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Rail Equipment Engineering and Technical Support


McDowell Engineers and Associates has extensive experience in fleet engineering and technical support services for passenger railcar and locomotive fleets. Providing sufficient engineering and technical support to mechanical teams increases the reliability, serviceability, and maintainability of equipment. This is important in keeping equipment in service and minimizing unnecessary maintenance costs.


  • Engineering and technical support for your mechanical and maintenance services teams to optimize maintenance operations.

  • Defect tracking that provides metrics for mechanical staff to optimize fleet reliability and expedite repairs.

  • Address system defects and increase fleet maintainability and serviceability using CAPA and RCA tools.

  • Development of implementation plans.

  • Authoring procedure documentation for mechanical tasks that include viability, cost assessments, and capturing valuable information from experienced mechanical personnel.

  • Creation of technical notices for compliance issues, manufacturer updates, and retrofits.

  • Defining specifications for locomotive rebuilds or railcar refurbishment used to manage the rebuild and refurbishment process including inspections, reports, and budget assessments.

  • Assessing current equipment remaining service life and maintenance costs, allowing you to make informed decisions on your fleet.

McDowell Engineers and Associates oversees railcar refurbishment programs. We have created design standards and specifications that railcar shops follow to refurbish Heritage railcars (1950's and 1960's). Rail cars are stripped down to structure, repaired, and outfitted with modern interiors. All renovations comply with federal regulations relating to wheelchair compliance, smoke and flame compliance, 8-4-4g loading compliance, and lighting level requirements. For agencies or companies with limited funds, refurbishing heritage cars to like new condition result in significant savings over new car costs. 

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