3000 class DEMU "Mechanical" problems

 
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

It has just been reported in the Adelaide Advertiser that there are problems with the "drive chain" (sic) which has required a reduction of services on the non-electrified lines.
The fault was discovered through an incident on Wednesday and requires the units to be taken out of service for rectification works.

I am presuming that drive chain implies drive train.

Can anybody provide some insight into this?

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  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Keep an eye on InDaily tomorrow and on Monday. They have some very good sources within DPTI.
  Gayspie Deputy Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
I wouldnt be surprised if this is related to the engine fires which have been occuring in the poxboxes lately.
  kipioneer Chief Commissioner

Location: Aberfoyle Park
That this problem is linked to the recent fire was specifically denied in the Advertiser report.
  AN830 Locomotive Driver

Location: Adelaide, South Australia
Is this only affecting the ones that have been fitted with the new engines.
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Is this only affecting the ones that have been fitted with the new engines.
AN830
Are there any DEMUs left that haven't been fitted with new engines? All the fleet now seem to be in the new livery.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

Communication with passengers on this has been rather poor.

I went past Adelaide Showgrounds on Saturday and there was a recorded announcement blabbering on about the 5:16 and 5:45 trains from the city this afternoon not running. Of course they wouldn't be running, because those trains don't even exist on a Saturday!

And then there's the lack of reassurance for passengers that the services which are running are safe to catch.

I think DPTI rail management are coasting at the moment, and that the government should bring forward the commencement of the contracted operations so all the current managers can be put on JobSeeker while it is still being paid at double rate.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I think AdMet is very confused in general, I caught a tram on Monday, something I have not done in a very long time.

As we departed Greenhill Road (down service) it said ‘next stop Goodwood’. - really? When we stopped at Wayville, seemingly somehow before we got to Goodwood, it said we were at ‘Greenhill Road’.

When we departed Forrestville it said to push the button for South Road, which is what it again said when we departed Black Forrest.

When I got to Moseley Square it reminded me to validate my ticket for travel beyond this point or something like that - which reminded me that I didn’t validate it in the first place.
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

The trams are going over to Torrens Connect (a joint venture of Torrens Transit, John Holland and UGL Rail) on 1 July, so hopefully it won't be long before we start to see some improvements there.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I have not caught a tram in years, it might be more years before I do again. It’s been so long since I used PT at all that I have no idea where my MetroCard even is.

AdelaideMetro should enable MetroCard in Apple wallet, at least then I might use it once in every second phone.
  4BJ Chief Commissioner

Location: Backside almost trackside at Hawthorn near Mitcham
I thought this thread was about our much loved Poxboxes.  Back on topic please.
  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

I would say as this problem has only occurred since they were all re-engined that maybe the engines cannot cope with what they need to do and things are starting to wrong that really should not.  The original motors were a V12 from memory but the newer ones are a V 8 of supposedly a bit greater power than the originals, on paper it all looks fine and dandy but obviously in reality that is a different matter though. Maybe they listened to the bean counters to much and not enough to certified engineers in the electrical and mechanical trades. I do not know though but it seems something like this has happened and suddenly as well, to have two thirds of the current fleet out of service. The motors rev louder as well on the re-engined railcars so they might need greater revs to keep the alternator ticking over at the right rate to provide the power needed and so the engines have to work harder to do that.
  62430 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Metro Adelaide
Some light was shed on the nature of the "mechanical" problems yesterday in a couple of answers by the minister during Question Time in the House of Assembly:

http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-37948
http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-37949
  don_dunstan Dr Beeching

Location: Adelaide proud
Bring back the Jumbos, it's an emergency!
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I have it on good record that the failure is not related to the engine fires which happened early on in the re-engining program, though they could potentially cause different fires.

The description of 'maintenance issue' given by DPTI is pretty close to the money.

I would say as this problem has only occurred since they were all re-engined that maybe the engines cannot cope with what they need to do and things are starting to wrong that really should not.  The original motors were a V12 from memory but the newer ones are a V 8 of supposedly a bit greater power than the originals, on paper it all looks fine and dandy but obviously in reality that is a different matter though.
DJPeters
You are wrong.

Neither the old OM444LA engines or the new OM502LA engines has ever had to work hard in the DEMUs, they have both been configured with the power governed way below the maximum power allowed by the design.

Maybe they listened to the bean counters to much and not enough to certified engineers in the electrical and mechanical trades.
DJPeters
There was nothing wrong with the selection of these engines.

These are the engines that Mercedes-Benz specify as the modern replacement for the old ones in this sort of application, and certainly wouldn't be cheap. But what would they know about their own range of engines?

I do not know
DJPeters
Blatantly obvious.

Bring back the Jumbos, it's an emergency!
don_dunstan
That would certainly help provide a bit of perspective.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
Some light was shed on the nature of the "mechanical" problems yesterday in a couple of answers by the minister during Question Time in the House of Assembly:

http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-37948
http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-37949
62430
Thanks for those links. Quite an interesting response by the Minister.

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?

Cheers
  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?
SA_trains
Lack of maintenance, not a warranty issue.
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
The original motors were a V12 from memory but the newer ones are a V 8 of supposedly a bit greater power than the originals
DJPeters
Why suppose, when you could just look it up and see for yourself? The new OM502LA is more than 20% more powerful, and as JAP has mentioned, it their use at 390kW is to be believed, then yes, they are operating significantly de-rated.

on paper it all looks fine and dandy but obviously in reality that is a different matter though
DJPeters
Why do you presume that this has anything to do with 'power'? Also, on a world class product like a Mercedes engine the 'on paper' numbers are remarkably close to what you will really get. This is exactly why in the professional world, specifications exist.

Maybe they listened to the bean counters to much and not enough to certified engineers in the electrical and mechanical trades.
DJPeters
I don't think that there are many CPEngs working on the trains, that's not really a needed thing to change an engine, and they didn't listen to the bean counters too hard, do you know what an OM502LA sells for? Even with a 'discount' for buying maybe 70+ of them? Yeah, if you have to look that up, you cannot afford it. I work with a lady who's husband owns a crane business, he purchased a 'used' OM444LA (not ex 3000 class) and paid well over USD20k for it.

The motors rev louder as well on the re-engined railcars so they might need greater revs to keep the alternator ticking over at the right rate to provide the power needed
DJPeters
That's not how it works.
  DJPeters Deputy Commissioner

Well then turbos are the cause of the problems on the engines but turbos are renowned for going on motors such as these as it does not take much to stuff one up completely if it fails. Even diesel locomotives, trucks and cars have turbos that go at times so it is sort of to be expected at some time. So it is related to the fire in one, but they must be really bad if they have to pull 2/3 's of the fleet to check them though, I would have thought it better to check them as they came in for refuelling or service rather than panic and check them in bulk like this.  It will still happen though as even after checking one and no problem found it could fail on the next trip.  They are just one of those things that can and do happen though.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Some light was shed on the nature of the "mechanical" problems yesterday in a couple of answers by the minister during Question Time in the House of Assembly:

http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-37948
http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-37949
62430

Thanks. That will help me put to bed all the pesky inquiries I'm getting from interstate.

Mechanical matters interest me not one jot Razz
  Aaron The Ghost of George Stephenson

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Well then turbos are the cause of the problems on the engines but turbos are renowned for going on motors such as these as it does not take much to stuff one up completely if it fails. Even diesel locomotives, trucks and cars have turbos that go at times so it is sort of to be expected at some time. So it is related to the fire in one, but they must be really bad if they have to pull 2/3 's of the fleet to check them though, I would have thought it better to check them as they came in for refuelling or service rather than panic and check them in bulk like this.  It will still happen though as even after checking one and no problem found it could fail on the next trip.  They are just one of those things that can and do happen though.
DJPeters
Do you speak a language other than English?
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Well then turbos are the cause of the problems on the engines but turbos are renowned for going on motors such as these as it does not take much to stuff one up completely if it fails. Even diesel locomotives, trucks and cars have turbos that go at times so it is sort of to be expected at some time. So it is related to the fire in one, but they must be really bad if they have to pull 2/3 's of the fleet to check them though, I would have thought it better to check them as they came in for refuelling or service rather than panic and check them in bulk like this.  It will still happen though as even after checking one and no problem found it could fail on the next trip.  They are just one of those things that can and do happen though.
DJPeters
David,

Please quit while you are behind.

I don't think a problem with a turbo tucked up in the engine under a train car is something that a quick check while refueling will cure.
To take cars out of service as they have done indicates the problem is somehow inherent in the design or weakness of one particular element. No organisation wants to draw attention to itself, neither does a beleaguered politician.

You are right is saying turbos are a highly stressed element and when they fail can have catastrophic consequences. However turbos are an established part of IC engine componentry right down to little buzz-box girly cars. They are nowadays highly reliable.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Some light was shed on the nature of the "mechanical" problems yesterday in a couple of answers by the minister during Question Time in the House of Assembly:

http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-37948
http://hansardpublic.parliament.sa.gov.au/Pages/HansardResult.aspx#/docid/HANSARD-11-37949
62430
Thank you for the facts.

That puts to bed all the supposition and conspiracy theories.
  SA_trains Deputy Commissioner

Location: ACT
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.
justapassenger

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.
  Noelwb123 Station Master

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

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