Maintenance of Way employee maps his way to success

RTD recently held an Innovation Fair to celebrate employees that have come up with new and better ways to get their jobs done. Several innovations were showcased that improve operations and the service we provide to our riders. This blog post will be part of a series highlighting those innovations and the employees who developed them.

Daniel Vanlangenhoven is a signal/traction power maintainer with RTD’s Maintenance of Way (MOW) team. Maintainers are in charge of fixing and maintaining the overhead catenary wire system, traction power substations, signals, crossing gates, and track switches. When there is a power outage on the system, they are the first ones to the scene to fix the problem. You may have seen RTD’s signal/traction power maintainers inspecting rail crossings or high up in the air in a bucket truck fixing the overhead wire that supplies power to the trains.

Daniel spends his days traveling along RTD’s rail alignment inspecting and troubleshooting equipment, such as substations and relay case houses. New to the Denver area, Daniel initially struggled getting to assignments, often having to ask for directions over the radio while out in the field.

To address this frustration, Daniel geo-located each piece of equipment using Google Earth (pictured) and shared the file with his co-workers. Now trainers use Google Earth in class to help familiarize new hires with the RTD system and location of MOW equipment. Daniel also printed a large version of the Google Earth map and posted it on the wall of MOW’s crew meeting room so that every employee can see their assignment on the map on their way out the door. Employees can also pull the digital map up while out in the field to help locate their next job, ensuring all equipment is properly maintained and issues are fixed quickly so RTD riders can get to their destinations safely.