As a customer, you expect to be able to get onto a tram and get to where you need to go. The tram arrives. You get on, validate your metroCARD, and take a seat or choose somewhere to stand. You check your phone, read a book or look at the view. Then you step off again at your destination. Easy.
Torrens Connect endeavours to provide an on-time and uneventful journey for all of its customers. But consider what happens behind the scenes for that to happen…
Car owners, for example, get their cars serviced regularly (well, most do!). They buy new tyres, and change parts that have worn out. Occasionally cars break down or won’t start – for no obvious reason. And cars that do more work tend to wear out faster.
So, consider a tram: Adelaide’s trams operate every day of every year, and each travels approximately 50 000 km annually. Like any vehicle, trams require regular maintenance to keep running and occasionally they break down unexpectedly.
Torrens Connect’s Maintenance Team works tirelessly to ensure that Adelaide’s trams operate properly and efficiently. While the team rarely has any direct contact with customers, they have a strong focus on customer experience.
“We’re here to provide a service to customers,” says Brett Miles, the Maintenance Operations Manager. “It’s our job to ensure everything works so that customers can get to where they need to go.”
Whether it be fixing seats, replacing air-conditioning units, checking brakes, or affixing decals, the Maintenance Team ensures that every aspect of a tram is as it should be.
In the event of a more serious incident, fitters will attend a broken-down tram on track.
Recently the Maintenance Team underwent training to deal with perhaps one of the most serious potential issues: having to re-rail a tram!
Much like jacking up a car, members of the Maintenance Team were trained in how to jack up a carriage in order to realign the tram’s wheels with the tracks in the unlikely event of a derailment.
It’s no mean feat to lift a 40 tonne tram and teams spent two days learning and practicing lifting and moving both Flexity and Citadis trams in the Glengowrie depot barn.
“It’s certainly something different,” says Maintenance Team Leader Rhys Heffernan, “but it’s great to undertake this sort of training because then we can respond to any eventuality, however unlikely. We’ve all acted in different roles for the rerailment here so I’m confident that any of the team could respond in an emergency.
“With all the other safety measures in place, let’s just hope we never have to!” he adds.
Torrens Connect employs 16 maintenance staff to look after the fleet of 24 trams.
So next time you take a tram, don’t just thank the operator: thank the Maintenance Team who ensure everything on the tram works so that you can arrive at your destination comfortably and safely.