BNSF SD70 ACe Units for BHP Billiton

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M636C Minister for Railways

There has been much speculation about this for some time but so far nobody seems to have posted about this. This appeared on the "Trains" forum.

Numbers are BNSF 9166, 9167, 9184 thru 9191. Builders numbers 20066862-037, 20066862-038, 20066862-055 thru -062. BHPBIO purchased these locomotives from BNSF direct bypassing EMD. They will be numbered 4324 thru 4333 for BHPBIO.

- pm_1225

This link to a photo shows the first unit:

http://www.railpictures.net/viewphoto.php?id=228809

The appearance of an ex BNSF unit lettered for BHPB seems to suggest that this isn't an unfounded rumour.

It is expected that the 13 SD70ACe/lc units currently being built will now be numbered 4334 to 4346.

Since the base silver and orange colours are the same (or very similar) to BHPB colours, the locomotives may get the rest of the livery applied in Port Hedland, but if the SD40-2s (still in grey undercoat) are anything to go by, it might be a long time before these units get the full livery.

M636C

 
bulldozed Deputy Commissioner

Mmm, those units look quite smart just as they are.

 
Controller Deputy Commissioner

Location: Banjo Country

There has been much speculation about this for some time but so far nobody seems to have posted about this. This appeared on the "Trains" forum.

Numbers are BNSF 9166, 9167, 9184 thru 9191. Builders numbers 20066862-037, 20066862-038, 20066862-055 thru -062. BHPBIO purchased these locomotives from BNSF direct bypassing EMD. They will be numbered 4324 thru 4333 for BHPBIO.

- pm_1225

M636C

- M636C

Actually, they did not bypass EMD....it was an arrangement involving EMD, BNSF and BHPBIO and more of BHPBIO people being bloody impatient due to their own incompetencies that BNSF out of the goodness of their heart agreed to assist them in this instance.

 
nazarail Chief Commissioner

Location: Between BN 80 UL and BN 87 UL

looks good. How long till the units are in action over here?

 
r_rogel Junior Train Controller

Is it on temporary basis? Are there any plans to return them to BNSF?

 
Tsubame800 Chief Commissioner

From what i understand. these Were manfactured at EMD and basically were due to go to BNSF but a deal was made where these ten have been sold to BHPIO.. please correct me if I am wrong

 
42101 Banned

Location: Banned

M636C Thanks for the link mate im just checking out the derailments/accidents section 20+ pages of mostly yank stuff ups...man they dont stuff around with their crashes do they ShockedShocked

 
David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: Inspector 71

Greg, everything is big in the US of A! LaughingLaughingLaughing

 
Controller Deputy Commissioner

Location: Banjo Country

From what i understand. these Were manfactured at EMD and basically were due to go to BNSF but a deal was made where these ten have been sold to BHPIO.. please correct me if I am wrong

- Tsubame800

Tsubame800......you are correct sir and BNSF will get the BHPBIO SD70's when they are built.

These BNSF loco's arrive at BHPIO to the BNSF specifications as that was part of the deal with EMD and BNSF, that BHPIO had to accept if they wanted these locos now and not wait for their order to be manufactured, which means that they arrive here with no ATP and a few other details not to BHPIO specs.  Initally, these loco's will not be able to be used as leads, only as slaves due to them not having ATP installed.  I also understand that these BNSF loco's are higher than the BHPIO locos, so I don't know how that will affect clearances on some of our infrastructure, i.e. dumpers etc???  Probably have to detach them on arrival Hedland and not allow them thru the dumpers...... Rolling Eyes

Probably won't have "whisper cabs"......SNAFU  Mad

 
M636C Minister for Railways

From what i understand. these Were manfactured at EMD and basically were due to go to BNSF but a deal was made where these ten have been sold to BHPIO.. please correct me if I am wrong

- Tsubame800

Tsubame800......you are correct sir and BNSF will get the BHPBIO SD70's when they are built.

These BNSF loco's arrive at BHPIO to the BNSF specifications as that was part of the deal with EMD and BNSF, that BHPIO had to accept if they wanted these locos now and not wait for their order to be manufactured, which means that they arrive here with no ATP and a few other details not to BHPIO specs.  Initally, these loco's will not be able to be used as leads, only as slaves due to them not having ATP installed.  I also understand that these BNSF loco's are higher than the BHPIO locos, so I don't know how that will affect clearances on some of our infrastructure, i.e. dumpers etc???  Probably have to detach them on arrival Hedland and not allow them thru the dumpers...... Rolling Eyes

Probably won't have "whisper cabs"......SNAFU  Mad

- Controller

The BNSF locos definitely already have isolated cabs! The angled black dividing line under the cab and up the side of the nose is clear in the photos.

Other items can probably be fitted locally.

I understand that dumper No 1 was the main restriction on clearance and none of the SD70ACe/lc units were allowed through that anyway. I'm told that Dumper 1 has been rebuilt with improved clearances during a recent shutdown.

Dumper 4 can clearly take the SD70 ACe/lc units, but I don't know about Dumpers 2 and 3. But since they managed to keep the 23 units out of Dumper 1, more or less successfully, they could cope with restrictions on  ten more units.

The standard units aren't very much taller than the "lc"s, a matter of a few millimetres so there shouldn't be big problems.

While the BNSF locomotives will be replaced, I think that the BHPB order for 13 "lc" still stands and I doubt BNSF would be interested in non standard units. I think these 10 units are just needed right now to keep the system running, but the other 13 are still needed for expansion.

I guess BHPB might look at standard units in future if the clearances work out.

M636C

 
M636C Minister for Railways

There has been much speculation about this for some time but so far nobody seems to have posted about this. This appeared on the "Trains" forum.

Numbers are BNSF 9166, 9167, 9184 thru 9191. Builders numbers 20066862-037, 20066862-038, 20066862-055 thru -062. BHPBIO purchased these locomotives from BNSF direct bypassing EMD. They will be numbered 4324 thru 4333 for BHPBIO.

- pm_1225

M636C

- M636C

Actually, they did not bypass EMD....it was an arrangement involving EMD, BNSF and BHPBIO and more of BHPBIO people being bloody impatient due to their own incompetencies that BNSF out of the goodness of their heart agreed to assist them in this instance.

- Controller

By the way, I didn't agree with the "bypassing EMD" reference. Clearly the locomotives were still at EMD and not fully painted when transferred to BHPB, and EMD have used the standard BHPB decals used on the "lc"s.

BNSF have delayed taking delivery of the later units of this 200 unit order because of a downturn in traffic and I'd bet that they got something out of the deal, if only not having to pay for ten units until the new replacements are made.

M636C

 
M636C Minister for Railways

This seems to explain everything.

M636C

Friday, 28 March 2008

Downer EDI Limited today announced that its Rail division, Downer EDI Rail, with its technology partner, Electro-Motive Diesel (EMD), has won major new orders to supply an additional 19 locomotives to BHP Billiton Iron Ore.

The standard SD70ACe Tier 2 emissions compliant locomotives, which will include an isolated crew cab, will be delivered in two stages from April 2008.

The first 10 locomotives, to be manufactured by EMD, will depart EMD in North America at the end of April 2008, with final commissioning to be undertaken by Downer EDI Rail at their Port Hedland facility.

This rapid will be achieved through manufacturing schedule adjustments developed with EMD at their London, Ontario facility. The second order for 9 locomotives will be delivered in mid 2009.

Once completed, the order will take to 55 the total number of SD70ACe locomotives delivered to BHP Billiton by Downer EDI Rail.

Commenting on the order, Chief Executive Officer of Downer EDI Rail, Mr Guy Wannop, said: "The ongoing orders with BHP Billiton are testament to the high level of service reliability of these locomotives and the commitment from the Downer EDI Rail/EMD partnership to understanding the needs of long term clients such as BHP Billiton.

"A particular feature of these locomotives is their Tier 2 emissions compliance which places them at the forefront of locomotives operating in the Australian market. We are proud to be delivering AC traction Tier 2 emissions compliant locomotives in Australia - a breakthrough for the environment and the rail heavy haul industry."

"These contracts illustrate Downer EDI Rail's ability to develop innovative solutions for our clients, and to strengthen our position in the Pilbara," Mr Wannop said.

- EDI

 
Hendo Assistant Commissioner

Since the base silver and orange colours are the same (or very similar) to BHPB colours, the locomotives may get the rest of the livery applied in Port Hedland, but if the SD40-2s (still in grey undercoat) are anything to go by, it might be a long time before these units get the full livery.

M636C

- M636C

Can I suggest the application of the BHP decals confirms that they won't be repainted quickly. The BNSF Hi-Vis Orange will make them stand out for a week or two, I look forward to Toad's and others photo's of tyhem landing and operating in the West.

cheers,

Chris

 
M636C Minister for Railways

Since the base silver and orange colours are the same (or very similar) to BHPB colours, the locomotives may get the rest of the livery applied in Port Hedland, but if the SD40-2s (still in grey undercoat) are anything to go by, it might be a long time before these units get the full livery.

M636C

- M636C

Can I suggest the application of the BHP decals confirms that they won't be repainted quickly. The BNSF Hi-Vis Orange will make them stand out for a week or two, I look forward to Toad's and others photo's of tyhem landing and operating in the West.

cheers,

Chris

- Hendo

Of course the SD40-2s don't have any decals apart from the numbers.

EDI seem to suggest  in the press release that they will be fitting out the cabs in Port Hedland (as they do for all the EMD built locomotives). This would allow time for the local painting contractor to paint the grey, silver and white while they were waiting.

Also, the only photo shows decals on only one unit of the two visible.

There are strong rumours from the usually reliable sources that these units will go straight into service as trailing units because they are needed so badly. Perhaps some units will go into service as trailing units while others have their cabs fitted out, and then they will be fitted out in turn.

I don't have a good feel for how bad the situation is. When I visited last year, I saw a train which had only DC locomotives stop to cool its motors. If this is happening too often, new AC locomotives will be wanted right away.

The nine units to come next year will probably be in the full colours.

I'd really like to see the old Mt Newman "black swan in an iron symbol" on the side of the engine hood like the old Mt Newman C636 units had.

Just painting the BHP "bubbles" on the hood side in grey and painting the silver trim on the cab and nose would make them look good without needing to replace the decals.

M636C

 
Controller Deputy Commissioner

Location: Banjo Country

I actually like the BNSF orange paintwork compared to the present BHPBIO style.......maybe BHPBIO should think about having all their loco's in this High Visablity Orange paintwork.... Cool

M636C....you are correct about the infrastructure clearances, but it still doesn't get away from the fact that BHPBIO management stuffed up big time in the lateness of placing the order for these SD70's and now the shareholders of the company are up for the extra cost of installing ATP at a later date.....will anyone at management level be pulled over the coals for this stuff up   Mad   - I don't think so

The CEO of Downer EDI didn't make mention of the BHPBIO/BNSF/EMD deal to pull BHPBIO out of the sh#t.  He spoke as if it was a normal order delivery

 
fleabag Assistant Commissioner

Location: Perth

With these modern AC traction-motored units does the diesel plant turn at fixed revolutions all the time or does it vary as with power demands as with DC-motored units?

 
M636C Minister for Railways

With these modern AC traction-motored units does the diesel plant turn at fixed revolutions all the time or does it vary as with power demands as with DC-motored units?

- fleabag

The engine runs exactly as it would in a DC locomotive with a given RPM related to the eight throttle notches. The AC system is "transparent" to the diesel engine.

The power from the alternator is converted to DC which has a voltage that varies with the engine speed and hence the power developed.

This then goes to inverters which convert it to variable frequency AC (the motor speed depending on the frequency) and variable voltage (the power output depending on the voltage and hence the current).

In US locomotives fitted with electric train heating, the power was taken directly from the alternator and the engine ran at 900 RPM continuously regardless of power output. It is generally agreed that this was bbad for the engine and shortened its operating life.

This is why Boston adopted separate train power diesel generators in its F40PH locomotives. There was a significant fuelsaving as well.

To address Controller's point, I would prefer a colour scheme based on the BNSF orange with BHPB symbols but the company's image consultants obviously like the current complex scheme.

But a question: do the SD70 ACe/lc units currently run through dumpers 2 and 3? I know they were restricted from dumper 1.

M636C

 
PILBARAMAN Train Controller

Location: PILBARA

As far as i know M636C dumpers 1,2 and 3 can accept the SD70's and i believe it was only dumpers 1 and 2 that needed modification which was carried out as part of the upgrades they have both received in the last year or so,and as you have mentioned dumper 4 was a new dumper so could take the SD70's from when it opened.Thanks to you for chasing up the info on these new SD70's and the tip on the Trains forum,i have just read that CSX's fleet of AC6000's are to get an engine change to an Evolution series engine rated 6,000hp creating an ES60AC,this may or may not be relevant to BHP's AC6000's,as in upgrading them to Tier 2 Locos.Slightly off topic i know.

 
M636C Minister for Railways

As far as i know M636C dumpers 1,2 and 3 can accept the SD70's and i believe it was only dumpers 1 and 2 that needed modification which was carried out as part of the upgrades they have both received in the last year or so,and as you have mentioned dumper 4 was a new dumper so could take the SD70's from when it opened.Thanks to you for chasing up the info on these new SD70's and the tip on the Trains forum,i have just read that CSX's fleet of AC6000's are to get an engine change to an Evolution series engine rated 6,000hp creating an ES60AC,this may or may not be relevant to BHP's AC6000's,as in upgrading them to Tier 2 Locos.Slightly off topic i know.

- PILBARAMAN

Thanks for the confirmation.

Dumper 2 was brand new when I stopped working for BHP in Port Hedland, so I've lost touch with that sort of detail.

You can watch the SD70s going through dumper 4 from the sandhills on Finucane Island, so there was no question there.

I believe that four BHPB AC6000s already have the modifed engine, including 6076, the first one in bubble paint. You could tell because the turbo exhausts were still painted silver, not burnt and black.

It isn't completely an Evolution engine because it still has the water cooled intercooler and I don't know if it meets Tier 2 emissions, but it is mechanically a 16 cylinder EVO. GE sell the water cooled intercooler version for marine operation and call it the "V250" engine (250 mm bore).

I would expect that the CSX conversions are the same, so it might meet Tier 2, and the marine version certainly would, but it has unlimited supplies of water for cooling and the temperature is critical in meeting emission restrictions. But the older AC6000s might not need to meet the restrictions imposed on new locomotives anyway, although I believe there are modified standards (possibly called Tier 4) to be introduced for older units in the USA.

BHPB will really only want the AC6000s to be more reliable anyway and the newer engine might achieve that.

M636C

 
PILBARAMAN Train Controller

Location: PILBARA

I am not sure which other AC6000's have had the new engine apart from 6076 as you mentioned,though 6075 and 6073,the lead loco on my first train by myself after passing out for Driver Only,have both had the bubble scheme applied in the last 6 months,and they normally give the loco's  going in for overhaul the new paint job,so maybe these 2 have had an engine transplant.We don't get told this stuff normally,even the rumour about these 10 BNSF SD70's was only confirmed by this thread,the 19 extra SD70's on top of the 13 already ordered still has not been announced to the ASX as yet,normally they are on to this ASAP.

 
foamer_pile Beginner

Golly, aint this a topic of conversation at the moment. I happened to see one of these units first hand and without getting too broke back mountain about it, I want to say how hansome I thought they were.

I have been looking at these units for some time and I must say, that I couldnt notice any difference in height by the naked eye. But I'm just a simple farm boy from Wisconsin.

God bless America

 
bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: On a freight train to crazy town



God bless America

- foamer_pile

Not around here mate.

Bing Rolling Eyes

 
Hendo Assistant Commissioner

I have been looking at these units for some time and I must say, that I couldnt notice any difference in height by the naked eye. But I'm just a simple farm boy from Wisconsin.

God bless America

- foamer_pile

Mate,

The height difference is only inches for the low clearance4 version they made. Must be great having the opportunity to see big loco's regularly, even for a Wisconsin farm boy. God Bless!

Cheers,

Chris

 
Hendo Assistant Commissioner

I have been looking at these units for some time and I must say, that I couldnt notice any difference in height by the naked eye. But I'm just a simple farm boy from Wisconsin.

God bless America

- foamer_pile

Mate,

The height difference is only inches for the low clearance version they made. Must be great having the opportunity to see big loco's regularly, even for a Wisconsin farm boy. God Bless!

Cheers,

Chris

PS: Bing, some may not get your humour or lack of sardonic wit.

 
Toad Montgomery Chief Commissioner

Location: Port Hedland: Team EMU want's YOU!

The only drama that the 'full height' BNSF SD70ACe pumkins will have is the now 'dis-used' loco-prep bay.

The structure requires 50 mm to be cut out of the over rail steel work.

Everywhere else on the system is okay. A loco ran with the gauge clearance on it some months ago to check clearances.

As for painting of the units, I've not heard anything, but the 'alfresco' paint shop is getting a bit of a birthday.

All the BHP AC6000 units are being re-engined with the EVO type prime mover as part of their overhaul process. I think from memory, there is only one to be done, and that could well be in the shops at the moment.

Cheers,

 

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