NR Class Re-power Project

 
  M636C Minister for Railways

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 .
BDA
Remember that the engines are being replaced because the old ones are life-expired and the electronics are being replaced because they are obsolete and no longer supportable.

Haven't any of you people bought a new car recently? I drove a current Hyundai I30 on a recent work trip. It had an interlock that prevented me from taking the key out of the ignition if the transmission selector wasn't in "Park". Many cars won't let you select "Reverse" unless your foot is depressing the brake pedal. A friend replaced his 2006 Subaru Forester with a 2013 model (called 2014 in the USA). It shows red lights indicating that the three back seat belts aren't engaged. A chime sounds if the passenger seat belt is released when the car is moving. The driver released his seat belt as the car rolled to a stop and there was an amazing squeal that continued after the car had stopped. On the other hand, many more useful features, like "range to empty" and "average fuel consumption" are displayed that weren't on the old model.

The NR class are ten years older than that Subaru. There are seventeen years worth of political correctness built into the replacement electronics, simply because that is what is available now, just as what was fitted in 1996 was what was available then. But it isn't being fitted to be better (or more user friendly) than the previous equipment. It is being fitted to keep the locomotives in traffic.

A question. On the rebuilt locomotives, two angled lines appear on the nose, looking like thin black lines on NR18 and fresh yellow lines on NR54. These are just inboard of the sand box fillers. Are they repairing the sandboxes during the rebuild, because these lines suggest welding was carried out on the inner sides of the sandboxes?

M636C

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  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
The problem is, M636C, people who authorize the changes and select what will be in new or rebuilt loco's are not the ones who are in them every day and know what is needed. Having a beep to let you know the air if flowing is bloody annoying.  When you drive something day in day out you become very gauge conscious and many times you can pick up if something is wrong without an unnecessary beep.
  trainlover Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide.
With 8108 The Islington fright centre SA shunt loco  out for repairs at the Motive power centre at Dry Creek SA,

NRE17 Is currently being used as the shunt loco.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
M there are a lot of these kinds of changes going on with cars and locomotives - part of the general dumbing down by those that seek to "help" society . Does it really make a difference - I think not . Does it improve safety ? Debatable . Is it irritating and does it distract peoples attention away from things that can bite them - you tell me .
Here's a good example . You run down the line in your NR repower and you want to switch back and forth between the consist monitor and the distance counter , five key strokes later and this software/hardware changes slowly like multiple seconds each step and this is with you looking at the screen - not what's ahead of you - yep the big picture . Lots of TSRs out there and lots of places to save fuel by off / on lining power where it is or isn't  needed . The screen images are not nearly as user friendly as the old Dash 8 ones which told you more at a glance with fewer screen changes . Every person that gets in these repowers knows instantly that the interface is a backwards step and this has SFA to do with the tech era of the computers and screen units . You could have exactly the same interface with the newer screens and no locomotive operator (driver) would ever opt for what's being served up now . It doesn't have to be slow or clunky or crude and in theory later technology is developed to makes things faster simpler and more convenient - not less so .
Everybody seems to think the people who dumped this on us work in a stationary lab that looks surprisingly like a building . They don't operate this stuff in the real word yet they must think they know better than those who do .

Cars , yep you don't have to put up with all the beep lights and no I'm not going to let you use your own brain stuff . As far as I'm concerned you are a moron if you think it has to be this way and blindly accept it . When society stands up for itself and says enough is enough you can beat the minders back into their hole and refuse to accept their crap . The fact that this rubbish turns up at all tells you that society is too accepting .
The answer with cars is to hunt around for low mileage examples of those that do what you want - in other words be a car not a nursing home employee with wheels ... If you want to accept expensive new ones that devaluate quickly and are throw aways more fool you .

Another interesting fact I learned recently . NR repowers don't seem to be operating west of Parkes because I hear the crews refuse to operate them due to all the unnecessary noises and such in the cab . I guarantee if you had to put up with this for a dozen hours at a time it would get your back up big time . Do cars and trucks beep at you every time the brakes are released ? Is there a flashing light on the dash to tell you your foot is on the brake pedal ? Is the speedo small and crude and balky ? Do the various gauges only use half of their scales ? If the answers are yes yes and yes do you think the machine would be more or less fatiguing to operate ?

Change for the sake of change and when it ain't broke . Food for thought .
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
M there are a lot of these kinds of changes going on with cars and locomotives - part of the general dumbing down by those that seek to "help" society . Does it really make a difference - I think not . Does it improve safety ? Debatable . Is it irritating and does it distract peoples attention away from things that can bite them - you tell me .
Here's a good example . You run down the line in your NR repower and you want to switch back and forth between the consist monitor and the distance counter , five key strokes later and this software/hardware changes slowly like multiple seconds each step and this is with you looking at the screen - not what's ahead of you - yep the big picture . Lots of TSRs out there and lots of places to save fuel by off / on lining power where it is or isn't  needed . The screen images are not nearly as user friendly as the old Dash 8 ones which told you more at a glance with fewer screen changes . Every person that gets in these repowers knows instantly that the interface is a backwards step and this has SFA to do with the tech era of the computers and screen units . You could have exactly the same interface with the newer screens and no locomotive operator (driver) would ever opt for what's being served up now . It doesn't have to be slow or clunky or crude and in theory later technology is developed to makes things faster simpler and more convenient - not less so .
Everybody seems to think the people who dumped this on us work in a stationary lab that looks surprisingly like a building . They don't operate this stuff in the real word yet they must think they know better than those who do .

Cars , yep you don't have to put up with all the beep lights and no I'm not going to let you use your own brain stuff . As far as I'm concerned you are a moron if you think it has to be this way and blindly accept it . When society stands up for itself and says enough is enough you can beat the minders back into their hole and refuse to accept their crap . The fact that this rubbish turns up at all tells you that society is too accepting .
The answer with cars is to hunt around for low mileage examples of those that do what you want - in other words be a car not a nursing home employee with wheels ... If you want to accept expensive new ones that devaluate quickly and are throw aways more fool you .

Another interesting fact I learned recently . NR repowers don't seem to be operating west of Parkes because I hear the crews refuse to operate them due to all the unnecessary noises and such in the cab . I guarantee if you had to put up with this for a dozen hours at a time it would get your back up big time . Do cars and trucks beep at you every time the brakes are released ? Is there a flashing light on the dash to tell you your foot is on the brake pedal ? Is the speedo small and crude and balky ? Do the various gauges only use half of their scales ? If the answers are yes yes and yes do you think the machine would be more or less fatiguing to operate ?

Change for the sake of change and when it ain't broke . Food for thought .
"BDA"


News to me, the repowered NR's have and continue to happily operate between Parkes and Port Augusta/ Adelaide. There was a small period where they were temporarily second units only, but that was due to a training requirement for the new brake valves not the noises.
  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Does this make NRE17 the first re-powered loco to be officially classed as a NRE.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Does this make NRE17 the first re-powered loco to be officially classed as a NRE.
nscaler69
My understanding is that the "E" refers to ECP brakes rather than repowering, which should apply to all the NRs and not require a recoding. Certainly NR 17 is said to have ECP brakes.

M636C
  M636C Minister for Railways

M there are a lot of these kinds of changes going on with cars and locomotives - part of the general dumbing down by those that seek to "help" society . Does it really make a difference - I think not . Does it improve safety ? Debatable . Is it irritating and does it distract peoples attention away from things that can bite them - you tell me .

The answer with cars is to hunt around for low mileage examples of those that do what you want - in other words be a car not a nursing home employee with wheels ... If you want to accept expensive new ones that devaluate quickly and are throw aways more fool you .

Change for the sake of change and when it ain't broke . Food for thought .
BDA
While I don't embrace many of these changes any more than you do, PN don't have the option of picking up a low milage NR class from anyone else because they own all of them in existence.

They can't keep using the existing electronics any more than I can keep using a 2005 PC running Windows XP (which I'm doing right now but the disadvantages outweigh the advantages). My laptop runs Vista which was very nearly replaced by XP until Service Pack 2 took out the worst of the glitches.

The NR cab layout and systems were the result of a cab committee and the fact that NR was controlled by a Federal Goverment that agreed with things like cab committees. I don't imagine that PN would allow quite as much influence to their employees.

PN's intermodal trains have had one type of locomotive since not long after 1996 and the man-machine interface has been stuck at 1996 as a result. On most other operations, there would have been a gradual transition to the present era.

But the point I was trying to make was that PN may not have the ability to choose systems with fewer politically correct features because they all have them.
M636C
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
Well we still have a cab committee with enough influence to throw out the microwave and replace it with a hotplate in the 93s as well as a few other mods. Whether that would extend to the (re)design of a whole cab again I dont know...I guess not.

PN are coming to the table on the repowers with regards to some of the issues drivers have flagged (ie, the beeps) and these I'm told will be fixed in a software update early next year. BTW covering the vigilance speaker with a rag is a sackable offence as the vigilance system is a critical safety feature, so dont get caught doing it.

As you say, the company dont really have the option of choosing custom built systems. There isnt the money in the budget to allow for custom electronics like the NRs were delivered with in 1996. Cheaper and easier to go with the spec US design.

The 93s are the latest in safety mods and while they have features like a flashing light to indicate the brakes are on and a beep for pretty much everything else, it's integrated better and less intrusive. I guess I accept that this is 21st century living and unfortunately these features exist, as they do in road cars. But the repowered NRs are examples of the above done badly. Either quieten the beep or rewire it elsewhere, such as into the Freightmiser system (which I notice also now beeps at you).
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
My understanding is that the "E" refers to ECP brakes rather than repowering, which should apply to all the NRs and not require a recoding. Certainly NR 17 is said to have ECP brakes.

M636C
"M636C"

Modified NR's which have been set up for ECP will indeed be recoded NRE, and the modifications are supposed to be done during the repowering session. All up about 20 NR will be reclassified as NRE.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Well we still have a cab committee with enough influence to throw out the microwave and replace it with a hotplate in the 93s as well as a few other mods. Whether that would extend to the (re)design of a whole cab again I dont know...I guess not.

PN are coming to the table on the repowers with regards to some of the issues drivers have flagged (ie, the beeps) and these I'm told will be fixed in a software update early next year. BTW covering the vigilance speaker with a rag is a sackable offence as the vigilance system is a critical safety feature, so dont get caught doing it.

As you say, the company dont really have the option of choosing custom built systems. There isnt the money in the budget to allow for custom electronics like the NRs were delivered with in 1996. Cheaper and easier to go with the spec US design.

The 93s are the latest in safety mods and while they have features like a flashing light to indicate the brakes are on and a beep for pretty much everything else, it's integrated better and less intrusive. I guess I accept that this is 21st century living and unfortunately these features exist, as they do in road cars. But the repowered NRs are examples of the above done badly. Either quieten the beep or rewire it elsewhere, such as into the Freightmiser system (which I notice also now beeps at you).
"Typhon"


Freightmiser beeps can be muted, but with the removal of the aware beeps I wonder whether it is a knuckle rapping offence.

When you say put a rag in the vigilance speaker: the Vigo has a speaker? Maybe it's my innocence here, but I didn't even think it would be possible for this to occur!
  M636C Minister for Railways

Modified NR's which have been set up for ECP will indeed be recoded NRE, and the modifications are supposed to be done during the repowering session. All up about 20 NR will be reclassified as NRE.
seb2351

When I last saw them two weeks ago NR54 and NR108 had ECP brakes and were not classed NRE (yet). So 17 may be the first lettered NRE but definitely not the first with ECP brakes.

M636C
  nswtrains Chief Commissioner

When I last saw them two weeks ago NR54 and NR108 had ECP brakes and were not classed NRE (yet). So 17 may be the first lettered NRE but definitely not the first with ECP brakes.

M636C
M636C
Anybody who believes new cars are not superior to their olden brethren are mistaken. The reason for the reduction in the death toll to 1938 levels is not oppressive police measures or politically driven safety campaigns, but entirely due to better roads and safer cars with far superior safety featurs and handling dynamics. I would imagine much of this applies to locomotive design. Yep, I do not like the Nanny State, but I am just another old dinosaur whose existence is in danger. Anybody reminder the diagonal road signs were you could do warp factor 5?
  16-265-H7 Station Master

Location: united states,maryland
Still not a 'gas guzzler' like some people make out....

Sure haven't!
GT46C-ACe

heres some thought on an old subject:  the up dda40x was intially rated to 7000hp,but was derated to 6600hp,so that means 3300hp from each 16-645e3 engines for traction,and theres a emmisions report on up locomotives that includes fuel consumption rates for their fleet 5 years ago, and somewhere on Railpage sd90 forums theres someone at fmg saying they have load tested their sd90mac-h2 to about 6400 hp....just my input.......with the diesel emissions getting tighter,expect anything new and different,like cat diesels in emd locomotives,cummins engines-qsk95 or qsk120, or mtu diesels in anybodys new locomotives----- its going crazy for the loco makers and rebuilders!!!!
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Anybody who believes new cars are not superior to their olden brethren are mistaken. The reason for the reduction in the death toll to 1938 levels is not oppressive police measures or politically driven safety campaigns, but entirely due to better roads and safer cars with far superior safety featurs and handling dynamics. I would imagine much of this applies to locomotive design. Yep, I do not like the Nanny State, but I am just another old dinosaur whose existence is in danger. Anybody reminder the diagonal road signs were you could do warp factor 5?
nswtrains

I disagree , I believe "modern" cars lull people into a false sense of security because you are more disconnected in a car now than ever . People also stupidly believe that modern technology will save them from their mostly intentional stupidity . People still die or kill others in cars - and refuse to accept responsibility for their actions . ABS and ASC cannot prevent this .
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
heres some thought on an old subject: the up dda40x was intially rated to 7000hp,but was derated to 6600hp,so that means 3300hp from each 16-645e3 engines for traction,and theres a emmisions report on up locomotives that includes fuel consumption rates for their fleet 5 years ago, and somewhere on Railpage sd90 forums theres someone at fmg saying they have load tested their sd90mac-h2 to about 6400 hp....just my input.......with the diesel emissions getting tighter,expect anything new and different,like cat diesels in emd locomotives,cummins engines-qsk95 or qsk120, or mtu diesels in anybodys new locomotives----- its going crazy for the loco makers and rebuilders!!!!
16-265-H7

The DDs were basically two GP40s with Dash 2 electrics thrown in . They were not really a success because like was found later too many eggs in one basket . Two GP40-2s should have been able to do the same job and with a cab either end . Also they could be in different places at the same time increasing rostering flexibility . Really the extra length and four axle trucks was a backwards step .
SD40-2s were a more successful formula which was why they sold so many of them .
Todays ACs will use a bit more fuel than what they're replacing but they often have more power as well . They appear to do well fuel wise pulling big loads at low speeds but that turns around in higher speed service . Some don't appear to have tall enough gearing for superfreighter services so they can't use their power at speed very efficiently .
Back in the DD days I think UP had some SD40-2s re geared for high speed service - "fast forties" I think they were called .
As for current software I refuse to believe it can't be made to load limit trailing AC units , current software should be more flexible and user friendly not less so . If UG can get all the consist monitor stuff up and working and even have the notch limit feature working 93 to NR the last step should be a doddle . They shouldn't have to resort to DP to make this happen . The fact that DP even exists proves that there is a need to have different units doing different things in a single trains consist .
This really is a no brainer considering what fuel costs both here and in the US and significantly emissions struggles they are having over there . ANYTHING that can potentially reduce the most expensive consumable , fuel , and reduce emissions should be a god send .
Who knows , maybe the more complex and expensive DP is the way to achieve what we do with dated Dash 9 software . It happens .
  Michelle12 Moderator Photo Overlord

Location: Melbourne
NR60 is 'out and about' in Melbourne as the most recent 'repowerd NR'. I couldn't help noticing that the white marker lights on the cab end looked to be incandescent while other lights like the one that sits above the steps at the number 2 ends were leds.
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
Modified NR's which have been set up for ECP will indeed be recoded NRE, and the modifications are supposed to be done during the repowering session. All up about 20 NR will be reclassified as NRE.
seb2351


Just an update to that, they wont be called NREs anymore and those that were designated NRE have been stripped of the E, eg NRE17 is now NR17 again. From what I gather too much red tape and bureaucracy so they decided screw it Razz.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Just an update to that, they wont be called NREs anymore and those that were designated NRE have been stripped of the E, eg NRE17 is now NR17 again. From what I gather too much red tape and bureaucracy so they decided screw it Razz.
"Typhon"

Just pondering that the other day. Are there many converters out there? Only see NR108 out this way with the new equipment on it.
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
There'll be 16 I think. I think some of the 50 series are done, others include (but not limited to) NR15, 17, 108, 120
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think I've seen 54 and 14 as well .
We should see less of them when Bulk start operating the trains they are intended for .
Non related but a few are concerned that they will be treated badly cab wise and I hope that's not the case . Time will tell because it would stand out .
  petan Chief Commissioner

Location: Waiting to see a zebra using a zebra crossing!
The main line motor was and is the 752 used now in Rio Tinto ES44DCi units.Strangely enough, the 752 is used in 442, 45 and 600 class units with half the power of an NR. M636C [18 Feb 2013]
M636C

Noticed while checking the NSWGR 40 class of 1951 for an unrelated matter, it too had the 752.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Well you can say that they were very much over engineered for what they had to do . This might look good at a glance but when you take cost and packaging into account it's hardly a bonus . Better distribution of weight and the chance to have larger fuel tanks would have been an advantage even back then .
Think Datsun 1200 ute with a Ford 9" diff , way too big bulky expensive and excessive unsprung mass .
  16-265-H7 Station Master

Location: united states,maryland
The DDs were basically two GP40s with Dash 2 electrics thrown in . They were not really a success because like was found later too many eggs in one basket . Two GP40-2s should have been able to do the same job and with a cab either end . Also they could be in different places at the same time increasing rostering flexibility . Really the extra length and four axle trucks was a backwards step .
SD40-2s were a more successful formula which was why they sold so many of them .
Todays ACs will use a bit more fuel than what they're replacing but they often have more power as well . They appear to do well fuel wise pulling big loads at low speeds but that turns around in higher speed service . Some don't appear to have tall enough gearing for superfreighter services so they can't use their power at speed very efficiently .
Back in the DD days I think UP had some SD40-2s re geared for high speed service - "fast forties" I think they were called .
As for current software I refuse to believe it can't be made to load limit trailing AC units , current software should be more flexible and user friendly not less so . If UG can get all the consist monitor stuff up and working and even have the notch limit feature working 93 to NR the last step should be a doddle . They shouldn't have to resort to DP to make this happen . The fact that DP even exists proves that there is a need to have different units doing different things in a single trains consist .
This really is a no brainer considering what fuel costs both here and in the US and significantly emissions struggles they are having over there . ANYTHING that can potentially reduce the most expensive consumable , fuel , and reduce emissions should be a god send .
Who knows , maybe the more complex and expensive DP is the way to achieve what we do with dated Dash 9 software . It happens .
BDA

id read somewhwere you cant overload a AC/AC locomotive, and that AC/DC locmotives are lead locomotines in a mixed power locomotive consist-engineer can control power on the AC/DC locomotive('s) and the AC/AC locos can monitor themselves. someone out there probalby makes software to to keep a AC/DC locomotive from overloading itself,the reason for DP is running a long heavy train without breaking couplers, better train control....... yep about the DDA40X,sd40-2"fast forties" and the sd40-2 best seller.......on youtube the UP ran a monster test train with DP units 1/3rd and 2/3rds into the train, did not hear any problems with that test...........
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I imagine heavier USDM DC motor units can get down to low speeds without slipping which could cause their motors to overheat and fry themselves . If they do wheel slip/spin then yes there is a danger of damaging their wheels and the rails .
I don't think this is a problem for DC units with decent traction and computer controls , putting say an original C behind a 93 and crawling along in 8 at 4 km/h for a couple of hours wouldn't be good . The idea of the DC unit leading is that the terminal antics and scare factor make you back off . A properly functioning SS unit would cope better and a microprocessor equipt one should load and thermal limit itself and prevent "self harm" .
This is really no different to the concerns raised about mixed consists when the super series units first turned up , maybe not so much in NSW where there were no 3000 hp IDORK units like they had in Victoria and SA .  

Yep DP intended to spread motive power through long heavy trains with drawbar concerns , but it can do more than that which you'll see when Bulk starts top and tailing with DP NRs . Sadly this is train wire DP not radio wave so it won't work without ECP train sets .
It may be possible to connect the ECP cables with multiple head end units and just use the DP capability if fitted . Should look into that one ...

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