CSR fleet grounded?

 
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Reports on a NZ Yahoo group that the Australian SDA1 (CSR) fleet is withdrawn due to asbestos in the engine compartment

Any truth in this rumour?

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  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Reports on a NZ Yahoo group that the Australian SDA1 (CSR) fleet is withdrawn due to asbestos in the engine compartment

Any truth in this rumour?
jmt
This appears to be correct.

No indication how long to fix the problem or how soon replacement power will be hired in.

Maybe some blue and silver in the mix?
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
For the benefit of new users locomotive class details can be found at: http://www.railpage.com.au/locos/class/108/  On what routes are these locomotives used?  I am aware they have been running the Horsham container services.

Also wondering if the BK Class: http://www.railpage.com.au/locos/class/184/ is affected?

Regards
Brian
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I wonder if SCT is finding the lower cost and short delivery time of the SDA1 locos as attractive as they initially thought?
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
The CSR's are regulars on the Outer Harbor-Rankin Dam (& vice versa) ore services. Also I think 3 of them worked as far as Parkeston on 5MP9 just recently.

Be interesting to see if there will be backup power on SCT trains, such as hired GM's, 22's, 80's, RL's, etc.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
I wonder if SCT is finding the lower cost and short delivery time of the SDA1 locos as attractive as they initially thought?
Sulla1

It would be interesting to find out just how these locos have performed in New Zealand?  How many were purchased by Kiwirail???
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Well, there are 5? LDP's for hire.......
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

It would be interesting to find out just how these locos have performed in New Zealand?  How many were purchased by Kiwirail???
bevans

NZ DL Class are from China CNR Corporation, the North China assembler

SDA1 are from China CSR Corporation in the south

So different assembler

Ultimately both groups are majority owned by the State Assets Administration, they are not free enterprise companies, both have internal party branches, and the branch secretary has equal authority to the CEO, bit like the political commissars in their armed forces

Neither assembly group designs the locos they bolt together. Locomotive design in China is the monopoly of design bureaus attached to a few of the top engineering universities. So if asbestos is present, it is probably due to a design/specification foisted on the assembler. This is probably the reason that China persists with the dogs breakfast of an alternator arrangement used in both the DL and CSR, monopoly academic designers with little real world experience and a bad dose of "not invented here" syndrome.

Kiwirail have 40 DL delivered, with a further 8 on order http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_DL_class_locomotive
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Kiwirail have 40 DL delivered, with a further 8 on order http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_DL_class_locomotive
"jmt"

The 8 on order are the third order, I believe. Two lots of 20, plus another 8. I guess that suggests that NZ are reasonably comfortable with the locos, although as jmt pointed out, they are from different manufacturers and of a different design.
  Pilbaratrains Beginner

I do remember older EMD/ALCo locomotives that had asbestos insulators in Rectifier and Resistor banks, in Contactor Arc Chutes and Electrical panels and doors. I am wondering if the Chinese design of some included components on the SDA1 are based off older generations of Americian locomotive design from the 50's and 60's using such materials?
If true, a serious oversight of CSR, SCT, Bradken to allow a locomotive incorporating such materials as Asbestos through the design,build and commissioning processes..
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
I'll ask the question .........
Why has it taken so long to find this incidious material, is it hidden away in a particular component?

I ask that because with all the reported component changes already done, why wasn't it spotted sooner?
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
As far as I am aware, it is still against import laws to bring asbestos into Australia.
Chinese products are starting to get a history of this.  Think  Great Wall.
  DrSmith Train Controller

NZ DL Class are from China CNR Corporation, the North China assembler

SDA1 are from China CSR Corporation in the south

So different assembler

Ultimately both groups are majority owned by the State Assets Administration, they are not free enterprise companies, both have internal party branches, and the branch secretary has equal authority to the CEO, bit like the political commissars in their armed forces

Neither assembly group designs the locos they bolt together. Locomotive design in China is the monopoly of design bureaus attached to a few of the top engineering universities. So if asbestos is present, it is probably due to a design/specification foisted on the assembler. This is probably the reason that China persists with the dogs breakfast of an alternator arrangement used in both the DL and CSR, monopoly academic designers with little real world experience and a bad dose of "not invented here" syndrome.

Kiwirail have 40 DL delivered, with a further 8 on order http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_DL_class_locomotive


The bit about assembly and design is a little way off the mark. The factories are quite fiercely competitive! One should ask the KIWI Rail appointed inspectors how they allowed the "over-weight" to progress (they would have been weighed). Now, SCT payed a lot of money to Australian consultants for "their" locomotive.......what went wrong?
jmt
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

DrSmith


It must have been a brave consultant to convince a niche operator with a small fleet to acquire an untested design from a builder with a spotty success rate in their export locomotives. There was plenty of information online at the time about the experiences of operators in South East Asia and Africa. After paying their consultancy fees SCT now has two small and very different classes of locomotive rather than fleet consistency and all the issues of a 'guinea pig' loco that a larger fleet could absorb but smaller one can't. When I grow up I want to become a consultant too.
  DrSmith Train Controller

You are welcome to join! One jut hopes that they will get thru and out of the warranty problems......which is about now. Evidently they are quiet, ride well and are great fuel savers. But........that alternator is a calamity!
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

I'll ask the question .........
Why has it taken so long to find this incidious material, is it hidden away in a particular component?

I ask that because with all the reported component changes already done, why wasn't it spotted sooner?
Pressman
With no intimate knowledge of the issue, I'm happy to speculate. Firstly, their field of operation has recently increased. A large increase in the number of people exposed to these units would probably have occurred. Lots of people may look at a component without recognizing it is suspect. Secondly, as they have aged the variety of components serviced or changed would increase. The failure of lots of alternators would not necessarily result in the replacement of, for example, exhaust manifold gaskets. But the failure of the prime mover probably would.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

It must have been a brave consultant to convince a niche operator with a small fleet to acquire an untested design from a builder with a spotty success rate in their export locomotives. There was plenty of information online at the time about the experiences of operators in South East Asia and Africa. After paying their consultancy fees SCT now has two small and very different classes of locomotive rather than fleet consistency and all the issues of a 'guinea pig' loco that a larger fleet could absorb but smaller one can't. When I grow up I want to become a consultant too.
Sulla1
I imagine the consultant is only brave if he/she is concerned about his/her long-term reputation. The really brave one was the person who signed the cap-ex request. 25 GT46s. Boring is good.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Yes asbestos seems to be cropping up in a few Chinese imports. As mentionioned Great Wall cars had asbestos head gaskets.

One reason not yet mentioned why this hasn't been discovered sooner, is because people these days are not aware of it. 'It must be safe, I've done my take 5'. The Telstra asbestos pod issue with the NBN. Nothing new. They have been down there for decades, no one cared or no one knew. But they started digging them up and the media got wind and away it went. Suddenly everyone notices. Old water pipes that deliver drinking water is often asbestos in old towns. Recently there was a warning about home renovations regaurding asbestos. Young people didnt grow up with the issue. Most people live in a new houses (over here) or less than 20 years old houses. I'd almost wager the person who discovered the asbestos issue was someone over 40. The list of places you can find asbestos is huge. From carpet underlay, to insulation, copper wire insulation, fences, walls, brakes, clutches, gaskets and so on. One area which I dont believe has been noted as an area for concearn is hilly areas where trains do heavy braking. I imagine that the fibers would be all over the place in the soil from 100+ years of train operations. But I suppose no one has looked into it. It was said once that you get more fibers in cities then anywhere else from all the clutches and brakes on the cars. Well. Used to be. Their mostly modern materials now.

I wonder if the Chinese were kind enough to put CFC's in the air con for the refridgerant.

DR Smith and jmt, any chance you can elaborate on the alternator arrangment? Im curious as to what your talking about.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

SDD6, nearly all Chinese locos are similar
http://cs-railway.com/uploadfile/images/20121206_075322%282%29.jpg

Main alternator coupled to engine, Cardan shaft running forward to splitter gearbox, then couplings back to the 2 auxiliary alternators

SDD7 layout
http://portaldetrenes.com.ar/entrevias/2013/04/ya-estan-en-argentina-las-locomotoras-chinas/

NZ CKD-9B (DL Class)
http://imageshack.us/a/img201/6058/02082010084933.png

Some models (including I think the SDA1) hang the Cardan shaft of the opposite end of the engine but still require the splitter box to the auxiliary alternators

At the point that the Chinese assemblers can bypass the university based design bureaus, and start producing locomotives with GE, Kato, and Marathon alternators, with recognized US digital control systems like Q-Tron, then they will become serious competitors.

It seems to be Chinese Government policy to insist on indigenous electrical and electronic components in locos. The November 2012 delivery of six SDD20  to the Tazara (Tanzania/Zambia) had GE supplied engines and traction motors, but the electrical side was still indigenous. Only 3 of these units have been accepted after 6 months of trials and debugging
http://www.africareview.com/Business---Finance/Chinese-built-locomotives-fail-Tanzania-trial-runs/-/979184/1742446/-/v6itkmz/-/index.html
http://www.mwebantu.com/2013/08/06/tazara-acquires-three-new-de-sdd20-locomotives/
This is GE Africa's spin doctors retraction
http://www.theeastafrican.co.ke/OpEd/letters/Raila-Odinga-can-still-be-a-formidable-Kenyan-kingmaker/-/434756/1753654/-/view/printVersion/-/1ecmoiz/-/index.html

Is anyone able to add to the current rumour that SCT is investigating scrapping the existing CSR alternator arrangement, and replacing with a European sourced alternative?
  M636C Minister for Railways


DR Smith and jmt, any chance you can elaborate on the alternator arrangement? I'm curious as to what you're talking about.
DBclass

There are two problems with the CSR alternator.

There is a reliability problem, which might be related to the Chinese not normally running alternators at the high speed of the MTU 4000 engine. Some of this might also be related to the actual rating. Early information suggested that the engine in the CSR was set to 3000 kW gross, so about 2850 kW into the alternator. When the locomotives actually entered service they were said to be 3150 kW gross, 3000 kW into the alternator. I'm pretty sure that that really was a change, not just on paper and can't have been helpful to the alternator.

The other problem shared by both these locomotives (DL and CSR) is a strange frame mounted auxiliary drive gearbox with a shaft from the alternator to the drive unit and shafts onward to the auxiliary generators. This might be based on an old Russian design. I understand that Kiwi Rail sent photos of the GE alternator on their DX, (with the two machines mounted directly on the alternator) to China with the question "why not do it that way?". I think the Chinese produce copies of that GE design anyway, but it isn't suitable for the high speed MTU engine.

Anyway, that's what I've heard....

As to asbestos, I'd expect that it would be in gaskets or something similar, in the exhaust or possibly the air system. While it's in place there would be relatively small risk of the fibres becoming airborne, but removal and replacement might need to be taken carefully.

M636C
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

Many thanks to correspondents, jmt and M636C for providing comment that is based on logical observations from a number of sources and not simply "Chinese Bashing". Their contributions greatly assist those of us who would like to know just what are the problems with these and other locomotives.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
An unusual SCT movement through Gheringhap this morning.  A lone SCT?? class locomotive with a small consist of vans on the UP. see: http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1871135.htm#1871135  PM9 does not come through Gheringhap on a friday morning. Could this be a result of the CSR locomotive issue?  Perhaps the trains are being divided west?

Regards
Brian
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
An unusual SCT movement through Gheringhap this morning.  A lone SCT?? class locomotive with a small consist of vans on the UP. see: http://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1871135.htm#1871135  PM9 does not come through Gheringhap on a friday morning. Could this be a result of the CSR locomotive issue?  Perhaps the trains are being divided west?

Regards
Brian
bevans
No. SCT will occasionally run short extra consists when loading dictates.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Bevans, I believe the train in question was AM9 with SCT014 hauling 16 vans, left Adelaide last night, extra loading I think.

Also, MP9 this morning had 4 SCT's to Adelaide, strange considering there's only 15 SCT's.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Bevans, I believe the train in question was AM9 with SCT014 hauling 16 vans, left Adelaide last night, extra loading I think.

Also, MP9 this morning had 4 SCT's to Adelaide, strange considering there's only 15 SCT's.
greasyrhys

Thanks for the update.  Can you advise the locomotives please?

http://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/mobile/photo/10455234485

Regards
Brian

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