiliaries, (name given to QM at the ventilators of the engines of bogies), the devices " Start Pilot " used to the cold start of the diesel engines, as sending back of angle of the groups coolers etc... This is also in this team that are prepared, on the base series of locomotives, the air compressors, which are reviewed in the workshops of Nevers.A building site saddle-making is responsible for repair or assembly of all the bellows connections, joints and other parts made of leather, special paper or canvas, horsehair filters, and hoses flexible of connection. A team that specializes in working on parts in polyester occupies the old building "thermal treatments" outside the main building in the north court. Among its activities we can mention: the repair and manufacture of all parties in complex of polyester are implemented "in" and "on" the locomotives. It is within the functions of this team, the role of trainer for the national specialty. Under the orders of the same team leader, are the carpenters, are some modelers.

The workshop "A7" is responsible for the thermal activity. Diesel engines are completely dismantled in the half-hall "A" side Rouen. The motors frames, have expertised in a specialized site on the end of the hall "D" side of Paris by the technique of "ressuage" (use of a product penetrating and then a revelatory that aims to identify cracks ). The crankshafts are ground in a yard located next to Paris at the end of the hall "F". The hall "B" is essentially reserved for the assembly of internal combustion engines and revision of their constituents (oil pumps, diesel oil, water, turbos, injection pumps etc.)..


Once gone back up, engines go out of the hall "B" on road trailers, and are directed either towards the bench test situated outside of the building at the extremity "Paris" near the station of tarage, or in the hall "C" where they will take back place in locomotives.


The supply

Among the significant changes brought about by the arrival of diesel in Quatre-Mares, one of them is the arrival of pieces of small size in large quantities. The standardisation of locomotives, allowed to symbolise the major part of constituents. The multitude of different parts in sufficient quantities for the annual program review of locomotives, quickly makes the inadequate supply store. Which requires construction in 1974 of a new store.


The management of the store is decomposed into two different categories. The first one includes the management of the not repairable parts or still at " reduced costs ", called " Consumable Parts " which are bought in the private sector. The second, takes care of the management of parts repaired in the establishment, or in the other workshops of the material, and for which a particular name in summer defined according to their cost more or less brought up by repair. (PRM = Repairable Parts of the Material, PRMD = Repairable Parts of the Material with Endowment).


There are about 11,000 symbols of consumable parts stored in QM. The store provides resource management and national values ​​for 6700 of them. The supplement is administered by other establishments of the "equipment". The value of this stock in 1993 is worth 100 million francs. The value of parts sold to different customer establishments over a period of one year is that year around 180 million francs. For parts managed Q.M. the average time elapsed between the order placed by the manager of the symbol and the receipt of the parts from private industry is 7.5 months. This figure measures the importance of consumption forecasts. About 500 symbols PRM and PRMD are stored in the facility for an estimated turnover in 1993 to 345 million francs. Of these 500 pieces, 267 are repaired and maintained in QM.

In total it is counted 22,000 entries a year to the stock, consisting of orders in the private sector and with other establishments SNCF , and 9,000 items exited of stock to meet orders placed by individual customers. The rate of customer satisfaction is close to 96%. The Unmet demands quickly, resulting in shortages, for which the rate is about 1%. To these figures must be added about 12,000 receptions for "direct purchase" for the materials not symbolised. To make available to users, at work, the majority of parts used to repair locomotives, or PRM and PRMD, some "self-service" have been installed since the beginning of the activity diesel. 6300 articles are symbolized and placed into various locations of the workshops. Some, such as bolts, are in many places and brings to 7000 the number of boxes constituting stocks advanced. A service of the store is charged of managing this storage and requires a permanent visit boxes. Indeed, in order not to interfere with the production it is necessary to detect those who have reached a minimum threshold studied as a function of supply difficulties. Which generates more than 35,000 detections and deliveries per year.


Storage is done in the store 90% on racks and shelves. the rest is on the ground. As an example, we could estimate stocks in kilometers. If we put, end to end, the palettes of big parts, they would spread out on 4 km. The small boxes of parts, of more reduced dimensions, them, would spread out on 2.5km, if we put them side by side.

The parts are transported, for their entry or their exit, through various means of transport. The suppliers send about 2500 wagons at QM per year, and the store sends 1650 wagons to its various clients. Each year, more than 3,000 trucks pass through the store, to be loaded or unloaded, partially or completely. About 4000 packages are shipped each year by the "SERNAM" for masses between 2.5kg and 3 tons. An internal mail service dispatch 2000 letters per year for some package of less than 5kg. Services such as, mail, packages, taxis etc. .., are used marginally.


Apart from the PRM and PRMD, whose total mass is difficult to quantify, the various QM customers buy 10,000 tons of consumable parts..


All of these activities are provided by about fifty people, in order to best satisfy customers in QM. Within the staff, two of them provide the quality control of parts of private industry. they composes about 100 ticket for qualitative abnormalities.




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