Reliability of Chinese Manufactured Locomotives

 
  Re-Unification Express Station Staff

Vietnam National Railways (Duong Sat Viet Nam) operate 80 modern metre guage1900 hp co-co diesel electrics designed in China. The intial 40 were built by CNR, the next 20 were assembled in Vietnam from Chinese parts and the third 20 were built in Vietnam at Gia Lam near Hanoi. They are classified as D19E class in Vietnam and CKD7F by CNR. While they have two different body styles, mechanically they are the same with Caterpillar engines and Chinese traction motors.

While information about VNR matters is sometimes difficult to get, it does seem that there were initially some problems with the Chinese built locomotives with a significant number out of service at any one time. However VNR seems to have had far fewer problems with the Vietnam assembled and Vietnam built engines so this could point towards poor quality control in China.  Apart from 16 German built 2000 hp engines (D20E class used in Central Vietnam and the north, they are the locomotive of choice for all mainline passenger and faster freight trains.

It's interesting to note that the German order included an additional 4 locomotives which were never built. Instead VNR officials opted for more of the Chinese engines, which I understand were apart from anything else significantly cheaper than the German product.

There are also 5 standard guage locomotives classified as D19Er also built in China of about 2000hp (Chinese model SDD3). These seem to be quite reliable engines as well.

Similar locomotives have been supplied to a number of countries, in Africa and elsewhere.

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  jmt Assistant Commissioner

Transnamib 0008 was built by CSR Sifang in 2007
Cummins QSK60, rest of the fit-out indigenous Chinese

Transnamib purchased 4 CKD8C from Ziyang in 2004, these were out of service by 2010. Totally unreliable and beyond the capacity of Transnamib to maintain. The Transnamib backshop crew have kept a fleet of 1966/70 vintage U20C running since independence in 1990, so are well conditioned in keeping geriatric locos operating
Of the 17 Sifang SDD6 that arrived 2007/8 only 2 were left in service switching in Windhoek in 2016
At least 7 were wrecked or burnt out
008 was sent to Transnet Engineering's Koedoespoort (Pretoria) shop at the beginning of 2016, to see if the SDD6 was worth rebuilding

http://abload.de/img/keetmanshoop64jnueb.jpg
http://abload.de/img/keetmanshoop661quzj.jpg

I guess that the plates say it all

Transnamib had no complaints regarding the QSK60, or the level of support from the Cummins agent
Expat contractors are saying that the SDD6 electrics and brakes are totally unreliable, and spare parts supply difficult, money upfront, then up to a 2 year wait
I guess that this is to be expected, as they paid under US$1.3 mil per unit, and the local press were saying that this sum included the usual generous commissions paid to the political decision makers

2 of the SDD6 written off,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=osBVIwHCoe8
Like the CKD8 in Argentina, the SDD6 have a propensity to burn
http://www.thevillager.com.na/files/images/train.jpg

For those of you who would question the level of bribes and commissions paid on Chinese locos, follow the Guptagate scandal currently unfolding in South Africa. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gupta_family#Guptagate
In May around 200k private emails were hacked off the Gupta Family's mail server and leaked to the white SA press. Included in this trove was the copy of a contract signed in Hong Kong by Gupta employees and CNR, a commission of US$770k per loco to be paid for the 232 diesel 45 Class locos. Little wonder that Transnet paid US$300k more per loco, when compared to the 233 GE ES40ACi ordered at the same time. Note that the SA president has recently purchased a bolt hole in Dubai
http://ewn.co.za/2017/06/01/guptas-and-associates-score-r5-3bn-in-loco-kickbacks
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

The 88s belonging to PN seem to have fallen off the face of the planet again, at least in the Blackwater system.

The comments about imported asbestos is interesting. I read in the last week or so about Australian Border Force cracking down on classic cars and parts being imported into Oz, and the huge costs being added to the cost of importing these items. Things like brake shoes, gaskets, and various other parts being removed for destruction. Yet brand new brake components being imported from China are arriving labelled "Contains Asbestos"
  jcouch Assistant Commissioner

Location: Asleep on a commuter train
The 88s belonging to PN seem to have fallen off the face of the planet again, at least in the Blackwater system.

The comments about imported asbestos is interesting. I read in the last week or so about Australian Border Force cracking down on classic cars and parts being imported into Oz, and the huge costs being added to the cost of importing these items. Things like brake shoes, gaskets, and various other parts being removed for destruction. Yet brand new brake components being imported from China are arriving labelled "Contains Asbestos"
Expost
Yes. Polaris just recalled 13000 kids quads for this same reason - brake shoes and exhaust gaskets containing asbestos.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-06-19/polaris-quad-bike-recall-after-asbestos-found/8632266

Seems to be a very common theme of stuff coming out of China.

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