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Track Quality Supervisor

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Dermot Kelly

17 October 2018, 2:51pm

Does anyone have any information on what is expected from a TQS. There seems to be little written down on the subject. My initial thought are recorded below. Please let me know if you can add anything. 

Track Quality Supervisor

The TQS has a critical role ensuring that the OTM delivers value. The TQS ensures the right machine is used in the right place at the right time. (Value being an optimised output based on safety, track quality, track durability, and work volume).


1.       To assist the TME to determine the optimum treatment for a site. (e.g. tamp or stone blow).

2.       To assist the TME in determining the expected outcome (quality, durability, work volume)

3.       To ensure the site is properly prepared for the OTM.

4.       To brief the crew and ensure they understand what is required (expected)

5.       To accept the track following work on behalf of the TME.

6.       To complete and sign the PHIRES form.  

Reporting line & Interfaces



OTM Crews

MDU/Works Delivery Teams

Qualifications and Skills

EngTech PWI. (Why? Because it shows a level of professional commitment and development)

Engineering Knowledge and Experience

·         Track Handback

·         Track components and condition

·         Track Geometry.  Plain line and S&C

·         Gauging and clearances

·         Hot & old weather precautions

·         OTM Track Geometry Software

·         Use of gauges

·         LADs software

An ability to specify OTM preparatory work.

An appreciation of the commercial implications of the TQS role.

An ability to provide written reports into accidents incident or other issues. 

James Moore

19 October 2018, 8:59am

Hi Dermot,

I spent a number of years working as a TQS to Multi Purpose Stoneblower level and held Technical Specialist competence level at Reading DU for Network Rail, i was awarded a 'You Make The Difference' certificate for a particular piece of work i planned, scoped, resourced and delivered in 2009 (52 point ends succesfully tamped over the Christmas period through Paddington and Ladbroke Grove with no cables hit and handed back early smiley-wink.gif).

One of the biggest challenges i faced initially was building relationships with the OTM crews contracted to work on the route. Building trust and demonstrating confidence in your abilities as the person responsible for handing back the line safe for the passage of trains following the work they have undertaken (often for the first train over the treated site to be at 125mph) is a key element; indirectly managing staff who work for another company and getting the best from them is a skill in itself. In the early days of that role the TQS would work for the Route and not assigned to a DU; there was no relationship bulding between the TMEs or the OTM staff.

I realise that this is a technical forum, but from my point of view, to be a good Track Quality (or Geometry as i believe it is now termed) Supervisor; there has to be a certain level of management ability that you are able to confidently demonstrate. Interpersonal skills are as important as technical skills in this role.

Knowing what to do when something goes wrong from a technical point of view goes hand in hand with having a good relationship with the crew; trusting them to help you out of a bad situation with an hour before you need to hand back for linespeed is crucial.

Project management is a skill that should be interlaced with the key geometry skills and management abilities; knowing your assets and the resources available to you (time, equipment, staff, knowledge etc) and being able to build a robust end to end plan that you are confident in delivering is key.

Many people think taking on the role of TQS/TGS is a dead end job; it certainly provided me with an opportunity to gain a wider understanding of the railway as a business.


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