But there would never have been enough time and space. So for the time being the very briefest of introductions to railroad yard air systems will have to do. Take your time as you skim through this material. Because there is more to come. There is plenty of further and more detailed introductory material available to you not far from this page. A primary objective of the modern day yard air system is to be able to practice effective maintenance.
It is deemed that if an air compression system is not being properly maintained it will likely lead to unforeseen breakdowns. Subsequent but necessary repairs will then become quite costly. And furthermore, a train could be derailed in a manner of speaking, not able to service its rolling stock or passengers. An important part of the effective maintenance procedures entails having to prevent compressed air from becoming contaminated in the first instance.
This is accomplished through water separation and filtration, and compressed air desiccation. In the first instance, the air compressor is being protected from impurities that occur in atmospheric air. In the second case just mention, compressed air desiccation removes vapor from compressed air. The result is that railways are being provided with unimpeded power to its key functions for the long term.
Today, advanced filtering systems are being used. There is also a concerted move towards the practice of conservation as well as energy efficiency. Both these objectives are being achieved through the use of pneumatic tools and machinery. Maintenance engineers need to be familiar with the different types of air contaminants as well as its origination. Contamination usually occurs from the atmosphere whereby the inlet valve of the air compressor sucks in polluted air.