I remember looking at the monthly locomotive distance returns in the early 1970s and the locomotives from the second order of the 442 class (numbered in the high 20s and low 30s) were running very high distances, presumably due to being rostered on to return Brisbane services. Some of these were running around 50% further than the average main line unit and definitely were running further than the 42 and 421 classes and slightly more than the 422 class, all of which were running to Albury. It is often assumed that the EMD locomotives were more reliable than the Alcos, but certainly when new, the 442 class were earning more for their owners than any other units.
The original intention for the first twenty 442 class units was that they would use the GE GT581 generators and GE 752 traction motors from the 40 class. Of course, there were 40 fewer traction motors than needed, since each 442 had two more motors than the 40 class. The GE GT581 was only marginally capable of supplying the current needed by six GE752 motors. Alco built a six motor equivalent of the 40 class, the RSD-4 but this was replaced by an RSD-5 which had a larger GT586 generator. The 44 class used the GT581 but it had smaller GE761 or GE731 motors (or their AEI equivalents.
The earliest listings of equipment showed a couple of the earliest 442 class fitted with GT581 generators.
At this stage a major problem developed. AEI had been using plastic insulation while GE had been using mica insulation. The NSWGR had the practice of using a fairly nasty liquid, carbon tetrachloride to clean motors and generators prior to overhaul. Carbon Tetrachloride, whilst being carcinogenic and probably a poison was a very effective solvent for many types of plastic.
Around the time the 442 class were being introduced, the AEI 5301 generators from the 45 class became due for major maintenance and the NSWGR (or PTC depending on exactly when it happened) discovered the hard way that the AEI5301 used plastic insulation.
The second batch of 442 class were to use AEI 5301s but these were taken to replace those from the 45 class that the NSWGR had destroyed. Large numbers of refurbished GE GT586s were obtained from the USA to make up for the loss of AEI 5301s and these ended up in both batches of 442 class as well as the 45 class.
The 442 class bogies were a new design at the time. These used rubber metal sandwich pads to support the locomotive frame directly from the bogie frame. The 422 class used similar pads, but used a conventional bogie bolster that increased the cost and weight. The design of these pads was still under way when 44201 was completed, and 44201 was "handed over" with black painted wooden blocks where the rubber pads were supposed to be. The pads were supplied within a couple of weeks and the loco was able to start testing.
The bogie design was very good and is still used on new locomotives.
The EL class used Canadian bogies to the same design (because GE had taken over Montreal Locomotive Works, along with all their designs). These became known as "type 5650" after the MLW drawing number. The Motive Power built CBH and CM class and the NREC 1100 and 1200 classes all use this bogie design.
So it was obvious that the rebuilding of the GL class was at least partly inspired by the EL class having the same bogies, and by rebuilding the 442 with the same GE engine as the EL would give you a double ended EL.
Equally, the good performance of the bogie influenced the rebuilding of the RL class, with even more power than the EL class.
SSR and QUBE wouldn't be using the 442 class now if they were unreliable or costly to maintain.
Peter, Interesting in regard to the bogies on the jumbo's & from an engineman's side of the equation there was definitely differences in them pretty much across the whole diesel fleet especially with the in cab ride. Out of all diesels the 40cl & 47 were the best riding loco's out of the fleet, with the 422's next in line, then the 43's. The 44cl at speed developed a sideways swishing movement which was quite an experience especially at speed, but that was much about track and any holes in the line.
OTOH, the 42cl under those areas that the 44's swished the GM could throw you out of the seat, the old original seats though with the arm rests gave one some feeling of safety. The 421's were terrible riding loco's and a big reason for their removal from the Broken Hill running, even the 45's rode better out there. Although in general I found the 45's ok, they were much more rigid though, unlike many other drivers, I actually liked the 45's except for the drafts in the cab.
The jumbo's though were quite rough riding and between WCK & MBK especially on fast trains and passengers, it was a test at times standing and getting the staff exchanger set up, there was marked bounce in the cab, also the swishing aspect as per the 44's many men tagged them as Squeak - Rattle & Rolls, they certainly also found any hole in the road as well. Generally they were quieter than earlier diesels though. For the few occasions I worked on the 80cl they too were not the greatest riding Engine but at least were air conditioned.
As a point with the 44's, I was on loan at Parkes for a month when the SG was opened and the IP began running, on my first two trips to Euabalong West the 421's showed very rough riding and generally stayed east of Parkes, I had the misfortune of working on one 421cl to Euabalong and the other on 45cl. I was also rostered as fireman to work the up interstate freighter to Bathurst into barracks and then with the return on the IP, (Hiawatha). When we signed on and walked to the station, my driver stopped and asked what that Loco was at the station, at the time I had not taken any notice but, a look revealed it was a 44cl, the driver said to me he was not qualified and had never set foot on one in his career, but we continued to the station where we were met by a senior Locomotive Inspector, who I knew well.
He looked at me and swept his brow and told us that the 44's were on test to see how they go to BH, he also mentioned that the Roster Clerk at Parkes had been directed to have someone familiar with the 44cl as driver or fireman, so I was the familar one.
Both 44's were of the Mk 2 types, and they both swished well, the worst aspect of them though was the different governors in them compared to the Mk1's, which transitioned smoothly and without any real movement on the load meter. The Mk2's though were another thing again, when making the normal transition at around the 22mph they would all but drop their power with amps going almost down to zero before the engine picked up again. When we hit Tumulla and the first transition took place, both loco's transitioned at the same time & speed, causing the loco's to drop back into the train itself, I oft wondered about whether it was noticed in the carriages or not. At this point the inspector said from now on when dropping speed and before transition shut the throttle off until under the speed and then open up. Do that on grades if likely to drop speed below the transition speed.
That worked for us, but for me as I later found with them when becoming a driver, I rarely had double Mk2 44's and much better operation. The trial was a success and ended up with the transfer of almost all of the Mk2 44's to Bathurst and the removal of the 421's first up followed by the 45's.