NR Class Re-power Project

 
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
At this rate it'll only take another 10 years until the whole fleet is done!

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  M636C Minister for Railways

The latest repower, NR18 is rumored to be trailing on 3PW4 tonight...... and from the pic I've seen, its partially clean this time Rolling Eyes
speedemon08
It really needed a new engine....   It was smoking as badly as any NR I've ever seen at the TAR Centenary.

While the conversion rate is slow at first, the engines will all need replacement fairly soon, so we shouldn't have to wait too long...

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
23 went west last night on the second sprinter and at idle it actually sounds a little different to std NRs , more like a 93 class so later computers and Bosch injectors do things a little differently . I didn't look that close but the compressor must be different because the oil filler and dipstick are now on the co drivers side and its intercoolers are a bit different too .
Its fridge is a big improvement over what C44ACis get standard and not that much smaller than the original ones in NRs .
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
23 went west last night on the second sprinter and at idle it actually sounds a little different to std NRs , more like a 93 class so later computers and Bosch injectors do things a little differently . I didn't look that close but the compressor must be different because the oil filler and dipstick are now on the co drivers side and its intercoolers are a bit different too .
Its fridge is a big improvement over what C44ACis get standard and not that much smaller than the original ones in NRs .
BDA

It's the same type of engine going back into these things,the GE 7FDL16 so that's interesting. Compressors are also being replaced.

Two locos will be done staggered a week apart, with each refit taking two weeks. NR62 and NR30something are up next if not already in the shop.

Not sure if it's been mentioned here but I believe some locos will be fitted with ECP/DP for specialised workings and reclassified.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Same type of engine yes but the note is slightly different , walked back and forth between that one and the two it went west with .
Yes we knew DP was going into some and suspect its for some kind of push pull working . EP probably best suited to ore cars of some kind where sets don't get much interchange like Intermodal wagons do .
Be good if all were so fitted but thats money PN may not want to spend . I did hear that early on the modified units were to have the power raised but the cost and weight of the C44ACi radiator cab killed that off .
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Same type of engine yes but the note is slightly different , walked back and forth between that one and the two it went west with .
Yes we knew DP was going into some and suspect its for some kind of push pull working . EP probably best suited to ore cars of some kind where sets don't get much interchange like Intermodal wagons do .
Be good if all were so fitted but thats money PN may not want to spend . I did hear that early on the modified units were to have the power raised but the cost and weight of the C44ACi radiator cab killed that off .
BDA
Modified NR's for the new South NSW contracts to go with the new wagons (EP/DP) and far west (DP) contracts. Allegedly.
Something about changing their name to PR or something... there was a memo on it not too long ago.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
It's the same type of engine going back into these things,the GE 7FDL16 so that's interesting. Compressors are also being replaced.

Two locos will be done staggered a week apart, with each refit taking two weeks. NR62 and NR30something are up next if not already in the shop.
Typhon

2 years, 3 months, 1 week to complete the project. If they keep to that schedule, and the trucking industry don't send another NR to the scrap yard in the mean time.

It'll be good to not see any NRs going around blowing more smoke than steam trains.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Same type of engine yes but the note is slightly different , walked back and forth between that one and the two it went west with .
Yes we knew DP was going into some and suspect its for some kind of push pull working . EP probably best suited to ore cars of some kind where sets don't get much interchange like Intermodal wagons do .
Be good if all were so fitted but thats money PN may not want to spend . I did hear that early on the modified units were to have the power raised but the cost and weight of the C44ACi radiator cab killed that off .
BDA
I'd expect that updated fuel injection systems would be fitted.

While some locomotives would get new engines, I understood that the process followed for the Rio Tinto Dash 9s would be followed for the NRs in that in most cases, only the cast crankcase would be new (the "block" in automobile terms) and the existing cylinder liners, heads, pistons and rods and in some cases the crankshaft would be reused. This is the main reason that higher power wasn't considered seriously. Of course, anything needing replacement would be changed over during the rebuild.

Right now I'm trying to work out whether ES44DCs sound different to Dash 9s....

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I did look in the first one and yes there is some different computer gear in the usual place , so yes I would expect them to have the Bosch injectors and must remember to have a look at one or a 93 . MB4 in for a drink again today because a 93 wouldn't accept inline fuel but thats another story .
The story I got was that NRs won't get the power increase because of the extra cost and weight - and fuel consumption . 93s are pigs compared to NRs and my guess is that the difference is more than 10% .
Vine thinks that a few ACs have had their dashpot settings fiddled to reduce the consumption to a degree .

No one in the whole time we've had -9s has ever , ever , mentioned anything about cracked crank cases and you can be sure that we would have known if it was the case . Regardless we know roughly the expense involved in cleaning welding machining and rethreading used EMD cases so it's not like they're a free ride .
  Michelle12 Moderator Photo Overlord

Location: Melbourne
So far the ones repowered are NR18, NR23(the first one done) & NR105.
The ones fitted with ICE are : 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 18, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30(the first fitted), 34, 36, 51, 91, 101 & 105
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
So far the ones repowered are NR18, NR23(the first one done) & NR105.
Michelle12
Anything about NR62 being done? Also another 30 series but I've forgotten the number.
  Michelle12 Moderator Photo Overlord

Location: Melbourne
I knew about NR62, but left if off as it is not yet completed and am not aware of any others in the 30s being done although NR34 seems to be the most recent one equipped with ICE.
  M636C Minister for Railways

So far the ones repowered are NR18, NR23(the first one done) & NR105.
Michelle12

On Saturday 24, NR 18 was leading 3PW4. I noticed a slightly different engine sound as it accelerated through Gunning which might be due to an altered fuel injection system or a modified muffler. The LED headlights and flashing LED ditch lights were the most obvious signs of the rebuild, however.

However, I thought I heard the same different engine note from 4PS6 which had preceded 3PW4 by an hour or so. This had NR59, NR29 and NR30. NR59 still had standard headlights but could either of 29 or 30 have been rebuilt - or could any of them have the modification that changes the sound without having been rebuilt?

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yesterday AFAIK the first NR rebuild came up from Melbourne fitted with distributed power and ECP brake hardware . Externally the difference is the ECP cables back and front and internally the extra circuit breakers and ECP screen in place of the Freight Miser one .
NR55 was hauled dead on 5MS4 and arrived early this morning .
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
Ahh interesting, how many of these are being fitted? Think it was supposed to be 16 or so.

What do you think of the repowers in general?
  Michelle12 Moderator Photo Overlord

Location: Melbourne
NRE17 light engine today from SMC, Spotswood being the latest NR to be 'repowered'.
Here is a list of the repowered NRs :

8, 15, 17(out today), 18, 23(the first one done), 32, 36, 54, 55(with Bulk NSW), 62, 69, 71(out last Saturday), 73, 91, 98, 99, 101, 105, 108(with Bulk NSW)
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
What crews think . They universally think the loco screen displays are a backwards step and not nearly as user friendly as the Dash 8 display original NRs have .
They are hard to read on the fly because everything is too small . Speedo indication , and the bar graphs only use ~ half the scales I assume because these screens and displays are std on USDM GE units . We don't use 90 pound BP pressure and 180 + tonne locos run higher TM loads than 130 tonne ones do .
When the loco brakes are applied the screen flashes a light at you , annoying when sitting for any length of time with the brakes on . Similar red light if the brake pipe is being charged and also a piercing beeper goes off periodically to highlight air flow .
Seats are not the same Bremshey Grammars , feel harder and to have less lumbar support .
Brake computer not as smart as Epic II in some ways , needs a pin lock to stop the 2B side giving an emergency app if knocked by the back of the co drivers seat . Epic cut the 2B side controllers out so this could not happen . At least they have the 70 kpa "Frank notch" detent which 93s don't .
These repowers are harder to shunt with because they seem even slower to load up in 1 and 2 notches . Waiting waiting wham ...

Many reckon they prefer the original units .
  M636C Minister for Railways

NR 54 is also with Bulk NSW.

Last Sunday it was coupled to two new Chinese built aggregate hopper cars RHKY 00021/00022 (a bar coupled pair) with NR108 for ECP brake training for Moss Vale crews. These are expected to work the Marulan to Rooty Hill quarry trains.

Neither 54 or 108 was classed NRE although they had ECP brakes.

M636C
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
What crews think . They universally think the loco screen displays are a backwards step and not nearly as user friendly as the Dash 8 display original NRs have .
They are hard to read on the fly because everything is too small . Speedo indication , and the bar graphs only use ~ half the scales I assume because these screens and displays are std on USDM GE units . We don't use 90 pound BP pressure and 180 + tonne locos run higher TM loads than 130 tonne ones do .
When the loco brakes are applied the screen flashes a light at you , annoying when sitting for any length of time with the brakes on . Similar red light if the brake pipe is being charged and also a piercing beeper goes off periodically to highlight air flow .
Seats are not the same Bremshey Grammars , feel harder and to have less lumbar support .
Brake computer not as smart as Epic II in some ways , needs a pin lock to stop the 2B side giving an emergency app if knocked by the back of the co drivers seat . Epic cut the 2B side controllers out so this could not happen . At least they have the 70 kpa "Frank notch" detent which 93s don't .
These repowers are harder to shunt with because they seem even slower to load up in 1 and 2 notches . Waiting waiting wham ...

Many reckon they prefer the original units .
BDA

Hrmm, yeah similar sentiments where I am too.

I'm getting used to the screen, the auto speed feature has been improved and I like having the main loco stats without having to go into the DID panel, which, in a backward step is now nearly impossible to access from the driving console. I doubt it would be possible to access the trailing unit on the run. Switching between options to find certain features is a clunky business though.

The piercing beep is a major annoyance for everyone (try spending an 8 hour shunt shift on one of the things), I believe PN and UGL are working on a fix, although it should never have been included in the first place. I dont see why we need it, but apparently it's now a regulatory requirement.

Dont like the Fastbrake, the independent seems to have a delayed reaction to input, and you pretty much have to move the lever half way around the slider to get any action and when it does come on it goes straight over 60kpa, so forget finesse and precise touches during shunt movements. Also unlike EPIC the top of the brake stand is not suited to placing a mug of coffee... Razz

On the plus side, being new, the engines are slightly stronger with a handful more kilowatts at full noise and they're more fuel efficient than the old ones.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yes finesse , that's exactly what I was thinking when posting above . I don't think they pull any better than a good standard NR and it doesn't look to me like they use significantly less fuel than a good standard one .
Some will tell you a std unit is less fatiguing to operate because the displays are easier to view/navigate and beepers don't screech at you periodically when you release the brakes . Do you really need a warning light flashing at you to tell you the engines brakes are on ?
Hard to imagine USDM equipment allowing changes or alternatives with proprietary computer software . Smells of the old Clyde EMD attitude .
The seats are not as good as the old ones and this will have to be looked at . Also an issue in a locomotive that rides a bit harder again like the newer ACs .
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
Totally agree about the beeping/warning lights. The damn things beep at you when you have the brakes applied, despite nothing on the flow meter. I know the damn brakes are applied, that's why the handle is in the FS position and the brake pipe shows 350kpa. I dont need a piercingly loud beep to tell me that.

The 93s are worse again, they beep for no apparent reason. If I dont know why it's beeping then I dont care, I cant do anything about it so dont beep at me. Beep at me when the engine is on fire, then I'll take notice.

The conclusion is that in this safety* obsessed world where desk jockeys so far removed from the job are making decisions like adding warning alarms and flashing lights because it's a good idea for them and it makes them look good, the result will be that genuine safety (dont be confused by the two) is becoming compromised. We're conditioned now to look for the flashing light, or the loud beep or basically anything highlighted in fluoro orange, yellow or whatever. People start to get sick of the message after a while. It fades into the background and becomes part of the furniture.

Warning. Safety sign ahead. It's not restricted to PN or the rail industry anymore, it's prevalent everywhere. Signs for fog on motorway. I cant see the sign it's hidden by fog. It's about the continual dumbing down of an increasingly luke warm society, where there are no losers and everybody wins. Actually there are no winners because that's not fair to those who tried their best and came stone cold last. Eg there are idiot drivers on the road who act as if they found their licence in a box of Weetbix, so instead of training them better we reduce the speed limit and generally try to cater to their reduced ability. I could go on but this is not the place.    

*Litigious.

Anyway, err, carry on!
  ANDL36Y Train Controller

Totally agree about the beeping/warning lights. The damn things beep at you when you have the brakes applied, despite nothing on the flow meter. I know the damn brakes are applied, that's why the handle is in the FS position and the brake pipe shows 350kpa. I dont need a piercingly loud beep to tell me that.

The 93s are worse again, they beep for no apparent reason. If I dont know why it's beeping then I dont care, I cant do anything about it so dont beep at me. Beep at me when the engine is on fire, then I'll take notice.

The conclusion is that in this safety* obsessed world where desk jockeys so far removed from the job are making decisions like adding warning alarms and flashing lights because it's a good idea for them and it makes them look good, the result will be that genuine safety (dont be confused by the two) is becoming compromised. We're conditioned now to look for the flashing light, or the loud beep or basically anything highlighted in fluoro orange, yellow or whatever. People start to get sick of the message after a while. It fades into the background and becomes part of the furniture.

Warning. Safety sign ahead. It's not restricted to PN or the rail industry anymore, it's prevalent everywhere. Signs for fog on motorway. I cant see the sign it's hidden by fog. It's about the continual dumbing down of an increasingly luke warm society, where there are no losers and everybody wins. Actually there are no winners because that's not fair to those who tried their best and came stone cold last. Eg there are idiot drivers on the road who act as if they found their licence in a box of Weetbix, so instead of training them better we reduce the speed limit and generally try to cater to their reduced ability. I could go on but this is not the place.    

*Litigious.

Anyway, err, carry on!
Typhon

Yep. Smile
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
May have got a bit carried away Razz
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
May have got a bit carried away Razz
Typhon
Hours of machines beeping at you for no reason will do that Laughing
  fleabag Assistant Commissioner

Location: Perth
Hours of machines beeping at you for no reason will do that Laughing
lkernan
No you didn't, Typhon.

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