New locomotives

 
  trainiac Chief Train Controller

Gee, THAT old. Still going strong. Perhaps, going out on a limb here, most successful EE built locomotives built in Australia, if not world.
"Z1NorthernProgress2110"


Australia yes. Probably square up with the British Class 37's for the world title.
"12CSVT"


The East African Railways 90 class, now Kenyan Railways 87 class, are still plodding along. Basically the same package as the class 37's and the Z's

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  austrain Chief Train Controller

Location: Tasmania
Something like GE's V12 engine 7FDL12 would be good.  3070 HP.  Even there 8 cylinder model puts out 2000HP!

There new evolution engines are good,  but at 4400 HP would be an over kill down in tassie.
  trainiac Chief Train Controller

The 6 cylinder EVO at 2200hp would be ok. An option for repowering. The 8 at 3300hp may be better for new build
  BP4417 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Launceston, Tasmania
I think importantly its how you get and control traction at the rail, reliability, ease of maintenance of the rest of the gear associated with modern improvements to the track foundation and alignment.
The average speed has to be raised to be able to compete with the road transport industry on short haul routes in Tassy. Increased track speeds also increase loco availability.
Before anyone jumps up and down and says we can't go faster on our tracks 50 years ago the SAR 25NC's weighing nearly 120 tons were pounding South African Railways tracks at 96 KPH.
  muff558 Station Master

um i would have to disagree,ZA's are the pinacle of EE technology,they have Mk 3 V12's,alternator an EE558 motors,there are only 3 places in the world that have MK 3 V-12's tassie,queensland,ghana  plus ZA 5,ZA 6 are 2640 horsepower an they were the last EE locos built in the world
  trainiac Chief Train Controller

Many of Africa's railways put Tasmania's to shame. Concrete sleepers, heavy rail and half decent alignments. All upgraded from colonial era infrastructure. Tasmania still has its colonial era infrastructure. We must have been governed by some stupid people over the last 60+ years. All the 'heros' like Eric Reese etc included. But then, we vote them in, so who's stupid?  Very Happy Something to be said for dictators, as opposed to bumbling, self-important politicians and faceless, conniving bureaucrats. We have a tiny population, soon to shrink with these industries closing, and our major economic power is unemployable and disability benefits. And thus I rant. Note my tag line below! 8)
  derwentparkjunc Chief Train Controller

http://www.railexpress.com.au/archive/2010/may/26-10-10/other-top-stories/downer-to-bring-n-viromotive-loco-to-australia


"Downer to bring N-ViroMotive loco to Australia
by Rail Express — last modified May 26, 2010 09:51 AM
— filed under: Weekly Top Stories, Rail

Downer EDI will offer National Railway Equipment Company’s (NREC) N-ViroMotive multi-engine locomotive to the Australian market for the first time.

Commonly called “the utility” as a result of the loco's flexibility and environmental and operational efficiencies, the N-ViroMotive is manufactured by NREC in the US to an Australian specification.
Downer EDI Rail chief executive Guy Wannop said the N-ViroMotive is a low-axle load locomotive that is highly versatile and will enhance the efficiency of fleets for many Australian operators.
“The new locomotives provide significant improvements over existing light axle load locomotives currently operating in Australia, including increased efficiency and reductions in emissions, noise, fuel usage and maintenance costs,” Wannop said.
The multi-engine technology allows power units to operate at the point of, or close to, their peak efficiency and to be shut off if they are not required, therefore conserving energy.
The locos are designed for low axle load applications in the range of 15 tonne to 19 tonnes and are designed to fit both the QR and WestNet Rail clearance gauges.
The versatility of the multi-engine design allows the locos to have a power unit removed for lower axle-load track requirements and, with a bogie change switch from narrow to standards gauge, a single loco can be used in different seasonal or functional applications as required.
Wannop said as the sole NREC representative in Australia, the N-ViroMotive loco complemented and further extended Downer’s existing stable of heavy-haul and long-range locos which are manufactured in conjunction with technology partner Electro Motive Diesel.
The agreement to offer the new loco is between Downer’s Rail division and NREC."


I think these are known as Gen Sets in the USA.
Are any Railpage contributors able to comment on how these are performing in the US?  Would they suit circumstances in Tas?

Cheers,
DPJ
  muff558 Station Master

They have trialed them in america as mainline locomotives an they werent powerful enough an only had 2 of them,they just use them as yard shunters now,the best way to go is brand NEW  General electric  Tri-bo locomotives 3000 horse power AC traction,double ended cabs full width bodies built by United Group Limited in australia.Queensland rail have Tri-bo locomotives,the 3800 class they are electric of course but if they built a diesel electric version the would be perfect for tasmania and would only need 10 of them,the Tri-bo wheel configuration has 3 4 wheeled bogies which has the same amount of wheels as a Co-Co locomotvies.the tri-bo locomotives can go around tight corners an have a light axle load,so they could run down the melba line they would only need 2 on the paper train,2 on train 35/36,1 on the coal train,1 the melba line,2 on the bell bay train and use the other locos for non time sensitive freight.

The new SCT locomotive will pull 6000 tonnes up a 1 in 23 grade they are 4500 horspower an have AC traction so a DC locoomotive doesnt even come close


The first link is for United Group limited website

http://www.ugllimited.com/

The link bellow is for the Queensland Tri bo locomotives

http://www.trainnet.org/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=read_count&om=33&forum=DCForumID27
  trainiac Chief Train Controller

While a single GT46ACe would possibly pull 6000t on level track, that mass of train would require at least 3 units, possibly 4, in normal service. UGL build GE powered locomotives, the SCT class are EMD built by EDI. AC traction has a substantial advantage over DC in terms of tractive ability and maintenance costs, but is somewhat more expensive and has a weight and space penalty. Tri-Bo arrangements do handle rough and curvy track better, but at a cost, space, maintenance and mass trade-off. Some might have more to say about the previous post
  muff558 Station Master

the goverment have got heaps of money,they should spend it,4 strokes are the only way to go !
  tasrail2100 Chief Commissioner

Location: Brisbane, Queensland.
the goverment have got heaps of money,they should spend it,4 strokes are the only way to go !
"muff558"


I am going to have to disagree with you there.  While I could be wrong, the Tasmanian government does not have heaps of money.  I seem to remember being told at university that Tasmania is dependent on the commonwealth as the money coming in does not match the money being spent (I can not remember the term that was coined for this situation).  One fairly reasonable argument for privatisation is how can the government justify spending millions of dollars on new locomotives when there aren't enough beds in hospitals or desks and teachers in schools?  The fact is you can't and when extra money is provided by the federal establishment you will spend it on what they tell you to spend it on - as far as I am aware they haven't really said anything specific yet about new locomotives?
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!

Downer to bring N-ViroMotive loco to Australia


Again we see mention of exotic new technologies or exotic new builders being considered in the Tasmanian context. Whilst the N-ViroMotive may be a better bet in the mechanical reliability stakes (esp. with support from Downer EDI) than dodgy Chinese built power, I still disagree with the concept of the potential first ever new locomotive purchase in Tasmania in over 35 years being used to experiment with untested (in Australia) loco types.

Let the bigger and more flush rail operators on the mainland, that have already established a fleet of tested reliable loco power, take on the risks of experimenting with untried loco makes or power formats. For Tasmania's critical first purchase, it must stick with well tested proven power (i.e. current standard 3'6" offerings from D-EDI (EMD) or UG (GE)) and once the loco fleet has been renewed, the later on, maybe some experimentation might be justifiable.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!
the goverment have got heaps of money,they should spend it,4 strokes are the only way to go !
"muff558"


I am going to have to disagree with you there.  While I could be wrong, the Tasmanian government does not have heaps of money.  I seem to remember being told at university that Tasmania is dependent on the commonwealth as the money coming in does not match the money being spent (I can not remember the term that was coined for this situation).  One fairly reasonable argument for privatisation is how can the government justify spending millions of dollars on new locomotives when there aren't enough beds in hospitals or desks and teachers in schools?  The fact is you can't and when extra money is provided by the federal establishment you will spend it on what they tell you to spend it on - as far as I am aware they haven't really said anything specific yet about new locomotives?
"tasrail2100"


Agreed that the Tas. Govt. is not swimming in cash, but it also isn't completely skint either. The Federal Govt can reasonably be called on to fund the track (esp. Hobart to Burnie) on the same basis as the equivalent road network, but with the Tas. Govt. having taken over responsibility for the rail operations, it is now obligated to invest to facilitate that operation - which means locos and rolling stock.

During the election, the ALP saw fit to promise to fund the (completely unnecessary) early replacement of the 'Spirit' ships. That sort of capital expenditure is exactly what is needed, far more urgently, for rolling stock replacement on the rail system.

Whilst rolling stock replacement is pretty critical to the ongoing operation of the rail network in this state, the early replacement of the 'Spirit's is far from being critical to ongoing trans-Bass Strait shipping needs. In fact, considering the combination of cheap and frequent air access and regular commercial shipping across Bass Strait, the 'Spirit's are arguably a luxury rather than essential asset, hence any major capital spending on them is far from essential, especially if made earlier tha necessary.

As for the now continuously used argument of "...the Govt shouldn't be spending $$$ on this or that, as that funding should go to the hospitals or schools...." I am getting a bit tired of that proposition. Sure spending on hospitals (for sure) and education (maybe?) is important, but there has to be a limit. It has already been suggested that health spending could easily outstrip the entire Tasmanian budget. But to what end? Health especially is a bottomless pit that needs tightening up in a big way. Education even more so. I would rather see my tax dollars go to investments in solid infrastructure and assets that can earn a return, than be wasted on greedy and bloated health and education bureaucracies and wasted subsidies for minority benefit. I would prefer to see more preventative health programs (so less people need to visit hospitals), localised and streamlined management and more user pays obligations to at least show some evidence that the current unfettered health spending is not being grossly wasted.
  benscaro Chief Commissioner


Downer to bring N-ViroMotive loco to Australia


Again we see mention of exotic new technologies or exotic new builders .
"12CSVT"


. . . one might equally say that again we see mention of your objection to 'exotic' new builders . . . yet you have failed to prove that 'exotic' origin is a real objection in the Australian context.  

GM and Alco locos have both arrived in Tasmania in the past, and proved to have no discernable advantage over an 'exotic' stud of EEs.  I was in Hobart Yard in 1980 beside 858 & 865 to hear the complaints!

One should be prepared to get off one's high horse, when one finds it has no legs  Smile

If the Chinese will do locos at half the price of GM /GE, then they will be bought, by many shabby railways just like Tasrail - however crap they are - and ways of making them work will be found.

B.
  derwentparkjunc Chief Train Controller

 Again we see mention of exotic new technologies or exotic new builders being considered in the Tasmanian context. Whilst the N-ViroMotive may be a better bet in the mechanical reliability stakes (esp. with support from Downer EDI) than dodgy Chinese built power, I still disagree with the concept of the potential first ever new locomotive purchase in Tasmania in over 35 years being used to experiment with untested (in Australia) loco types.  
"12CSVT"


Downer could prove the value of this product in Aus narrow gauge applications by sending a couple of demonstrator units to Tas for extensive trials.  Our operations could provide a varied and rigorous workout that might help both Downer'spromotion of the product and help TasRail with its loco selection process.

Cheers,
DPJ
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!

Downer to bring N-ViroMotive loco to Australia


Again we see mention of exotic new technologies or exotic new builders .
"12CSVT"


. . . one might equally say that again we see mention of your objection to 'exotic' new builders . . . yet you have failed to prove that 'exotic' origin is a real objection in the Australian context.  

GM and Alco locos have both arrived in Tasmania in the past, and proved to have no discernable advantage over an 'exotic' stud of EEs.  I was in Hobart Yard in 1980 beside 858 & 865 to hear the complaints!

One should be prepared to get off one's high horse, when one finds it has no legs  Smile

If the Chinese will do locos at half the price of GM /GE, then they will be bought, by many shabby railways just like Tasrail - however crap they are - and ways of making them work will be found.

B.
"benscaro"


Obviously you have misconstrued what I meant by "exotic". How about I use the term "untested" (in the Australian context).

My issue is the potential introduction of new power in Tasmania, which in the Tasmanian capital investment context would be pretty much a "one shot deal" being put at risk by careless experimentation. As a new locomotive purchase could be the only one we may get for another generation, the state can't afford to screw it up with a rash purchase of untested power that could turn into a mechanical or operating disaster.

Let other larger more profitable railway organisations experiment with the weird and wonderful. I would think that conservative and safe is the most financially prudent course to take for the protection of Tasrails future prospects. If you think that puts me on a "high horse", well so be it. I think I would have a far less distance to fall advocating tried and tested power than someone irresponsibly advocating 'off the wall' experiments that could so easily blow up in everyones face.

Again, in the context of what was being discussed, describing EE as "exotic" or even Alco and GM "exotic to Tasmania:" is well off the mark. All these makes had proven records (some better, some worse) before coming to Tasmania.

Yes, Chinese locos could well end up being purchased super cheap, but after "the great deal" when they all end up at ETJ with multiple electrical failures, engine failures (awaiting spares) or frame fractures, leaving crappy old 'DQ's and so on to keep struggling to maintain the business, there will be no end of scandal (no doubt seized on with relish by the Tasmanian papers!!) and major embarassment for whoever was stupid enough to authorise the purchase. However, leaving aside red faces and potential electoral retribution, the real loser would be the struggling Tasrail business, which needs a stupid locomotive purchase like a hole in the head.
  benscaro Chief Commissioner

[quote="12CSVT"][quote="benscaro"][quote="12CSVT"][quote]

Yes, Chinese locos could well end up being purchased super cheap, but after "the great deal" when they all end up at ETJ with multiple electrical failures, engine failures (awaiting spares) or frame fractures, leaving smeggy old 'DQ's and so on to keep struggling to maintain the business, there will be no end of scandal (no doubt seized on with relish by the Tasmanian papers!!) and major embarassment for whoever was stupid enough to authorise the purchase. However, leaving aside red faces and potential electoral retribution, the real loser would be the struggling Tasrail business, which needs a stupid locomotive purchase like a hole in the head.[/quote]

i take the point about the high horse . . . you aren't on one. i withdraw that.

however, the chinese locos are not untested.

the jury is out on whether the KTM 29s are a good deal or problematic but the more i find about the malaysian experience, the more suspicious the malaysian claims of bad steel and frame cracking sound. it sounds like they started out with teething problems exacerbated by poor maintenance. other sources say they have improved to a level where they are trusted with flagship expresses and out there earning their living.

with NZ buying them, there's an opportunity to see how they go on a railway with comparable maintenance standards, so it may be wise for tasmania to hold back and watch and wait. apparently the first batch arrives there in july.

ben
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!

the jury is out on whether the KTM 29s are a good deal or problematic but the more i find about the malaysian experience, the more suspicious the malaysian claims of bad steel and frame cracking sound. it sounds like they started out with teething problems exacerbated by poor maintenance. other sources say they have improved to a level where they are trusted with flagship expresses and out there earning their living.


The definition of "poor maintenance" is what needs to be established with regards the Malaysian experience. If by "poor maintenance" that meant standard, otherwise satisfactory maintenance, which is all what would be expected for your EMD or GE product, well that suggests the Chinese locos are an extremely maintenance heavy machine. That then defeats any cost savings in their purchase, as the expense in keeping them operational would quickly overtake any initial savings.

The Malaysians may well have got the locos up to a satisfactory standard now, but at what cost to KTM? The big question would be, in the long run, will the KTM 29 class have been a worthwhile purchase?

The suggestion of waiting to see how the pending 'DL' class perform in NZ is eminently sensible, however, not knowing when or if any decision may be made with respect to buying new motive power for Tasmania and if the 'DL's would have had sufficient time to either prove themselves one way or the other by the time the decision is made is, of course, unknown. The rate at which decisions are made and things actually happen in this state, there is every chance the 'DL's may well have had time to demonstrate their capabilities or flaws.

In the end, all this is based on the off chance that the State Govt even provides the funding for new motive power in the first place. There is as much chance the "ZR" rebuild program could just be revived instead.
  Z1NorthernProgress2110 Chief Commissioner

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
Would a 12 cylinder GE motor fit into a ZA/ZB frame? Also would GE traction motors fit into a ZA/ZB bogie? I suppose it all comes down to costs.

Also, how much would it cost to get a modern EE motor(who ever makes them) with a new alternator and more modern features?
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Take care when discussing Chinese Locomotives, due to the financial "flexibilities" offered by the Chinese Government, who is ultimately the seller. Both competing Chinese locomotive manufacturing conglomerates are State organs, so it is a case of apples and oranges, when compared with western builders.

NZ's order straddled 2 governments, and it is the first time that a government purchaser of Chinese locomotives has disclosed true pricing. The NZ order appears to be bribe free!

All prior cases of Chinese supplied locos to third world countries have involved substantial bribes to the political decision makers involved, in the last 5/6 years in the range of US$250/400k per locomotive. These inducements are built into the price of the locomotive.

If you are building substantial kickbacks into the pricing, you can supply shoddy goods, as you know that the purchaser will not complain too loudly.

This philosophy has backfired in Pakistan, as most the current political decision makers were not recipients of the "grease" used to lubricate the Pervez Musharraf regime.
http://www.thenews.com.pk/print1.asp?id=240767
For a further insight into the Pakistan purchasing shenanigans and problems with frame cracking refer
http://hunzatimes.wordpress.com/2009/05/06/na-body-opposes-chinese-locomotives-purchase/

Lets face it, Chinese locomotives have a dismal reliability record. Follow the Namibian thread in Railways Africa
http://www.railwaysafrica.com/category/africa-update/sadc/namibia/
"four Chinese locomotives costing about N$36 million which arrived in Namibia five years ago suffered 265 failures between October 2004 and June 2007. After this they were withdrawn from service". Both the chairman and MD were suspended over the purchase, which for Namibia is incredible, as they were both from the same ruling political/tribal faction (the chairman was the Ministers cousin - he must have hung on to most of the grease).

Nigeria has over 40 CKD8A's (from a batch of 50) supplied between 1996 and 1999 parked on the dead track. Their 2009 order went to GE Brazil

Tanzania got the CKD8B, for the Cape gauge TAZARA line to Zambia, again Chinese 12V240ZJD prime movers like the Nigerians. From travellers reports appear little used and spend most of their time in the Dar es Salaam shop.

Malaysia has had continuous reliability problems with their batch of 20 CKD8E purchased in 2005, reputedly only 5 were in service until comparability recently. The Bombardier/GE 26 Class DE-AC33C purchased at the same time have been extremely reliable. Apparently the only reason that Malaysia purchased the CKD8E's, was that the Chinese were prepared to barter for palm oil, Bombardier was not. Bombardier is subject to the governance laws of Canada and the EU, and reliant on Western Banks for export financing.
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!

Malaysia has had continuous reliability problems with their batch of 20 CKD8E purchased in 2005, reputedly only 5 were in service until comparability recently. The Bombardier/GE 26 Class DE-AC33C purchased at the same time have been extremely reliable.


Well that seems to throw cold water on the excuse that the problems with the Chinese Class 29's were due to "inadequete maintenance". If that was the case, the B-GE Class 26's would have been having similiar problems. That they didn't suggests the maintenance was quite adequete for proven locomotives. The Chinese 29's obviously required far more intensive (and hence expensive) maintenance than the US makes.

I can't wait to see how the "DL"s perform in NZ. Judging by the experience of previous recipients, any potential resultant substandard performance should result in sackings or lawsuits against those who authorised the purchase for KiwiRail, as there is evidently no shortage of evidence of how atrocious these locos have been. If by some miracle these locos manage to perform adequetely, NZ will have lucked out big time and might see a turnaround in the quality of the Chinese production, however, the long record of lacksadaisical Communist Soviet and Chinese state owned manufacturing does not bade well!
  trainiac Chief Train Controller

The problems with KTMB's class 29 was the subject of government inquiry, I believe, the result of which was KTMB management getting their butts kicked for incompetance and Dalian being threatened with legal action. KTMB had failed to make any warranty claims against Dalian, just storing the locos as they failed. Apparently Dalian has fixed outstanding issues and the locos are performing satisfactorily, for the moment.
Reading on another forum, apparently Chinese sourced electrical equipment, such as traction motors, have been used in New Zealand for many years without any issues. I think it boils down to what your price point is.
  wanderer53 Sir Nigel Gresley

Location: front left seat EE set now departed
There is of course a long history of failed Chinese Traction in many countries. Yet despite this Toll and now Kiwi Rail have been fitting the same chinese sourced traction motors into their DX classes without problems and have recently I beleive purchesed and no doubt by now fitted the same Chines alternator that is to be used in the DL class into overhauled Dx class loco's.

As for MTU, this company has plenty of rail traction experience in Europe and indeed the MTU engines fitted to the majority of the intercity 125 power cars have been a revelation in relaibility, and economy. The inter city 125 power cars have one of the most rigourous uses of a diesel engine in the railway world running at either idle or full power in very short cycles. Kiwi Rail have signed a maintenance agreement with MTU for the MTU engines in the DL class that requires failures to be corrected very quickly. As such it will be in MTU's interest to ensure these things are relaible. Whether the reliabilty will match EMD or GE products remains to be seen. Beyound that there is therefore not a lot of new untested equipment in the DL's so time will tell.

To me the real test will be whether these loco's actually perform as the chinese claim, ie there ability to haul tonnage.

So if the DL's perform well in NZ would the opposition voiced here to chinese loco's in Tasmania be withdrawn?
  12CSVT Chief Commissioner

Location: Drowning in accreditation red tape!

So if the DL's perform well in NZ would the opposition voiced here to chinese loco's in Tasmania be withdrawn?


Of course. If the Chinese locos can match EMD and GE reliability and MTU offer local maintenance support and easy access to spare parts, with not just a economic purchase price, but also economic servicing costs, the benefits of buying would be a no brainer. All the above is a big "if" though!

One last thing that hasn't been considered is whether the local drivers get input into the cab design. Australians expect decent working conditions unlike the Chinese.
  muff558 Station Master

They need to get rod of the 2 strokes

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