In 2006, Amtrak instituted a program that coupled Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) with Root Cause Analysis (RCA) to increase rolling stock reliability. The RCM-RCA program at Amtrak combined features of RCM and RCA into a unique methodology to achieve success. A case study of the High Horsepower electric locomotive (HHP-8) power module failure RCA project is described in this paper. The initial focus of the RCA was a persistently high failure rate of power modules. Power modules are expensive to purchase and labor intensive to replace. Additionally, power module failures take locomotives out of revenue service. Partially as a result of the HHP-8 Power Module RCA project, and the implemented recommendations, the availability of the HHP-8 locomotive fleet has improved by 80%. Changes were made to the maintenance, condition monitoring, and troubleshooting procedures for HHP-8 as a result of the RCA project. The physical, human, and latent root causes for the high failure rate of HHP-8 Power Modules, were determined and addressed during this six month effort. A cross-functional team of AMTRAK personnel worked closely with reliability consultants and the original equipment manufacturers to determine the various root causes. This case study is a valuable example of how the hands-on nature of a rigorous RCA coupled with the methodology of RCM can result in significant improvements to reliability and availability.

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