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Educational OLE book goes live

A free-to-download book covering overhead line electrification has been released as an “easy to read” introduction to the subject.

Author Garry Keenor, an experienced OLE engineer, has spent more hours than he dares to calculate putting the 286-page study book together in his own time.

But he’s already seeing it pay dividends, with the book receiving 5,500 downloads to date since being issued on December 14.

Titled ‘Overhead Line Electrification for Railways’, the document is now in its fifth incarnation having been first created for internal staff at his then-employer Scott Wilson (Now a part of AECOM) in 2004.

Its popularity, combined with the fact colleagues have taken the document with them to other companies, led Garry to realise that the industry, not just his employer, needed a go-to OLE text book.

The recent update is a bumper one however, with almost 75 per cent more material than its predecessor.

Garry, who now works for Atkins as the technical authority on OLE, explained: “Obviously electrification has gone through a lot of upheaval and change recently. It’s probably true that we’ve developed the way we do most aspects of it, there’s an increased focus on electrical safety now compared with the past. So, quite a lot of what I wrote two years ago needed a refresh from that point of view.

“The other thing is there are a lot of areas like immunisation and dual voltage areas and things like that where I previously wouldn’t have felt confident enough to write about them. The great thing about working for Atkins is you’ve got access to the best people, so if you don’t know something, you don’t understand it, you just pick up the phone and find the person and you learn that way.”

Following feedback, Garry is now also exploring the possibility of producing a print edition.

He added: “My wife thinks I’m crazy. She said ‘You should be charging £5 a download!’

“I’m not doing it for profit, I’m well rewarded for what I do and if I wasn’t in this role, I wouldn’t be able to write the book.”

If you would like to download the book, or make a charitable donation in support of Garry’s work, go to: www.ocs4rail.com

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