Case Study: Development of Operator and Maintenance Training Curriculum for a Transportation Equipment Manufacturer

Ken Mall - Consulting Managing Partner ·

Over the past several years, discussion about alternative transportation options has increased. Alternative transportation refers to commuting in any way other than driving alone, including public transportation.

Speaking of public transit, last year EDSI worked on a significant project with Brookville Equipment Corporation – an American manufacturer of powered transportation solutions who specializes in mining, tunneling, locomotives and streetcars.

Although Brookville excelled at producing quality equipment and systems, they struggled with developing the required transit industry-standard training materials needed for mechanics and maintenance workers. Brookville’s need for professional and detailed training materials was crucial for the streetcar operators and technicians using the equipment. Specifically, they needed to understand how to troubleshoot, repair and maintain their new machines and equipment.

That’s where EDSI entered the scene. We’re a national workforce development, customized training and consulting company employing 600 professionals across the country. We’ve been active in the transit industry for 20 years, so the project was a natural fit.

Brookville hired EDSI in partnership with the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) training department in Texas to develop a training curriculum for the Liberty Streetcar. The training included 25 modules including instructor and trainee guides. The modules described in detail everything the operators and maintenance professionals needed to know in order to repair and maintain 13 subsystems within the streetcar. For example: the doors on a streetcar are opened thousands of times a day and are the most common part needing repair. In order to assist repair technicians with troubleshooting the doors, EDSI developed hundreds of pages of comprehensive information, with detailed illustrations, to make the repair process easier and more efficient.

Historically, in the transit industry, most training documents consisted of basic PowerPoint presentations that were prepared on the fly, with limited visuals and information. Brookville agreed that these weren’t helpful for anyone needing to understand how to make repairs or perform routine maintenance on these massive machines and subsystems.

EDSI’s goal was to professionalize and standardize the training materials for the streetcar so that Brookville could use them with all of their clients across the U.S. The process we used to gather and create the materials is as follows:

  1. Reviewed DART’s specific training needs
  2. Gathered technical documentation and O&M manuals from the Original Equipment Manufacturer (Brookville)
  3. Created customized templates for training materials – Student Guides, Instructor Guides, PowerPoint presentations
  4. Developed drafts for each training module Facilitated workshops with DART’s trainers to review draft materials
  5. Finalized and submitted training materials for approval

Once EDSI successfully completed the customized training curriculum for Brookville, the company was thrilled to start using the industry-accepted training modules for all of their clients.

EDSI-designed streetcar training manuals are now being used across the United States, from right here in Detroit, Michigan all the way to Dallas, Texas and beyond. Brookville shared with me that they often include the newly created training manuals when they respond to Requests for Proposals (RFPs), in essence helping them to gain new business opportunities. Recently I had the chance to meet with the Detroit developer of the QLINE and he spoke highly of Brookville’s thorough and professional training materials, which was ultimately a compliment to EDSI. By working with the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) – Brookville – to develop an industry-standard training curriculum like this, we continue to demonstrate our ability to expand our portfolio of services to meet the evolving needs of the transit industry.

Some of our past and present transit clients include: American Public Transportation Association (APTA), Southeastern Pennsylvania Transit Authority (SEPTA), New York City Transit, AC Transit in Oakland, California, San Francisco Metropolitan Transit Authority, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART), Metro Transit in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and hundreds of additional private and public sector clients.

Our professional team of instructional designers and trainers is currently preparing to take on additional training challenges in the public transit industry, including developing and delivering training to MARTA’s workforce as part of their multi-year train control upgrade and implementation project.