Rolling stock maintenance: how have Colas Rail and Ramfer enhanced their maintenance know-how with CARL Source?

Rolling stock maintenance - Example of Colas Rail and Ramfer CMMS

Rolling stock maintenance: how have Colas Rail and Ramfer enhanced their maintenance know-how with CARL Source?

Maintenance of railway rolling stock.

A CMMS to improve the maintenance of railway rolling stock. This was what Ramfer – a Colas Rail brand – dedicated to railway maintenance. The solution put in place, signed CARL Berger-levrault with the CMMS software CARL Source has been a fundamental lever for the industrialization of processes on all Ramfer sites with a population of maintenance and machine operation technicians of more than 300 people.


Cross-examination with Laurent Linxe, Ramfer/Colas Rail equipment manager and Mouad Barouri, Ramfer maintenance engineering department manager.

Colas Rail and Ramfer, world leader in rolling stock maintenance

Colas Rail is the world leader in rail infrastructure, with sales of €1 billion, more than 50% of which are generated internationally, with several activities in the United Kingdom, Asia and South America. After two acquisitions and the construction of a new site in Grenay (Isère) in 2013, the group wanted to create a project to market the maintenance of rolling stock with the Ramfer brand. Its network of workshops dedicated to the maintenance of rolling stock includes 120 engineers and technicians in all of its 5 sites in France. Ramfer, whose customers include Eiffage Rail and the SNCF, is today the first private player in rolling stock maintenance to focus on improving the value chain in these markets.

In 2019, the construction of a new building specially designed and scaled for all these maintenance activities, be they mechanical, hydraulic or for automation and boiler making, has allowed both better accessibility to its customers and improved efficiency of intervention by its technicians.

Improving rolling stock maintenance with CARL Source Transport CMMS


Based on the specifications for the selection of CMMS the most suitable is the Colas Rail equipment fleet. A fleet of railway infrastructures with a replacement value of 560 million euros, with very significant security issues for operators and the network. “Among our objectives,” explains Mouad Barouri, Ramfer maintenance engineering department manager, “there was the need to improve the availability rate of our equipment. But we also wanted to improve the management of maintenance deadlines, costs, purchasing management and inventory planning”. With very different objectives depending on the nature of the users.

In fact, in France, it is workshop technicians and engineers who use CARL Source. But we also have an operating population, for example agencies that do railroad maintenance and their maintenance managers or conductors, who most often use CARL Touch mobile application. “CARL Touch allows you to work offline, which is a major asset during any work,” specifies the manager.

Maintenance of rolling stock | COLAS-RAMFER

Maintenance work on rolling stock | COLAS RAIL


Our strength is our long-standing know-how in maintenance,” adds Laurent Linxe, Ramfer – Colas Rail Equipment Director. “We have a strong oral history on motorized vehicles, but this is scattered throughout France and also abroad. So we first looked for a solution to centralize and share this wealth.”

To do this, the company has implemented a five-step deployment strategy:

  • Structure the organization.
  • Capitalize on know-how
  • Deploy a CMMS tool.
  • Train technicians and operators.
  • Measure the performance of the entire maintenance process.

“…Our goals included managing maintenance deadlines, costs, purchase management as well as stock planning.”

Mouad Barouri, Head of Ramfer Maintenance Engineering Department

CARL Source, an essential lever for the industrialisation of rolling stock maintenance

CARL Source Transport - Maintenance CMMS

The rollout of CARL Source therefore took place between 2015 and 2018. The project was carried out in stages using the locomotive fleet of Colas Rail agencies. Then, the CMMS signed CARL Berger-Levrault was rolled out in French maintenance workshops and duplicated on 12 maintenance sites, to end in 2018 with Morocco and the United Kingdom. “This represents approximately 300 users in France and, also counting users from England and Morocco, we have around 500 people”, explains Laurent Linxe.

In order to capitalize on the group’s historical know-how, the first step in this rollout was to structure this knowledge:

  • Hardware fleet management (with 4 or 5 tree degrees).
  • Common item repository (BOM).
  • Management of repairable modules.
  • Maintenance schedules and operating methods.
  • Maintenance schedules with list of works to be carried out and list of equipment to be used.
  • Preventive plan.

CARL Source Transport | Transport CMMS - Maintenance de matériel roulant

The benefits of the CARL Source CMMS

On locomotives for example,” details Mouad Barouri, “we have regulatory inspections, but also operations based on hour or odometers.

Since we are able to interface CARL Source with the machine geolocation tool, we can trigger work by taking into account these two parameters simultaneously”.

CARL Source also allows you to place orders directly via the CMMS since the data of a maintenance range interact directly with those of the operations to be carried out but also with the tabs supplies, spare parts or with the subcontractors.

We use CARL Source throughout the scope of corrective and preventive works,” explains the manager, “just like for the inventory management and purchases with a tool connected to our ERP so that the accounting department can reconcile the invoice with the provisions made by the operational staff, as well as managing quotes and resources.”

Each user has the information available on his dashboard with several indicators for each trade. “Reporting is also very efficient,” rejoices Mouad Barouri, “there is a high level of customization and, thanks to the CARL Loader tool, we can also import data automatically from CSV files instead of integrating it manually.