Malcolm Dobell BTech CEng FIMechE

SPECIALIST AREAS
Rolling stock, depots, systems integration, fleet operations.


Malcolm Dobell worked for the whole of his 45-year career with London Underground. He entered the Apprentice Training Centre in Acton Works in 1969 as an engineering trainee, taking a thin sandwich course at Brunel University, graduating with an honours degree in 1973.

He then worked as part of the team supervising the designs of all the various items of auxiliary equipment for new trains, which gave him experience in a broad range of disciplines. Later, he became project manager for the Jubilee Line’s first fleet of new trains (displaced when the extension came along), and then helped set up the train refurbishment programme of the 90s, before being appointed Professional Head of Rolling stock in 1997.

Malcolm retired as Head of Train Systems Engineering in 2014 following a career during which he had a role in the design of all the passenger trains currently in service - even the oldest - and, particularly, bringing the upgraded Victoria line (rolling stock and signalling) into service.

He is a non-executive director of CPC Systems, a systems engineering company that helps train operators improve their performance. A former IMechE Railway Division Chairman and a current board member, he also helps to organise and judge the annual Railway Challenge, is a member of the Railway Division Board and is the chair of governors at a large secondary academy in Milton Keynes.

Latest Articles

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

Although a number of new train fleets have been introduced onto the British rail network in recent years, with more still to come,...

Have you heard the whisper about new developments to WSPER?

Your writer first became aware of WSPER (Wheel Slide Protection Evaluation Rig) in the 1990s. It is a method of carrying out...

Repoint – New Thinking in Point Machines

Faults tend to have significant impact on railway performance, disrupting or stopping train movement. Railway administrators make significant efforts to reduce or eliminate sources...

Using Data to Improve Fleet Maintenance

Rail Engineer has reported on the use of data analytics before (issues 136 and 148, February 2016 and February 2017) following attendance...

Class 769 Flex in Action

On a sunny afternoon in early November, Rail Engineer travelled to Rothley station on the Great Central Railway, at the invitation of Porterbrook Leasing,...

IMechE Technical Tour: Railways and Mountains – What’s Not to Like?

Around thirty engineers participated in the IMechE Railway Division’s recent Technical Tour (the tour) to northern Italy and southeastern Switzerland. The participants included experts...

20th Century Heritage, 21st Century Safety

In August 1968, the last scheduled British Railways steam train ran on the British railway network. By then, the heritage movement had already started,...

The IMechE Railway Division’s latest chairman prepares for his first address

It is exactly 50 years since the former Institution of Locomotive Engineers amalgamated with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, forming its Railway Division. Andy...

Hydroflex – the next iteration of the Flex concept

When researching an article for the Class 769 Flex, there were lots of ideas discussed about how the concept could be extended for other...

Bi-Mode Good, Tri-Mode Better

A previous article in Rail Engineer (issue 157, November 2017) outlined plans for bi-mode fleets on UK railways. This article briefly described Porterbrook Leasing’s...

Depot equipment trends

A train maintenance engineer will be familiar with sending out a clean train with all its water tanks full, and a day or so...

Low-cost, lightweight rail vehicles for low-density routes

You want to reopen a disused rail line. You’ve got permission to do so, you have organised to close, re-route or otherwise deal with...

London Underground Deep Tube Upgrade

On 15 June 2018, Transport for London (TfL) confirmed its intention “to award Siemens Mobility Limited a contract of around £1.5 billion to design and build...

A little sand in the right place works wonders – Part 2, the results

Last year (issue 157, November 2017), Rail Engineer contained an article with a very similar title covering tests using additional sanders and variable-rate discharge...

How to Refit a Train in 9 days (Mid-life Refresh of Siemens’ Class 185 DMUs)

Rail Engineer’s report on the 2017 RVE Exhibition (issue 157, November 2017) featured a paragraph describing the mid-life refresh of the Siemens Class 185...

Out by Plane, Back by Train

Each year, the Railway Division of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers organises a technical study tour for its members. It is an opportunity to...