3800's and3700's

 
  raymond Deputy Commissioner

Location: Gladstone, Queensland
Is there a new order to place 37/3800's in a coal train.

Today I observed two coal trains with a 38/3700 on the lead, one in the middle and one on the rear.



  RAYMOND

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  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Is there a new order to place 37/3800's in a coal train.

Today I observed two coal trains with a 38/3700 on the lead, one in the middle and one on the rear.



  RAYMOND
raymond
I don't know how "new" it is. When I first visited QLD in September 2012, the theme seemed to be two locomotives on the front and one mid-train helper. When I visited again in August 2014, the working had changed to the observation you've made above. In both cases, both Aurizon and PN used the same theory, with the BMACC units following the same pattern when we saw them in 2014.

On a related note, during the 2012 visit, the 3800s were the only units leading - the 3700s were trailing or mid-train helpers. On the 2014 visit, not a single 3800 was seen, only 3700s. I'm not sure if that was just luck, or if they'd been transferred elsewhere.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Most of the 45 3800s were sent to the Blackwater system a couple of years ago, and now a large number of Goonyella system 3700s are set to follow. In their place 55 3551s are being transferred from the Blackwater system to the Goonyella system and these older locos have started working in 2+2+1 DP sets on the Goonyella system.
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

Yes Ray, called FMB (Front Middle Back) or ABC trains, most of the 37/3800 trains now running in the Blackwater system are running in this format. It has good points and bad points.
  raymond Deputy Commissioner

Location: Gladstone, Queensland
Yes Ray, called FMB (Front Middle Back) or ABC trains, most of the 37/3800 trains now running in the Blackwater system are running in this format. It has good points and bad points.
Expost
Thanks expost, I had not seen38/370 0,s used like that.

Reminds me of the time that we ran two clydes on the front and one EE and LRC on the rear.


RAYMOND
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

And apparently, up in the Goonyella system, they are setting up the 3500s (they are getting most, if not all of them) in a 2-42, 2-42, 1-40 configuration.
  raymond Deputy Commissioner

Location: Gladstone, Queensland
EXpost,what are the good and bad points you mention.



RAYMOND
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

This is entirely my opinion. Good points, brakes pump off much quicker, seems to produce a smoother ride, and certainly seems to have lessened the issue of breaking trains. Bad points, uppermost is the fact you now have to be very aware of where the rear of your train is, specifically around neutral sections, and most especially a neutral section immediately prior to a bank, in the loaded direction. Fairly difficult to isolate individual locos using IC, even more so when running the rear loco in brake mode. Its quite a lot of mucking around. Don't know how they go loading at a mine that has a climb whilst loading, if the last loco is off the wire, and you have to stop for some reason, unknown if the 2 locos can loft a nearly loaded train. Also climbing banks such as Tunnel now it seems as though the lead loco is creeping the entire climb, producing a lot of wheel slip and noise. Again, just my opinion.
  Draffa Chief Commissioner

This is entirely my opinion. Good points, brakes pump off much quicker, seems to produce a smoother ride, and certainly seems to have lessened the issue of breaking trains. Bad points, uppermost is the fact you now have to be very aware of where the rear of your train is, specifically around neutral sections, and most especially a neutral section immediately prior to a bank, in the loaded direction. Fairly difficult to isolate individual locos using IC, even more so when running the rear loco in brake mode. Its quite a lot of mucking around. Don't know how they go loading at a mine that has a climb whilst loading, if the last loco is off the wire, and you have to stop for some reason, unknown if the 2 locos can loft a nearly loaded train. Also climbing banks such as Tunnel now it seems as though the lead loco is creeping the entire climb, producing a lot of wheel slip and noise. Again, just my opinion.
Expost
Another good point is that distributing the power reduces stresses on the rails in curves (= lower maintainence costs).

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