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The WAGR S Class Diesel Locomotive is a dual-cabin diesel-electric locomotive ordered in 1996 by Westrail for the 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in) intrastate railway lines in Western Australia. Nine units were ordered by Westrail from Clyde Engineering in a nine-month period and an additional two units were also ordered. The S Class locomotives are an improved version of the NSWGR Ready Power 82 class locomotives, equipped with an upgraded EMD 12-710G3B-ES diesel engine, which includes a new firing order cam.
The revision to the 12-710G3 engine came from vibration problems the locomotives had in both Australia and England. This engine is rated at 3150 flywheel bhp, and delivers 3000hp into the EMD AR8-5BEH-CA7 Alternator. Six EMD D43TR DC traction motors are fitted.
The S Class locomotive was assembled at Bassendean, Western Australia and parts were shipped from Clyde Engineering's Camperfield plant in Victoria to the Bathurst plant in New South Wales where they were fitted with the builder's radial steer fabricated bogie, which reduces rail and wheel wear, while at the same time improves adhesion on curves. Extra heavy duty couplers and draft gear was also supplied with these locomotives. The locomotive's continuous tractive effort amounts to 74,440 lbf (331.1 kN).
The two cabins were fitted with Rockwell integrated cab electronics with fully computerised driver information displays. Other special cab features include:
a safety device for driver only operation
crew seats feature headrests, lumbar support, armrests and a variety of adjustment configurations.
The S Class locomotives have a top speed of 90 km/h. The locomotives' first trials were on 6 March 1998. All had been delivered to Westrail by August of that year and engaged in the haulage of the South/West ore and mineral traffic. This resulted in the transfer of the company's DB Class locomotives to the Great Southern and Lakes District although a number of these locomotives can be seen on caustic and aluminum trains in the southwest.
The locomotives passed into the ownership of ARG on 2 December 2000 as part of Western Australia's privatisation policy. The company was then further sold onto QRNational-Western Australia in June 2006. At that time the locomotives were being renumbered into the 3300 class and were generally operating on the southwestern Kwinana to Bunbury mainlines and up to Collie to the east of Bunbury.
Two locomotives similar to the S class were built at EDI Rail Port Augusta in 2009 for the Standard Gauge Rio Tinto Weipa line.
Sources: Wikipedia, Locopage database
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