Rachid progressed through the design office by becoming a metro, tram and RER track gauge and geometry surveyor in 2018. “With time, and as trains pass over the tracks, they become worn and lose shape, which could cause safety and passenger comfort issues if we didn’t intervene. My work consists in measuring the changes to identify how to correct them, by producing studies to guide the teams in charge of the works.”
To study track changes, Rachid and his partner rely on brackets, which are evenly spaced waypoints on the tracks. All data concerning them are recorded in a database. Between work in the field and in the office, no two days are the same for Rachid.
When their manager sends them on track sections that must be surveyed due to works or line extension projects, Rachid and Alexandre, his partner, work as a highly autonomous two-person team. “I like this way of working: we complete our respective surveys to check them and best adjust them. When it comes to night surveys, we always work together, as they are physically and technically demanding, notably when working on bends.”
Mobilising during the day... and at night
Twice a year, the entire track network is examined by a measuring train that automatically surveys track geometry. Should the measures differ too much from expectations, Rachid and his colleague will perform a precise survey in the field. They study the area, prior to a potential round of works to correct the variation (rail, sleepers and ballast replacement works). Such surveys are only performed at night, when passenger trains no longer run.
The company purchased a state-of-the-art machine, a rotating laser on board an electric trolley that can quickly scan vaulted ceilings and all obstacles present in a tunnel. The machine can scan five to six stations per night, for a highly accurate snapshot of the area examined.
How about working together?
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