63 Years of 4001

 
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

Today marks 63 years since Candian-Alco GE 4001 was delivered to the NSWGR system.

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  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

Today marks 63 years since Candian-Alco GE 4001 was delivered to the NSWGR system.
electrax

It was a pity the NSWGR did not order at least 40 of the 40 Class. A larger order would have avoided the truly horrible 41 class and could have performed much the same role. I think some dimwit in the administration at the time believed the 40 class were main line locos and the 41 class a switcher type loco when in fact North American railroads used them as an all purpose loco.

I recently came across a Spanish Railways poster with a painting of the similar Alco (4 wheel truck) they received. The model they received was very similar to the North American model (except for buffers and link couplers) unlike the terribly hacked around model we received. I can obviously understand the changes to the cab profile, however the extensive changes to the front pilot and total lack of rear pilot made for a very odd looking loco. More like it should have been a steam loco rather then a diesel.

Any ideas why they did this? Must have cost a lot more than a standard model and made them unsuitable for long hood running which must have restricted their usefulness.

Could it be that only 20 were ordered due to the silly foreign currency regulations at the time. If NSWGR was not sure about them they could have stumped up for more after the original 20 were proved to be very suitable. Were did the story come from that it was at first thought ALCO PAs had been ordered. The long gone O Gauge House even made up a kit of parts for a model of a PA. Remember seeing them running around the layout at the time at Haberfield. I was very young then. Sigh.
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

Presumably, th3y were ordered from Canada because their purchase in that manner satisfied the financial requirements then in place. I seem to recall that Goodwin never got the Alco licence until about 1956 and Goninan got the GE Licence until around 1957. Perhaps M636C would like to comment?
  a6et Minister for Railways

It was a pity the NSWGR did not order at least 40 of the 40 Class. A larger order would have avoided the truly horrible 41 class and could have performed much the same role. I think some dimwit in the administration at the time believed the 40 class were main line locos and the 41 class a switcher type loco when in fact North American railroads used them as an all purpose loco.

I recently came across a Spanish Railways poster with a painting of the similar Alco (4 wheel truck) they received. The model they received was very similar to the North American model (except for buffers and link couplers) unlike the terribly hacked around model we received. I can obviously understand the changes to the cab profile, however the extensive changes to the front pilot and total lack of rear pilot made for a very odd looking loco. More like it should have been a steam loco rather then a diesel.

Any ideas why they did this? Must have cost a lot more than a standard model and made them unsuitable for long hood running which must have restricted their usefulness.

Could it be that only 20 were ordered due to the silly foreign currency regulations at the time. If NSWGR was not sure about them they could have stumped up for more after the original 20 were proved to be very suitable. Were did the story come from that it was at first thought ALCO PAs had been ordered. The long gone O Gauge House even made up a kit of parts for a model of a PA. Remember seeing them running around the layout at the time at Haberfield. I was very young then. Sigh.
nswtrains

The U.S had been producing diesels for some time prior to the 40cl, & the Brits saw they were likely to lose out on markets, especially as NSW looked to DE types rather than the DH's preffered in England.

The order for both the 40 & 41 classes were more test cases for the future direction for locomotives in NSW, at the time most of the heads were still in favour of new & modern steam, however the newer engineers were leaning towards diesels, thus these were ordered as evaluations for the future.

Bare in mind that the 40cl was built in Canada as the U.S were strapped with new off the shelf versions of the diesels, & buying through the Montreal company allowed the mods to be done to suit our loading gauge, namely the cab, which in the end improved the look of them over the stock RS3's used in the U.S.  Also the rear end was a purpose concept, while they were looked at for freight services, as well as passenger trains, at the time of the orders Hook couplers were still very much the primary coupler in use in both areas, the open end of #2 end made the coupling up to hooks a much easier & safer work than having a flared type cow catcher at that end.

What that also meant was that NSW basically had to have buffers on their locomotives both front & rear to cater for working hook type trains.  Look at the standard RS2 or RS3 & there is not a huge difference in the front end of them either.  The cab or drivers set up for them, & they were purchased as they were called road switchers, with drivers controls only on the one side, & as the U.S & Canada operated from the right hand side of the cab, & they also (like Victoria) operated their diesels with that style of cab Long end leading as normal, not short end as we did, but it made for correct side operation by the driver in NSW.

The other aspect in the order also was they could get them here quick owing to the desperate post WW2 engine shortage with minimal time delay owing to the alterations to fit the loading gauge. The Canadian RS3's had steam heating units in the nose as standard on their versions, while it could have been handy here for steam heated trains, it would have been an additional expense for little use, the space for the steam heating unit was simply replace with a large cement block for the weight distribution.

If there was anything of money or politics involved & one story had it that they went to the Canadian agency of Alco as it kept the contract with a commonwealth country.

One of the big issues that was found with them was the A1A + A1A arrangement was very poor & really did not make them suitable for heavy goods traffic especially in wet areas as they slipped badly & could easily go into an uncontrolled wheel spin, being light on the wheels, & the US style B6 brake valve, was very hard when the independant brake was applied & could lock the wheels up & cause them to slide, same thing with the 6et on the 59cl.

As for the 41cl, in the areas that they ended up working in especially on the petrol traffic shunting trip to Sandown & the high intensive shunting work at Cooks River where they stayed out from Sunday Night to Saturday afternoon, they performed exceptionally well, in fact as good as, if not better than a 48cl.  What it proved in simple terms Horses for courses.  

Certainly the more versatile 40cl which was able to operate in a wider area across the state was more succesful than the 41cl but both had their issues in their lack of areas.

electrax



Presumably, th3y were ordered from Canada because their purchase in that manner satisfied the financial requirements then in place. I seem to recall that Goodwin never got the Alco licence until about 1956 and Goninan got the GE Licence until around 1957. Perhaps M636C would like to comment?




I think you got that back to front.  The 43 came out before the 44, & had different electrical systems in it owing to Alco not prepared (so I understand) to Goninans for only 6 loco's.  GEC supplied the electricals for the 43 & when Goodwins finally received the agency for production of Alco's they used the GE electricals rather than GEC.

I do not have my diesel operation book handy but they show the difference in the electrical setup of them.
  M636C Minister for Railways

My understanding was that the availability of US Dollars was closely controlled by the Federal Government during the early post war years in order to reduce the substantial debts incurred during WWII. Certainly the delivery of the GM class and B class appears to have been delayed by non-availability of US Dollars for the diesel engine and electrical equipment. This caused the SAR who had intended to buy locomotives similar to the GM class to build their own 900 class using power equipment from the United Kingdom which could be purchased without currency restrictions.

Canada was also an area where items could be purchased without requiring expenditure of US Dollars. Certainly I think this influenced where the 40 class were built. At the time, Alco had locomotives in production with the A1A' A1A' wheel arrangement, used on lightly laid lines in the USA and Canada, and exported to Pakistan and Portugal as well as Australia. Later Alco produced the RSD-4 with six motors but the GE GT581 generator was a bit overloaded with six domestic size motors and an RSD-5 with the GE GT586 generator superseded it. This was electrically similar to the DL 541 which arrived here as the 45 class and 600 class although these had the later 251 engine.

It wasn't only railway equipment. The Ford Motor Company of Australia was a subsidiary of Ford Canada, right up to the introduction of the original Falcon. Now of course they will stop building the Falcon and it will be replaced by American and European Fords just like the ones we had before the Falcon...

M636C
  wurx Lithgovian Ambassador-at-Large

Location: The mystical lost principality of Daptovia
IMHO, if the 40s had a major (design) failing, it was the inabilty - AIUI - to be able to work MU with any other class.

Of course, history demonstrates that the A1A-A1A bogie arrangement - instead of Co-Co - was also inadequate, but my guess is that that was merely the thinking of the day, bearing in mind that the initial batch of CR GM locos were also A1A-A1A.
  a6et Minister for Railways

IMHO, if the 40s had a major (design) failing, it was the inabilty - AIUI - to be able to work MU with any other class.

Of course, history demonstrates that the A1A-A1A bogie arrangement - instead of Co-Co - was also inadequate, but my guess is that that was merely the thinking of the day, bearing in mind that the initial batch of CR GM locos were also A1A-A1A.
wurx

Perhaps the factor of them being the early test diesels was a contributing factor in the decision.  From what I understand of the time, there was sceptism about diesels from a large proportion of the powers, as such they were really only evaluation engines.
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

Perhaps the factor of them being the early test diesels was a contributing factor in the decision. From what I understand of the time, there was sceptism about diesels from a large proportion of the powers, as such they were really only evaluation engines.
a6et

Note that the SAR 900 class looks as though the body design was influenced by the American PA-series locomotives.
  Picton Locomotive Driver

Note that the SAR 900 class looks as though the body design was influenced by the American PA-series locomotives.
electrax

I've always thought that too. And especially, the AT&SF PA's given the roof mounted number boxes above the wind shield centre pillar on both the PA and 900.

Cheers,
Rob
  electrax Assistant Commissioner

The GM EMD E-series and ALco PA-series, despite being of 12-wheeled arrangement, were all of A1A-A1A configuration. I would venture to suggest that the first GMs to have the Co-Co arrangement, or pretty close to that devlopment, would have been the ML-2s in VIctoria and the SD-7s in North America and the Alco DL-500Bs (at least as far as the worldwide export design is concerned).
  pawanoro Deputy Commissioner

The GM EMD E-series and ALco PA-series, despite being of 12-wheeled arrangement, were all of A1A-A1A configuration. I would venture to suggest that the first GMs to have the Co-Co arrangement, or pretty close to that devlopment, would have been the ML-2s in Victoria and the SD-7s in North America and the Alco DL-500Bs (at least as far as the worldwide export design is concerned).
electrax


Get yourself a read of ML2 Story and you'll see that one of the progenitors of EMD creating a three powered axle bogie was the Victorian Railways requirement for locomotives with six powered axles. The Alco RSD-4 was in production in the US at about the same time, the DL-500B was three years later.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Get yourself a read of ML2 Story and you'll see that one of the progenitors of EMD creating a three powered axle bogie was the Victorian Railways requirement for locomotives with six powered axles. The Alco RSD-4 was in production in the US at about the same time, the DL-500B was three years later.
pawanoro


"The ML2 Story" tends to build up the VR  (and George Brown's) involvement in EMDs Flexicoil truck to appear more significant than it was in reality. I think I managed to convince Peter Bermingham of this.

Looking at the photos of the trials of the Export Flexicoil truck, if I recall correctly, it only had two motors per truck, since there were no brakes on the centre idler axle. It was a test of the Flexicoil as applied to the GM class, with an A1A' A1A' wheel arrangement.

The first locomotive with a six motor EMD Flexicoil truck was the prototype SD7, later sold to Southern Pacific. It had trucks about 300 mm longer in wheelbase than the B class.

The B class was a developmental dead end. The EMD generator of the time was only just capable of supplying six motors as arranged in the B class, and as a result the starting tractive effort was significantly less than the more costly (in switchgear) arrangement used on the GM12, 42 and S classes (and the SD7). This was the reason that the major rebuilding as the A class was carried out, but because virtually everything was new, most A class ended up as new N class.

The B class were nearly as limited as their contemporary four motor contemporaries. They didn't slip as much, but they were no more suitable for heavy freight work. They could easily replace steam locomotives, but they were not heavy duty locomotives like the SD7 or the later S class.

Alco had built the RSD-1 as a six motor locomotive from about 1942 and rebuilt the 1941 RS-1s  with six motors for use in Iran. It was only 1000 HP but it was a main line locomotive and vital for the war effort.

Baldwin had six motor 1500 HP road switchers in service well before the EMD SD7 or the RSD-4.

To get back on topic, the 40 class was a freight locomotive as introduced, running in pairs on fast freights. A pair was able to do the work of a 57 class on lighter track and with much shorter section times. They were an unqualified success on the main south and saved the North Coast line which had deteriorated to the stage that even 36 class were regarded as too heavy.

The incompatibility with later units was due to two characteristics: they did not use the standard 27 pin jumper cables and they lacked automatic transition between traction motor connections. Manual transition was a cost saving measure. I understand 4001 has had automatic transition fitted, as the NSWGR could have done at any time if they had wanted to, and has had standard MU connections fitted, a simple upgrade.

Like the B class, replacement of the 40 class by the 442 class was the best option, just as the N class replaced most of the B class.

It should be remembered that 4002 is still complete and is close to working order. It was restored to working order and pretty much original condition, and possibly could run again if it could be brought back from Karratha.

M636C
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

The B Class was hardly a developmental dead end. The B Class utilised a main generator/traction motor match that made the best use in terms of current capacity of the D12 generator and D 27 traction motors with the 1500 HP 567B engine output. The traction motor hook up (series parallel-full parallel) is the same as that of the much later C Class which again made the best use of the AR 10 alternator and D 77B traction motors current capacity with the 3300 HP 645E3 engine output.

The 42 Class, S Class utilised D37 and D 47 traction motors with better insulation, higher current capacity and D22/D32 main generators and 1950/1750 HP engines and by providing two stages of field shunting of the traction motors in series parallel hook up the higher current capacity resulted in higher rated tractive effort. The second batch of X Class utilised D 77 traction motors and in common with the 422 Class utilised three stages of field shunting to absorb the higher power output of the 645E engine D 32 generator.

The development of DC  electric traction hinged on the development of superior generator and traction motor insulation and hence current capability.

TW
  M636C Minister for Railways

The B Class utilised a main generator/traction motor match that made the best use in terms of current capacity of the D12 generator and D 27 traction motors with the 1500 HP 567B engine output.

TW
t_woodroffe

At the time of their introduction, the B class were a very suitable locomotive for the duties they undertook.

However, in later years, the B class were used most often on lighter passenger trains since this duty suited their traction characteristics.

This was not very different from the later use of four motor six axle units such as the early GM class, the 900 class and of course the 40 class.

At the time (1950-51), none of the railway administrations could predict the development of post war traffic and the paths locomotive development would take.

It could be argued that the B class were closer to the designs of later locomotives but in the end they were replaced, partly by A class rebuilds (which were more suitable for feight operation) and partly by the N class for passenger work.

They lasted longer in main line traffic than the 40 class , the 900 class and the GM-1 series.

A number continue in service with private operators, but so does GM-10 in much the same sort of duties.

It is not so straight forward as to say that the B class were a success because they had six motors and the GM-1, 900 and 40 classes were failures because they had four motors. All these locomotives did the job they were purchased for with reasonable success and reflected the traffic and the terrain over which they were used.

By the mid 1950s the S, GM-12, 42 and the 44 and 930 formed a pattern followed until the late 1960s and 1970s when higher power units arrived. By the 1980s, better traction control allowed further increases in loading (particularly on steeper grades in NSW).

It was at this stage that the B class were reduced to secondary duties from the passenger service they had performed.

But nobody bought locomotives just like the B class again, just as nobody bought four motor six axle locomotives again in Australia after the QR 1400 class.

M636C
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

The B Class were rebuilt/replaced because their power to weight ratio was not up to the requirement for the passenger operation conceived in the early 1980s and the fact that their brake specific fuel consumption was poor in comparison with 1980 locomotives. The A Class rebuilds were never intended as freight motive power which is why the D 27 traction motors were only upgraded to D 57 standard. High voltage not high current. It wasn't until Freight Australia era that A Class were re-motored with D77B traction motors, re-geared 61:16 from 59:18 and fitted with a better traction control system (30% load haul increase over passenger A Class) that A Class became better goods locomotives.

In later years B Class were used just as much as goods as passenger locomotives. They were the only VR Class whose load haul capability was determined by generator output and not traction motor continuous rating or adhesion.

The VR (largely Mr Ahlston, CME) should be given credit for adopting a six motor DE for operation on 1:50 ruling grades. They recognised that having one third of the weight of the loco not contributing to adhesive capability was not a good idea and absorbing current over six rather than four traction motors led to longer traction motor life.

TW
  M636C Minister for Railways

It wasn't until Freight Australia era that A Class were re-motored with D77B traction motors, re-geared 61:16 from 59:18 and fitted with a better traction control system (30% load haul increase over passenger A Class) that A Class became better goods locomotives.

In later years B Class were used just as much as goods as passenger locomotives. They were the only VR Class whose load haul capability was determined by generator output and not traction motor continuous rating or adhesion.

The VR (largely Mr Ahlston, CME) should be given credit for adopting a six motor DE for operation on 1:50 ruling grades. They recognised that having one third of the weight of the loco not contributing to adhesive capability was not a good idea and absorbing current over six rather than four traction motors led to longer traction motor life.

TW
t_woodroffe

I should of course have said that the A class as converted were potentially better freight locomotives.

I was told that the B class arrangement of generator and traction motors owed something to the then recent development of the GP7 which had a simplified arrangement of switchgear intended to reduce the cost of the locomotive compared to the F7 cab unit which was regarded as relatively a "premium" locomotive at a higher price.

The B class were indeed more capable than their four motor contemporaries but were less capable than the generation of S/42/GM-12 that followed, so like the four motor units on other systems ended up on less onerous duties.

EMD did try to enforce standard solutions on their customers, both domestic and export, while in Australia, both Clyde and the customers were trying to get something that more closely met their needs. General Electric's sale of what ended up as the 1150 class to Queensland resulted in some fairly heated discussion regarding EMD not offering anything close to that locomotive type at the time. In fact the GE locomotives were pretty much prototypes and it was more than five years before GE were mass producing anything like the 1150. The QR Laboratories at Ipswich had particularly unkind things to say about the state of development of the Cooper Bessemer engines. But at the time (late 1951) Clyde felt let down.

So Mr Ahlston probably had to make his point quite firmly to get what he wanted in the B class. It is worth pointing out that the B class were the only double cab EMD locomotives built with six US domestic motors. The locomotives provided to European customers generally had a choice of six universal motors (D-19, D-29) or four D27 or later with idler centre axles. The Norwegians went for the six motors, of course, given their mountainous terrain and cold winters but managed to pick up three four motor units from Nohab at bargain prices (something that Norwegians can't resist...)

M636C
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

"......ended up on less onerous duties." The B Class had a rated tractive effort of 178 kN at 18 km/h from the day went into service and were utilised as motive power units with these characteristics. The 18 km/h rated TE speed as close to that of S and X class locomotives and they were operated in MU with these classes perfectly happily until retired from VR/V/Line service. The B Class were still hauling the same loads in the 1980s that they were hauling in 1952 ....

TW
  M636C Minister for Railways

The B Class were still hauling the same loads in the 1980s that they were hauling in 1952 ....

TW
t_woodroffe


But the trains they hauled in 1952 were "The Overland" and the fast freights to Serviceton and even the "Spirit of Progress" when required.

The equivalent trains in the 1980s were heavier and faster and required more powerful locomotives. So the B class were seen on intrastate passenger trains and slower freight traffic.

I was not suggesting that the locomotives had been significantly downgraded, just that they were working less important trains.

The same could probably be said for 900 class, GM-1 and 40 class. Their allowed loads were also probably the same as in 1951, but at the end of their lives they did not appear on the fast freights they had hauled when new, but were seen on passenger trains and lighter freight trains that remained within their allowed loads.

M636C
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The B class ran the BG SoP for years from the demise of the steam S class until the arrival of the diesel-electric S class and from then until 1962 when the SoP went SG.

The 4 motor GMs ran the Trans-Australian almost exclusively until the late 1960s at least when the 6 motor locos took over. The 4 motor GMs were regular train engines on Trans line fast goods and fast mixed trains following introduction of the CLs - apparently something to do with their continuous speeds I gather. No doubt TW/M636 will know something.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

The four motor GMs shared the same continuous speed (15 mph) with the CLs (14.9 mph) whereas the six motor GMs had a continuous speed of 9 mph so the four motor GMs would MU with the CLs very comfortably without any load reduction ( that is the load haul capability of each class could be simply summed in MU.) Did the CLs and early GMs regularly run in MU in preference to six motor GM/CL combos?

For reference:

B Class starting TE 60,000 lb cont TE 40,000 lb @ 11 mph
GM1-11starting TE 41,400 lb cont TE 29,600 lb @ 15 mph
GM 12 -starting TE 65,300 lb cont TE 49,500 lb @ 9 mph

TW
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
The four motor GMs shared the same continuous speed (15 mph) with the CLs (14.9 mph) whereas the six motor GMs had a continuous speed of 9 mph so the four motor GMs would MU with the CLs very comfortably without any load reduction ( that is the load haul capability of each class could be simply summed in MU.) Did the CLs and early GMs regularly run in MU in preference to six motor GM/CL combos?

For reference:

B Class starting TE 60,000 lb cont TE 40,000 lb @ 11 mph
GM1-11starting TE 41,400 lb cont TE 29,600 lb @ 15 mph
GM 12 -starting TE 65,300 lb cont TE 49,500 lb @ 9 mph

TW
t_woodroffe

Yes there was a period after the CLs arrived that there was a preference for a CL and a GM 1-11 on the fast goods and fast mixed trains on the TAR. Not sure how long it lasted as I was out of the area mid 1970s.

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