3000 class DEMU "Mechanical" problems

 
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Given the situation with Covid 19, ie trying to avoid crowded trains, withdrawing them urgently simply doesn't add up?
These trains have been running with the same turbo's for years. An extra couple of weeks or so of running while the turbo's were replaced would have kept the services at or near normal.
One possible explanation could be that the turbo failures have the potential to do further damage to the motors.
In that case there is an argument that the desire to save money has overridden the need in these times for maximum passenger spacing.
Not a good look.
Noel
Noelwb123
The comment about the same turbos for years does not take account of the re-engining that occurred from early 2018 onwards.  See the references above to the replacement of the original OM444LA with OM502LA engines.  The 2016/17 date in the Hansard report quoted by SA_Trains is the establishment of the contract and provision in the State budget.  The refurbishment has taken place in stages. Initially bogies were refurbished from 2016 to about 2018, the dates being stencilled on to the individual bogie frames.  The engine replacement and new livery occurred from about April 2018.  It is unfortunate that the turbo problem has arisen in the midst of COVID-19, but I believe that the mechanical situation would have been carefully assessed and that the drastic decision to withdraw units from service would not have been taken lightly.

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  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Interesting how the failure of one turbo cascaded into pulling a large proportion of the fleet. Must have been a catastrophic failure! I wonder if it is a warranty claim?
Lack of maintenance, not a warranty issue.

The reason why I suggested warranty was due to this statement in Hansard.

On Friday after a meeting of the various people involved, the maintenance contractors, a plan was put in place to replace the turbo units on those 50 trains, and in fact now what we will see is a replacement of that turbo unit across the entire diesel fleet. Over time, essentially what has happened is that that turbo unit has failed well before when the advice was that those units would fail, and for the sake of safety and reliability those units have been taken offline.

(Underlining is my emphasis.)

Hansard also indicates that the railcars were refitted over 2016/2017 which in that sense is not very long for an industrial piece of machinery. Hence why I wonder if there is a warranty discussion with the OEM.

Maintenance may be a part of the picture. I have no insight to that. Irrespective, that will also play a part of the discussions with the OEM.
SA_trains
My source is very clear on this: maintenance is the whole picture. Warranty coverage has already been refused.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Given the situation with Covid 19, ie trying to avoid crowded trains, withdrawing them urgently simply doesn't add up?
These trains have been running with the same turbo's for years. An extra couple of weeks or so of running while the turbo's were replaced would have kept the services at or near normal.
One possible explanation could be that the turbo failures have the potential to do further damage to the motors.
In that case there is an argument that the desire to save money has overridden the need in these times for maximum passenger spacing.
Not a good look.
Noel
Noelwb123
Noel
The problem with turbos is that they operate at or about red heat and have engine oil pumped through them for lubrication and bearing cooling. The combination of heat and oil under pressure is a flammable mix should a turbo fail for any reason and a fire will be the outcome. They may be lucky and fire spotted while it is still possible for the operator to extinguish it. If not the whole car will be involved as a minimum with potentially injury or loss of life for the occupants.
The risks are measurable and real and not worth taking.

Considering the present circumstances there is more risk of an engine fire than catching CV-19 on a train.
If you are worried about it down load the App.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Can confirm JAP’s posts. I had a discussion with someone today who said almost exactly what JAP says, turbo issues due to lack of or faulty maintenance, no warranty coverage.

Further to steam4ian’s comments, I have been around several turbo failures, from a decent size diesel to a couple of rice burners, when you get scorchingly hot oil feeding into a diesel in particular as turbo bearings begin to smeg themselves that’s a pretty scary thing.

When a rice burner turbo lets go and very hot oil sprays all over the place, you’re really glad the bonnet prevents it being flung at you. The fire was intense, I wouldn’t want to be onboard a railcar if that turbo let go, metal car and under the floor or not, it’s going to get real hot and real unpleasant really quickly.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Further to steam4ian’s comments, I have been around several turbo failures, from a decent size diesel to a couple of rice burners, when you get scorchingly hot oil feeding into a diesel in particular as turbo bearings begin to smeg themselves that’s a pretty scary thing.

When a rice burner turbo lets go and very hot oil sprays all over the place, you’re really glad the bonnet prevents it being flung at you. The fire was intense, I wouldn’t want to be onboard a railcar if that turbo let go, metal car and under the floor or not, it’s going to get real hot and real unpleasant really quickly.
Aaron
On the one that did fail, they got away with a fairly small and well contained fire. The engine involved will be rebuilt, not scrapped.

It would seem that there's a bit more effort put into the safe design of a Mercedes-Benz industrial engine than there is for a backyard upgrade job on a fully sick clapped out Silvia.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Further to steam4ian’s comments, I have been around several turbo failures, from a decent size diesel to a couple of rice burners, when you get scorchingly hot oil feeding into a diesel in particular as turbo bearings begin to smeg themselves that’s a pretty scary thing.

When a rice burner turbo lets go and very hot oil sprays all over the place, you’re really glad the bonnet prevents it being flung at you. The fire was intense, I wouldn’t want to be onboard a railcar if that turbo let go, metal car and under the floor or not, it’s going to get real hot and real unpleasant really quickly.
On the one that did fail, they got away with a fairly small and well contained fire. The engine involved will be rebuilt, not scrapped.

It would seem that there's a bit more effort put into the safe design of a Mercedes-Benz industrial engine than there is for a backyard upgrade job on a fully sick clapped out Silvia.
justapassenger
Close, one of them was a Stega...
  Noelwb123 Station Master

Nothing that has been said above changes the fact that these trains have been running for years albeit with more failures than predicted. Even while the studies and discussions referred to above occurred.
Now in the middle of a pandemic. Yes it is still a pandemic. And yes people are still contacting the virus even in SA. And yes people are still dying because of it. The trains are withdrawn en masse.
Its a decision that doesn't make any sense from an engineering. economic or public health perspective.
Noel
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
Nothing that has been said above changes the fact that these trains have been running for years albeit with more failures than predicted. Even while the studies and discussions referred to above occurred.
Now in the middle of a pandemic. Yes it is still a pandemic. And yes people are still contacting the virus even in SA. And yes people are still dying because of it. The trains are withdrawn en masse.
Its a decision that doesn't make any sense from an engineering. economic or public health perspective.
Noel
Noelwb123
Maybe I am simplistic.

Isn't the issue that the other units are in danger of cooking their engines?

If so, it makes sense to withdraw them.

Poorly managed, yes. Poor timing, yes. Embarrassing, yes.

No one that is accountable is to allow units to run if they now know of an issue and puts those assets at risk of causing further damage.

Yes COVID19 is not over. But you do not pause normal decision making to suit a crisis.

In emergency management, decisions on safety and environment are not suspended. Those risks must be assessed. If an unfortunate consequence is that a normal operation ceases then you would try to provide an alternative. In this case it may mean bus substitutes at a higher frequency than normally would to address the COVD19 risks that you are saying.

The owners of the units have decided to withdraw the units, will be held to account later if that was the right decision or not. They all have a boss in the end.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Nothing that has been said above changes the fact that these trains have been running for years albeit with more failures than predicted. Even while the studies and discussions referred to above occurred.
Noelwb123
They actually fail less than they did with the previous engines.

There were two well-publicised engine fires early on, but the average engine hours between failures is now better than the previous engines.

Now in the middle of a pandemic. Yes it is still a pandemic. And yes people are still contacting the virus even in SA. And yes people are still dying because of it. The trains are withdrawn en masse.
Its a decision that doesn't make any sense from an engineering. economic or public health perspective.
Noelwb123
It's really quite simple:
  • a turbo failed and caused a thankfully small engine fire,
  • the reason for the failure was found to be that the turbo had not been receiving the routine maintenance required,
  • a look at records revealed that 49 other cars in the fleet also had the same maintenance deficiency,
  • as the risk of an engine fire killing passengers was higher than the risk of passengers catching COVID-19, the 50 cars were withdrawn until they had their turbos replaced.


It shouldn't have come to that point in the first place, but we didn't have a time machine available to go back and start servicing the engines correctly so withdrawing the cars was the only available option.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
yes people are still contacting the virus even in SA. And yes people are still dying because of it. The trains are withdrawn en masse.
Its a decision that doesn't make any sense from an engineering. economic or public health perspective.
Noel
Who’s still contracting the virus in South Australia? You make this statement on the Sunday after South Australia declared no active cases, on Friday. SA’s only positive case in the last three weeks was an imported case, because you don’t appear to know, or understand, that means that no one has contracted the virus in SA for three weeks.

You quite simply do not know what you’re talking about, be that in an engineering, economic or public health context.

‘One failed due to a lack of maintenance, but the rest (including that one) have been running for years, so there is no rush to inspect and maintain them - that is not even vaguely close to best practice engineering. ‘Run her till she’s right and proper f#cked’ is not an actual professional engineering maxim - and I do not in any way want to suggest DPTI are professional, but let’s not completely write them off when they try to be.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
‘One failed due to a lack of maintenance, but the rest (including that one) have been running for years, so there is no rush to inspect and maintain them - that is not even vaguely close to best practice engineering. ‘Run her till she’s right and proper f#cked’ is not an actual professional engineering maxim - and I do not in any way want to suggest DPTI are professional, but let’s not completely write them off when they try to be.
Aaron
A new interpretation of "sweating the asset".
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

It would seem that there's a bit more effort put into the safe design of a Mercedes-Benz industrial engine than there is for a backyard upgrade job on a fully sick clapped out Silvia.
Close, one of them was a Stega...
Aaron
Even the stock models had defect notices included as factory standard equipment!
  Cato56 Station Master

Over time, essentially what has happened is that that turbo unit has failed well before when the advice was that those units would fail, and for the sake of safety and reliability those units have been taken offline.
Minister Knoll

Read between the lines people. Obviously during the engine refurbishment project somebody has given the advice that you could save money by not replacing the turbos at the same time on the basis they had appreciable service life left.

So whoever that party is, they'd be looking pretty closely at the fine print of their PI insurance right now...
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
The following 2 paragraphs appear in Hansard for Question Time in the House of Assembly on Thursday 14th May, the day following the minister's previous statements.  Of particular interest is the reference to warranty in the second paragraph.

In relation to the situation we are dealing with at the moment, it is an evolving situation. On Monday, we only had 20 of the 70 DMUs in service; as of tomorrow that's going to be 32, and as of next Monday we are looking at 42 being back in service. So this is an evolving situation. As I said, in conjunction with the health advice today, the decision was taken that, as of tomorrow morning, we will be providing announcements on platforms to encourage people to spread out across the train. Also as of tomorrow morning, a substitute bus will be provided between Mawson Lakes and the city in peak periods to help deal with that issue.

The other thing that I can update the house on is the fact that, as of this morning, I had confirmation that all of the parts that allow us to fix this issue, which is under warranty—and can I say that the origins of this issue are now stemming back to decisions taken back in 2016 and 2017 in relation to the warranty life of the parts that we are now having to replace—
Hansard - The Hon. S. K. Knoll
http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-38008

`Curiouser and curiouser!' cried Alice ...
  nm39 Chief Commissioner

Location: By a road taking pictures
One problem of turbo charged diesel engines that can have disastrous consequences is excess oil leaking into intake air from the turbo's impeller bearings. This can cause a potential runaway revving event with the hot oil acting as fuel and igniting at or close to top dead centre. The effect is usually pieces of connecting rod and big end bearing caps being distributed in a variety of places at speed. Don't get in the way.
It seems a certain maintenance contractor has been deficient in maintaining these turbo units possibly as a way of saving money because the predictable catastrophic events would happen outside of their watch or that they were squeezed into the saving by undercutting a rival bid for the maintenance contract. But the whole issue is probably a result of outsourcing with a lack of oversight.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Of course Bombardier had nothing to do with it.
  rwatts Junior Train Controller

Location: Adelaide SA
So all of a sudden...

Return to normal weekday services for all rail lines - Thursday 21 MayMay 21stRoutes affected: BEL, GRNG, OUTHA, SALIS, GAW, GAWC, OSBORN, SEAFRD, GLAN, NOARAdelaide Metro advises that the previously announced mechanical issues identified on some rail carriages has been addressed, with warranty repairs undertaken. All rail lines will return to normal weekday timetable services as of first service Thursday 21 May 2020.  Reduced services on the Gawler, Outer Harbor and Belair lines, as well as the complete closure of the Grange line, will remain on Wednesday, 20 May. Some shuttle buses will continue to operate to assist passengers with social distancing.
Adelaide Metro
Reinforces the line that repairs were under warranty.

Richard.

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