Side Ballast Cleaners

  M636C Minister for Railways

On Saturday 31 August I drove to Melbourne via Cootamundra and Wagga.

This allowed me to get a couple of shots of 3642 running shuttles to Uranquinty and The Rock.

However, at Cootamundra I came across SBC 34, a new side ballast cleaner lettered for ARTC, along with the maker's name "Loram".
A side ballast cleaner removes, cleans and replaces the ballast beyond the sleeper ends. The argument is that restoring the ballast along the edge allows the ballast under the track to drain into the ballast filled trenches, removing the cause of mudholes.

It was coupled to a flat car with a side door container and water tank marked SBC34F and a control car SBC 34C.
SBC 34C is a former NAR stainless steel van either NBHR 97 or AZTP400 (there were only two).
The removal of the skirts above the bogie on conversion to SG is different from the modification to 400, so I think 97...
Any other information on the van would be appreciated.

To my surprise, there was another very similar but older SBC in Albury, lettered for John Holland and numbered 41603.
The bogies on the main vehicle (with the excavating wheels, which look a little like paddle wheels on a ship and ensure that it is out of gauge) look European unlike the standard USA bogies on SBC 34.

These two are presumably related to recent press releases regarding ballast improvements on the Sydney Melbourne line.


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  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
Existing thread for the new LORAM machine.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Existing thread for the new LORAM machine.
That thread has, as all similar threads, deteriorated into arguments over sleeper replacement.

I'm mainly hoping for a response on the ex NAR van, for which this forum is more appropriate.

  Alco251_244 Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere
The two brake vans NBHR 96 and 97 still exist.

96 is privatly owned by a well known driver and is currently residing in Parkes along with one or two HRH/AVHP short stainless steel brakevans.

NBHR 97 became AVJY 400 before being converted to the test car AZTP 400. It was stored undercover inside Islington Works for many years before being converted for use on the ballast cleaner this year.

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