CSR fleet grounded?

 
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

The engines for the Harmony HXN5 locomotives are manufactured at CSR Qishuyan under GE licence and oversight. I understand that the the original build of 300 has been followed by another build of 300. I think that CNR has a similar arrangement with EMDiesels at Dalian but their build program has lagged considerably behind that of CSR and the MOR isn't happy about this.

My experience of CSR Ziyang was reasonably positive. Cape gauge locomotives, Cat engines/Kato alternators, Chinese traction system and DC GE 761 look alike traction motors. Build quality good where it needed to be but final finish a bit iffy. CSR are hardly alone in having asbestos issues despite a clear specification mandate. The same issues have been known to hit US licenced builds.

TW

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  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

Thanks for those references jmt. The Nigerian and Pakistan experiences are certainly less than positive and quite likely provided a guide to SCT in their decision making. Where to now for SCT?. Surely they would be looking hard at an alternative alternator arrangement as you suggested in an earlier post, jmt. One would think that MTU would have an alliance with Siemens? or like provider to supply "Power Packs" in the same way as Caterpillar and Cummins.
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

As far as I am aware the CSR alternator issue has been resolved and CSR issued a mea culpa and undertook alternator repair change out as required. I do not think that SCT would progress a power pack changeout from here on in ..... the expense for questionable return would be massive.

MTU I am sure would match their engine with any alternator/traction system supplier with an appropriate systems engineering and integration review be it Siemens, ABB, Kato or Joe Bloggs.

TW
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

TW, you are the first correspondent to suggest the alternator issue has been resolved. If that is correct and I am not doubting you, do you have any knowledge of progress on the alleged exploding cooling fan issue. If both of these issues were resolved it would seem that the only reported issue remaining would be the asbestos problem. The asbestos issue could be huge if all likely areas of asbestos use have to be stripped down but once resolved is it likely that SCT will have a reliable locomotive?
  phower Chief Commissioner

Location: Over on Kangaroo Island Sth Aust
As far as I am aware the CSR alternator issue has been resolved and CSR issued a mea culpa and undertook alternator repair change out as required. I do not think that SCT would progress a power pack changeout from here on in ..... the expense for questionable return would be massive.

MTU I am sure would match their engine with any alternator/traction system supplier with an appropriate systems engineering and integration review be it Siemens, ABB, Kato or Joe Bloggs.

TW
t_woodroffe
Sorry to blow your fire out , but NO its not 100% fixed as yet , just before they was all grounded , one on its way back from Rankine dam blew the alternator  (as I have one part here ) but looks like some thing will be done about it  but what .I dont know for sure .
  bagus70 Assistant Commissioner

Location: Wanting to revisit Australia again.
Now the Chinese product already makes trouble in Australia.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
'could have made my point a lot better. If 2 BMWs are designed in the same studio(using many common parts), and are assembled by the same machines, why is there a measurable difference in quality between those that roll out of a factory in Munich and those that come from South Africa? The only variable would appear to be the people. Probably irrelevant if there is a major design fault, but I  think that the Germans and Japanese have the process sorted and value engineering and reputation higher than most. More of a cultural thing than something that can be legislated, I reckon.
fzr560

I'll agree with that. You do have to believe in what you do to do it well.

Dr Smith comments on pricing and return is interesting. Given the issues they are having I wonder if they are still more economical in the long run (forcasting a reduction in problems).
  DrSmith Train Controller

SCT have done a great job to-date and are a long way from the last crop and failure. One thing I did not mention is that years ago, the Maybach engine with O/H camshafts gave diesel-hydraulics a bad name. Times have changed and MTU are big enough to over-come their problems.
The fuel savings are more in keeping with a $1 per net tonne not a few cents! Then there are the environmental issues.....the big banger alternative engines have trouble getting into the Aussie rolling-stock out-line. The use of the Chinese main-line engine is a far bigger banger and too heavy. They run pretty well but the original 400 GE units were the best locomotives they ever had. Evidently a modified alternator has now run a couple of hundred thousand kms.....unless that was the recent failure mentioned.
Asbestos should never have happened but then, there were Aussie consultants and inspectors.
One thing about African failures (that keep getting mentioned) is that they are virtually given the units via tied loans /aid but they haven't got the money to buy spares......but then there are some factories in China better than others!
  t_woodroffe Assistant Commissioner

Maybe my tense was incorrect ....... at an MTU presentation a few months ago CSR intimated that the alternator problem was being resolved; the problems had been identified and mitigation measures developed. I am not aware of the detail of failure/rectification issues re cooling fans.

TW
  Clyde_AT26HC-2M Chief Train Controller

More thirsty and more tired than the CSR's!

If they need to hire, they most likely call up CFCLA for a few locos equivalent to the SCT's
Pressman

Again "gunzel speculation".

GWA run their CLs and ALFs to Darwin, now last time I checked they was a lot further than Rankin Dam so cant be that thirsty if GWA havent retired their fleet and just purchased more GWUs.

Also even if the newer locomotives from CFCLA were hired such as the CF or even CM class (only one has arrived in Oz), crews would have too be crew trained which is not easy when your short of HP and need power ASAP.

In regards to the CSR class performance, the crews that deal with them 48 hours straight doing relay work know that they are rubbish, even crews that run from Laverton - Dooen can tell you the same thing. Drivers rather the SCT class over them. They cant pull as well out north in comparison the CSRs in comparison to the SCTs as well.
  trainlover Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide.
The 2 CSR locos which were at Laverton Left tuesday night on 3MP9

Train Locomotives SCT 13 and 9 Then the Fuel flat and then Hauling CSR 3 and 10 to Bolivar SA to join the rest stored.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Could be a while before the CSR's return to service, SCT have also hired EL58, which arrived on 5MP9 behind G516-SCT007-SCT009 last Friday. Although EL58 did return to Melbourne on 5PM9, but could be on 2MP9 (arr Adelaide) tomorrow.
  SAR520SMBH Junior Train Controller

Just saw EL53 trailing 2 SCT units going past Old Adelaide Gaol heading to Bolivar.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

One must now ask the question, did SCT pay a fair price for the CSR locomotives?

Apparently the now defunct Ministry of Railways divvied up the World into exclusive sales territories for CST and CNR. State sponsored restrictive trade practice

The vacuum in Party control over the rail sector, following the Ministers arrest in April 2011, has allowed CSR to poach an allocated CNR customer in Argentina, and the excreta has hit the fan

http://www.wantchinatimes.com/news-subclass-cnt.aspx?id=20130613000141&cid=1102
http://www.sinocast.com/readbeatarticle.do?id=94621

The disgraced Minister, Liu Zhijun, had a passion for under the counter payments, and was lucky to escape the chopping block
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liu_Zhijun

After 18 months of dithering, on 10 March 2013, it was officially announced that the Ministry of Railways would be dissolved and its duties taken up by the Ministry of Transport (safety and regulation), State Railways Administration (inspection) and China Railway Corporation (construction and management).  








  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Again "gunzel speculation".

GWA run their CLs and ALFs to Darwin, now last time I checked they was a lot further than Rankin Dam so cant be that thirsty if GWA havent retired their fleet and just purchased more GWUs.

Also even if the newer locomotives from CFCLA were hired such as the CF or even CM class (only one has arrived in Oz), crews would have too be crew trained which is not easy when your short of HP and need power ASAP.

In regards to the CSR class performance, the crews that deal with them 48 hours straight doing relay work know that they are rubbish, even crews that run from Laverton - Dooen can tell you the same thing. Drivers rather the SCT class over them. They cant pull as well out north in comparison the CSRs in comparison to the SCTs as well.
Clyde_AT26HC-2M
wot does all this mean ????
  trainlover Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide.
Back in Service 2 at least CSRs 6 and 9 on 1901 ex Bolivar today.
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

Is there any further information available regarding what the actual location of the asbestos was and how the problem has been removed.
  SPSD40T2 Chief Commissioner

Location: Platform 9-3/4 and still waiting !!
Are the BK's also so affected ?
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
Yes the BK's are affected, but I have been told they are yet to be accepted by Bradken.
  fabricator Chief Commissioner

Location: Gawler
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-11-26/chinese-imports-spark-railway-worker-asbestos-scare/5118242

Railway workers have been exposed to potentially hazardous asbestos after the deadly dust was found in locomotives brought in from China.
The breach of a 10-year ban on the import of products containing the carcinogenic fibre is not the first incident of its kind.
Unions are now demanding tougher policing of Chinese imports, describing the current asbestos-free certificates as a farce.
Last year freight carrier SCT imported 10 locomotives made by China Southern Rail (CSR) to tow iron ore bound for China to port.
To comply with the decade-old Australian ban on asbestos imports, they were certified asbestos-free. However, this was not the case.
National secretary of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union Bob Nanva says maintenance workers raised concerns about the dust.
"We had our maintenance workers repairing a number of diesel engines," he said.
"They identified a lot of white dust among those engines and asked the question as to whether or not that dust was safe."
The workers' concerns were justified. White asbestos - or chrysotile - was found throughout the locomotives, in insulation around the exhaust and muffler system, around coolant pipes and in the brake exhaust section near the roof of the driver's cabin.

Workers reassured despite dangers
Mr Nanva said workers were initially told there was nothing to worry about.
"They were assured on numerous occasions that there was nothing to be alarmed about, but on subsequent testing of that dust they have identified asbestos," he said.
Last month, at a cost of more than a million dollars, the locomotives were pulled from service.
Most were quarantined at SCT's centre at Adelaide's Penfield, where professional asbestos removalists in protective suits and masks have been stripping the asbestos out of the trains.
The company's subsidiary Specialised Bulk Rail says its first priority has been the safety of its staff, some of whom it concedes may have been at "some risk" when the asbestos-containing insulation blankets were "damaged or ripped".
Mr Nanva says the workers would have been regularly at risk.
"These are maintenance workers that repair these trains day in, day out, and would have been exposed to these fibres day in, day out," he said.
Chief executive of the Asbestos Safety & Eradication Agency Peter Tighe says it shows certifications from China are questionable.
"It's another example, I think, of the lack of compliance in relation to certification from Asia, and more specifically China, that asbestos-free certification is really questionable out of those areas," he said.

Asbestos ban broken before
This is not the first time China has broken the Australian ban on asbestos.
Last year more than 25,000 Chinese-made Great Wall, Chery and Geely cars were recalled after asbestos was discovered in their engine gaskets and brakes.
In decades to come experts expect hundreds of thousands of Chinese casualties from asbestos.
A 1980s film by Szechuan University smuggled out from China shows the tragic story of China's own Wittenoom - at Dayao, in the province of Yunnan - where asbestos exposures had led to the fatal cancer - mesothelioma.
Back in Australia, it was the same type of blue asbestos, from the Wittenoom mine, that lined Melbourne's blue Harris trains, potentially poisoning passengers when the walls were broken.
So dangerous were the trains they were sealed in plastic and buried in quicksand at a quarry in Clayton.
Blue asbestos, which is more likely to cause the cancer mesothelioma, is now banned in both countries - but China is now the world's largest user of white asbestos, which Perth's asbestos expert Professor Bill Musk warns still causes cancer.
"The risk of lung cancer from white asbestos may be more than from blue asbestos given the same amount of exposure," he said.

Growing cancer epidemic in China
Much of China's white asbestos has been mined near Mongolia by prison labour.
Conditions there and in Chinese factories are extremely dusty and long-term studies of asbestos workers have revealed a growing cancer epidemic.
Mr Navna says asbestos is a "ticking time bomb".
"The fact that you have family station wagons, trains, numerous components from China being imported into Australia without the requisite checks is a grave concern to us," he said.
"It should be a great concern to Australian consumers."
The giant state-owned China Southern Rail, exhibiting at this week's AusRail conference in Sydney, said in a statement that asbestos was clearly excluded from the specifications for the locomotives. It blames a sub-contractor for supplying the asbestos and insisted it will not happen again.
But, CSR's assistant general manager Li Huling said: "Although there was an explicit restriction in the use of asbestos, the interpretation of the definition of asbestos by our sub-contractor did not include chysotile [white asbestos] - as it was widely used in the world."

Several cases of Chinese companies breaking asbestos ban
White asbestos use in Asia is expanding, and China is not the only country to break the Australian ban.
Recently asbestos was discovered in engine gaskets of two tugboats imported from Singapore in 2008 for use in the port of Freemantle.
Australian Institute of Marine and Power Engineers assistant federal secretary Martin Byrne says two tugboats that came to Australia had asbestos-free certificates.
"There were declarations by the shipyard that built the vessels that there was no asbestos-containing material at all in those vessels," he said.
"When we started to work them and needed to repair them and started to have to take them apart, it was discovered that there were asbestos-containing materials."
Like the train drivers' union, Mr Byrne says the marine engineers institute has bitter experience from past exposures to asbestos of its tragic consequences.
"We get the phone calls. We have the members coming to us after they had the diagnosis from the doctor of mesothelioma," he said.
"I know, personally, deep inside me, that as soon as the guy tells me that it's a death sentence."
Mr Nanva says he is now wondering whether Sydney's new fleet of Waratah passenger trains - part of which were sourced from China - might also contain asbestos, something Transport for NSW says it is satisfied is not the case.
"We have no confidence that any component or train that is manufactured in China and imported into Australia is free of asbestos," Mr Nanva said.


There is a video version of the story in the link above, amongst other things, it shows the blanket like white asbestos material wrapped around pipes inside the loco.
  NOELWB Locomotive Driver

ABC 7.30's report is quite damning and one can only wonder why the locos were in service for as long as they were. The areas identified as containing asbestos are the areas one would expect ie exhaust lagging and the like. Given that CSR's sub contractor component supplier believes that white asbestos is ok, SCT would have to inspect all heat insulation and electrical components. On the face of it a huge and highly expensive job.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I can see where this thread is going and I think we should keep the state of origin slurs out and concentrate on the facts .
Obviously these imported units are a fail mainly due to major component failures and asbestos materials in them .
The economics is that a locomotive class that has repeated major failures is bloody useless to its operator - no matter how cheap it cost to buy .
A locomotive that has asbestos in it is totally unusable , even if you get it for nothing .  
The operators who tried to use these things must be out of pocket simply because they aren't getting the use out of them .
The big question should be would they have been worse off had they bought locally manufactured units from United or EDI ? SCT is said to have had great success with the SCT class and they no doubt have been a big part of what put that business where it is . Had they bought the United product I think it would have been a similar story .
I have a bad feeling that these imports will be problematic because it's going to take engineering over design to attempt to get them reliable . This is a problem for any complex piece of machinery that was never properly developed in the first place . The $64 question is how much money and effort do you throw at them trying to get them right . If it amounts to more than the tried and proven costs do you give up then ?
Something else to consider is that proven engineering , electrical and mechanical , comes from years of developing a successful product and someone else attempting to copy it without the knowledge and experience doesn't always end up with a successful product . Cost cutting often defeats successful engineering because some things are difficult to impossible to do on the cheap . If it was that simple locomotives made here and in the US would be cheaper than they are .
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Well said BDA. Obviously the Asbestos problem has originated from the loco being built by CSR in China, but that's not to say that all Chinese products are garbage. It will be interesting to see where SCT goes with these locos, as well as with the new Qube locos on order from the same company of the same model. Eventually the cost of rectifying the problems will negate any money saved by buying overseas, especially given the money lost while the units are out of service with failures.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

I can see where this thread is going and I think we should keep the state of origin slurs out and concentrate on the facts .

BDA
Bugga political correctness, this site is not a political party meeting place with PC rules. Why do we need to be slur free?

If state controlled corporations (and the Chinese Government is the principal shareholder of CSR) are selling locomotives into Australia, containing banned carcinogenic fibre, and issuing compliance certification that the product is asbestos free, then the corporation (and the country of origin) should be named and shamed.

The question must also be asked re the regime in China that allows such flagerent deception to flourish. Makes you also question their food standards, and consciously look at the country of origin on every can and package in the supermarket prior to purchase

Interesting to note that Kenya has just placed an order with NREC for 20 cut down (to meter gauge) B23-7 on new C-C bogies. The financiers bankrolling the deal must consider that refurbished US tired iron is a safer bet than new build out of China, can't be much difference in the price per unit, if anything the B23 option is probably dearer
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Bugga political correctness, this site is not a political party meeting place with PC rules. Why do we need to be slur free?
jmt
I believe what BDA is saying is that as educated adults (or educated young adults), we can make an informed comment wtihout leaning on a xenophobic crutch. You're exactly right that a shoddy product has come out of China, but it would be incorrect to word that as "all products from China are shoddy". I agree about naming and shaming, as employees health and safety has been jeopardized, but it's not right to dissolve into racism and other childish taunts. Better to deal with the facts.

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