I work for Network Rail at Retford in Nottinghamshire working in the Signalling & Telecommunications Department as a Senior Engineering Technician in the Rapid Response signalling fault team covering the East Coast mainline from Bawtry to Stoke Tunnel, the Retford Low Level line from Gainsborough Trent to Kiveton and the surrounding colliery and branchlines.
I've been on the railway for 19 years (1993-2012) and had experience on working on most signalling equipment from mechanical to most electrical types. New technology is ever increasing and I like to keep myself involved and up-to-date. I've had experience on maintenance teams, New works, Locking Fitters, Pointcare and now Rapid Response as well as acting supervisor at both Retford & Sheffield depots.
My main experience was working on points for ten years as leader of the Retford Pointcare team covering most point types. I was awarded a Determination award in 2009 for managing a junction refit which was dogged by failures. I was also awarded a recognition award for a stretcher design that would indicate if a points stretcher had become detached, this was after the Grayrigg accident. I was also recognised for the work me and my team did at Woodhouse junction in Sheffield, of which in around five years we refitted all the mechanical points, of which I redesigned the compensation issues and moved the cranks and compensators to their proper positions which inevitably cured all failures caused by wear and tear and heat issues. We also refitted nearly all 250 sets of points in the Retford area, making point failures decrease from around 7-10 failures per week to around 1 or 2 failures or less per month.
I've enjoyed every minute of my railway career, and anyone who works on the railway will tell you its a very enjoyable and rewarding role.
I hope you enjoy browsing my site,
F. M. Spowart.