48 class Exhaust

  Dusty Chief Train Controller

Location: Meckering WA
Back in 1988 I took this photo of 48154 at Yeerongpilly Loco. Does anyone know what the addition to the exhaust  system was for? Or how long it was on the loco?

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  Tsubame800 Chief Commissioner

The Exhaust you see from what i remember was an external Muffler. it is still fitted to some 48's to date I believe that they are the ones used by RIC.
  duttonbay Minister for Railways

Some of the 48 classes were equipped with "scrubber" exhausts to allow them to operate on the underground on work trains.  This is one of those locos.
  CaseyJones Chief Commissioner

Location: A little south of sanity

Some of the 48 classes were equipped with "scrubber" exhausts to allow them to operate on the underground on work trains. This is one of those locos.

Useless contraption. Our crews have been known to get extremely sick after working on 4819/4827 in the underground.

  johnboy Chief Commissioner

Location: Up the road from Gulgong
They were nicked named "crackers". But I don't know why!
And yes, as expected, they did very little to the smokey Alco!.
  crypticone Chief Train Controller

Location: Blue Mtns
Useless, as the loco idles the catalytic converter gets coated in soot and when the engines is running faster the reaction does not occur,
used them on the NSR tunnel work, a bit like the smoke from a bushfire, when 3 x 48 class start off, we took an 81 and an 82 in there one time unscrubbed, and at least you could see 200 metres in front of you.
You have to have them very hot for the catalytic converters to do what they are designed for.
Tried to get them modified for the NSR job but RSA management at the time said NO.All they needed was a heater element to raise the temperature of the exhaust gases, to make them work properly.

  mjja Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: Mount Waverley, Melbourne
Aren't there enough 85s and 86s around to work the underground plant trains?
  Dusty Chief Train Controller

Location: Meckering WA
Thanks for the info, Blokes. This one was the only one I saw before leaving the area in 1990.
  Alco_Fan Train Controller

Location: Newcastle,NSW
4850 has one aswell, Most of the 85's and 86's are in Broken Hill and
some are in Sydney and Werris Creek has a couple aswell. So there
isn't many 85's and 86's to do the plant trains mjja.

Cheers, Alco_Fan
  jimontrack Chief Train Controller

The point of Mjja, and in my view are,

why are all the electrics stored, why is it that none of them are hired or purchased for use on these works trains?

It would be fine if they where all busy with their current owners, but none of them are.  There are a few of them of which are in operating condition.
  GeoffreyHansen Minister for Railways

Location: In a FAM sleeper
My understanding is that the NSW electrics are stored because the then RIC and Freight corp were in dispute as to how much should be paid for the electric power.

For instance, Freightcorp was not being reimbursed for the power they were putting back into the electricity supply by regenerative breaking. Therefore they decided that diesels would be more efficient and cost effective in this day and age.

  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
You might also find that with some of the work they do in the underground the overhead wire may be turned off, an electric loco would be of no use then.
  Alco_Fan Train Controller

Location: Newcastle,NSW
I think there is only about 2 or 3 86's in service, but i don't think Silverton
has no plans of leasing them as they have been ouit of service for quiet
some time, but it would be nice to see a few more in service.

Cheers, Alco_Fan
  FieldShunt74 Chief Commissioner

I think Shacks has nailed the salient point here. Most ballast and other work trains operate during track possessions that coincide with isolation of the overhead. Even if having the overhead energised was not a problem for other disciplines working in the same area there is the problem of alignment of the track with the wire. Newly laid (or relaid) track just gets whacked down as close as possible to the intended alignment. Then it gets ballasted and then the tampers, regulators and dynamic stabilizers came and jiggle the track into it's final position. I remember being told that a misalignment in the track of an inch can give a six inch error in the position of the pantograph. Having electric loco's operating on new roughly laid track would be asking for trouble.  

Also if you were operating electrics in a close down environment you need to consider the traction return current through the rails. You have to have a good continuous connection through the rails back to the sub station. With rails getting cut and welded you would have to have the signal electricians doing a lot of bonding around any breaks in the rails or someone will get fried big time when the electric loco's try to move.  

In the situation mentioned with the track laying in the NSR, there would have been no overhead wires or electrical infrastructure to support electric loco's on work trains.  

Using the 86's for jobs in tunnels where the track and overhead are intact is definitely the way to go. There will always be situations though that preclude electric traction so there needs to be a safe alternative.

I agree that the scrubber fitted 48's are probably as bad or worse than some other diesels for tunnel work. The lovable but decidedly low tech Alco donk probably makes many times more pollutants than a newer, cleaner design of diesel would. Even allowing for the scrubber a loco like an NR would probably be cleaner to work with in a tunnel than a 48.  

If Workcover ever decides to investigate the air quality in the tunnels on a shutdown with the 48's operating I reckon you might see them banned or see the crews issued with proper breathing apparatus. The fume levels would have to be illegal on some of the work sites I've seen. Maybe someone should make a phone call next time the 48's are down the tunnels?
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
Thanks Fieldshunt, I just thought it was a logical answer. It didn't even occure to me about the return to the substation for the electric cct to work.
  crypticone Chief Train Controller

Location: Blue Mtns
Great reply FS 74, also electric's arent that good on ballasts as they heat up whilst in resistance as 99% of ballasts are slow moving.
Although I do have some where a picture of a 46 Class on a Rail recovery train at Circular Quay, this train would travel a short way to the rail stockpile and then load and then travel again and would allow the resistors to cool, I think the limit for being in resistance on a 46 Class was about 8 minutes, info from a Valley Heights drivers who were very knowledgeable on 46 Class.I watched them do some amazing things with them.
The 86 class used on the Bondi trains loaded down hill and this working helped them be a success on that job.
The 86 class will still be used on the AK cars in the tunnels.


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