SETS electric loco 8649 to be reactivated. Project to start end of May 2019

 
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

SETS to reactivate electric loco 8649, currently stored at Werris Creek with the project to start end of May 2019. Full details on main page of website.

http://www.sets.org.au/

- SETS and Pacific National have agreed to reactivate a second 86 class electric locomotive - 8649 - with the project to commence at the end of May 2019
- 8649 has been stored outside at Werris Creek for many years and it is planned to commence preparatory works at the Werris Creek Maintenance Centre run by Progress Rail (Pacific National's maintenance contractor).
- The project will involve SETS personnel, Pacific National staff, Progress Rail staff and specialist firms
- 8649 is considered to be in fair condition but it will need overhaul of some major equipment items, including some rotating machinery and brake system components.
- The locomotive was last operated in 1997 and thus the project will be a significantly bigger undertaking than the relatively quick initial reactivation of 8606, which had been stored indoors since 2003.



For the record, 8649 was one of the some 18 locos that were withdrawn by October 1997 due to discovery of cracks in the underframe. From what I've read, this was something that could certainly be repaired however given how things were slowly winding down with electric loco use in NSW they were simply never returned to service. This loco was moved to Werris Creek from Lithgow around mid 2000. Hasn't run in about 22 years, so it will be some come back.

A little fun fact about this loco, in November 1986 it hauled a special from Newcastle back to Sydney (and over the Harbour Bridge) following the conclusion of celebrations of the return of 3801 to service which was celebrated when 3801 hauled the special from the State Dockyards to Newcastle station. 8649 took the carriage consist back to Sydney after 3801 was taken off following conclusion of celebrations.



Jonesy's Photograph shot of 8649 at Werris Creek in February 2019. Credit to photographer.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/141949213@N06/33320106688/

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  SinickleBird Chief Train Controller

Location: Qantas Club at Mudgee International Airport
Brilliant! Good to see there is life in the old girl, despite years out in the weather.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

I wonder if the plan to have 2 to go to is so that one 86 can be used by a work team say in the city circle underground while another team working concurrently on the Bondi Junction subway line uses the other. The SETS website indicates that 8644 may be reactivated in the future as a spare. Interesting to note that despite the fact that 8649 has been stored at Werris Creek now for almost exactly 19 years it looks in better nick than 8644 which has been stored at Chullora for the past 10 years and in a couple of years prior to that at Eveleigh. The dry conditions at Werris Creek have been much kinder to 8649 (and 8501 for that fact).
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Someone asked SETS on their facebook page in regards to the supposed cracked frames the 86's such as 8649 had when they were withdrawn in 1997, this was their reply:-

"the body will be lifted for a full inspection prior to entering service, to determine if cracking is evident and to determine what, if any, repairs are necessary."
  a6et Minister for Railways

Someone asked SETS on their facebook page in regards to the supposed cracked frames the 86's such as 8649 had when they were withdrawn in 1997, this was their reply:-

"the body will be lifted for a full inspection prior to entering service, to determine if cracking is evident and to determine what, if any, repairs are necessary."
SydneyCider
I would suggest that depending on how bad the cracks are, much may depend on what the future work load is going to be for it, as well as the operational side of it. (how many 86cl are still in existence?) The likelihood of 49 being used for anything other than perhaps a back up to the other one already in service may be a precaution, and likely also the majority of its work will be at lower speed than when it was in regular service, thus less likelihood of it sustaining much more damage, with a speed restriction placed on it.

It actually makes a lot of sense having more than one 86cl in operational condition, or perhaps an 85, but I understand they are not compatible for MU working with each other.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

I actually have a thread in the Sydney Suburban forum which has plenty of details on the 86 class. There are 7 still in existence. According to the SETS web site, they have 8606, 8644 (last ran on a 3801 Ltd tour in February 2006) and 8649. A member of the group apparently owns 8607 stored at Canberra which along with 8606 and the long since scrapped 8627 and 8628 hauled the last commercial freight service by electric locos in NSW on 30 June 2002. Their website indicates that 8644 may be the third 86 class unit to be reactivated as a backup to 8606 and 8649. I'd imagine 8501 could probably do similar work as from what I understand they have a toilet on board, cab air-con and are otherwise similar to an 86. Also an 85 can work MU with an 86, as long as the 85 leads.

And yes, apparently 8606 is restricted to 80km/h.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I actually have a thread in the Sydney Suburban forum which has plenty of details on the 86 class. There are 7 still in existence. According to the SETS web site, they have 8606, 8644 (last ran on a 3801 Ltd tour in February 2006) and 8649. A member of the group apparently owns 8607 stored at Canberra which along with 8606 and the long since scrapped 8627 and 8628 hauled the last commercial freight service by electric locos in NSW on 30 June 2002. Their website indicates that 8644 may be the third 86 class unit to be reactivated as a backup to 8606 and 8649. I'd imagine 8501 could probably do similar work as from what I understand they have a toilet on board, cab air-con and are otherwise similar to an 86. Also an 85 can work MU with an 86, as long as the 85 leads.

And yes, apparently 8606 is restricted to 80km/h.
SydneyCider
Thanks Sydney Cider.

I never set foot on either classes, as my time as fireman/driver were in depots that did not have wires in which we needed to be qualified for Electric Loco's
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Update on SETS web page last few days

- Mentions that the project to reactivate 8649 is now underway.

- After preparatory works at the Werris Creek Maintenance Centre run by Progress Rail the loco will then be moved to Cardiff Workshops for underframe examination and test powering-up.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Update of events today on SETS facebook page (Sat, 22 June 2019)

https://www.facebook.com/setsAU/photos/a.617082005058679/1961776120589254/

Today a few of our volunteers dug our spare 86 class alternator out of our stores ready to be sent away for checking and any necessary work so that it is ready for fitting to 8649.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Something I only just came across. Interesting to say the least. 8649 is still under restoration/re-activation

TOC Waiver issued to Sydney Trains and SETS on 17 June 2019, effective until 17 December 2019

https://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/system/files/media/asa_standards/2019/tw-203-834.pdf (PDF FILE)

This TOC waiver grants the operation of 8649 on the Transport for NSW Metropolitan Heavy Rail Network

- Specifies max speed as 105km/h
- Specifies guidelines for multiple unit electric loco usage for 46 and 86 class electric locos
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Update on SETS facebook page today. Work has started to recommission 8649. Some photos of it inside Progress Rail's at Werris Creek have been shared

https://www.facebook.com/setsAU/posts/2100033316763533
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

SETS have updated their website as of 18 October 2019 with a lot of information in regards to work to be done to 8649

https://www.sets.org.au/fleet/index.php?id=8606#8649
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Photos on the net have the loco at Werris Creek presently.

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