Aurizon's big loco sell off

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I'm sure everyone has heard of Aurizon's big announcement yesterday to retire 29 locomotive classes totalling 308 units. Going through Aurizon's roster and identifying the most likely 29 classes under threat and what adds up to 308 with their retirement, this is the list I get (open to correction or change of course). Some of these have already been retired during this financial year (the 2150s, 73s, GM & ALZ for example).


Narrow Gauge classes

1720
2150
2170D
2170F
2400
2470
3100 (electric)
3300 (electric)
3400 (electric)
3551 (electric)
3900C (electric)
A
AB
AD
D
DAZ
DD
NJ

Total is 248

Standard Gauge

421
422/DC
423
73
ALZ
CLF
CLP
G
X
GM
L/3100

Total 64

My list comes out at 312, but I think it should roughly correlate with Aurizon's plans. Interestingly the WA DBZ and P classes appear likely to survive, as do the 2250s...but who knows.

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  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
According to the database the 3100 class Ex ARG http://www.railpage.com.au/locos/3100-class/3101 are on Standard Gauge.

However selling off the NG based locomotives would ensure a lack of NG locomotives for additional traffic on the NG. This looks to me like a writedown of impared assets to influence the P/L for shareholders.

I can't see this move being good for those who are waiting on NG freight services around the great state of Queensland.

In fact, if I were a shareholder I would be writing to the company now asking why these assets had not been put into revenue service increasing revenue and profit.

Regards
Brian
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
According to the database the 3100 class Ex ARG http://www.railpage.com.au/locos/3100-class/3101 are on Standard Gauge.

However selling off the NG based locomotives would ensure a lack of NG locomotives for additional traffic on the NG. This looks to me like a writedown of impared assets to influence the P/L for shareholders.

I can't see this move being good for those who are waiting on NG freight services around the great state of Queensland.

In fact, if I were a shareholder I would be writing to the company now asking why these assets had not been put into revenue service increasing revenue and profit.
bevans
The company's response would be that an increase in revenue doesn't mean an increase in profit if the costs of operating exceed the revenue.

Waiting for a service is one thing.  Being willing to pay for a service is quite another.

(I suspect the 3100 class being referred to is this one.)
  emdrules Train Controller

Location: Port Augusta-Centre Of The Universe
Be interesting to see if the NJ's find their way back to Eyre Peninsula. They would be needed. Also wonder whether some of the 22's and CLF/P's end up with G & W. Also ALF25.
  JNSymes Junior Train Controller

So what is Aurizon doing then to cover said retirements? I.e the DC's running between forrestfield and Fremantle
  Expost Deputy Commissioner

I doubt if all the 3551s will go. There are not enough 3700 and 3800s, mainly 3800s that work the Blackwater system, to run the number of trains they want to run, especially with the Bauhania branch currently being electrified.

Additionally, not all the older Clydes will go, as they need some to run things like non revenue (work or hospital) trains. They wont pull any 4000/4100s off line for those jobs.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The press release I saw referred to 181 locomotives being sold.

The current sale in WA (mainly NG units) covers only 25 locomotives.

It includes A, AB, AD, D, DAZ, DD, DE and NJ classes (it appears).

M636C
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

The press release I saw referred to 181 locomotives being sold.

The current sale in WA (mainly NG units) covers only 25 locomotives.

It includes A, AB, AD, D, DAZ, DD, DE and NJ classes (it appears).

M636C
"M636C"


The 181 figure refers to sales to be undertaken this financial year, the remainder will be going over the next four years. I believe seventy-seven new locos will be purchased during this four year period.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner
  wn514 Chief Commissioner

Location: at a skyhooks concert living in the 70's
According to the database the 3100 class Ex ARG http://www.railpage.com.au/locos/3100-class/3101 are on Standard Gauge.

However selling off the NG based locomotives would ensure a lack of NG locomotives for additional traffic on the NG. This looks to me like a writedown of impared assets to influence the P/L for shareholders.

I can't see this move being good for those who are waiting on NG freight services around the great state of Queensland.

In fact, if I were a shareholder I would be writing to the company now asking why these assets had not been put into revenue service increasing revenue and profit.

Regards
Brian
bevans

I would look at it the other way. I would be congragulating them for getting rid of old dilapidated locos and rollingstock that is not being used and/or is not worth overhauling. and also congragulate them  for the past/current and future investment in new locos and rollingstock. we have to remember that this company is no longer a public service and is there to make money for its shareholders.
regards,
wal.
  Kafoopsy Chief Commissioner

Location: Perth, WA
Is it known how many locomotives will be made available for preservation?

From a WA train fan perspective, I would like to see an L, A, AB, D1562 and a DA preserved from the WA fleet.  These classes will be missed by me!

On another note, what about the AD and DD classes?  They were fully rebuilt only a few years ago.  Is it that they are not powerful enough?  I always wondered why they bothered with the ADs as they are only 1500hp or so.  It would be nice to see an example of these oddball classes preserved.
  michaelgm Chief Commissioner

In the  event that Aurizon makes loco(s) as a donation, for preservation, my question is that if a CLP/CLF were one such loco, then where should it go, having worked all over country?
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
In the  event that Aurizon makes loco(s) as a donation, for preservation, my question is that if a CLP/CLF were one such loco, then where should it go, having worked all over country?
michaelgm
The National Railway Museum of course! (Tongue firmly in cheek)
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

In the  event that Aurizon makes loco(s) as a donation, for preservation, my question is that if a CLP/CLF were one such loco, then where should it go, having worked all over country?
"michaelgm"


I'm not sure you should be expecting donations from Aurizon, they're not going to get their operating ratio down to 75 by 2015 by giving away working locos. This thinning of the herd is as much about making money to buy new equipment as it is to reduce costs. Of course that's not to say preservation groups will miss out on rare locos...as long as they're prepared to pay for them, I believe one Queensland loco has been sold to a Darling Downs group already.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
Would be sad if the CLF/CLP's got cut up, such a good loco.

If only GWA had kept them all from 2006...
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
After the big spend by the operators to get thier arses into C44 and LDP I can't see much hope for the bulk of that lot.
More bargains for the historical societies.
Anyone wanna go halves in a G class?
  sar602 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nomadic truckie
I'm afraid it will most likely be nothing like the 80's and 90's when you could pick up a 45 at the state rail auction or a 930 off AN for a couple cases of Piss. The newly privatized Aurizon is most likely going to want top dollar and I'm sure there will be plenty of foreign interest particularly in the NG units. Still who knows id be prepared to contribute a couple grand to the purchase of a CLP or NJ anyone interested each give like $2500 or something each contributor owning 5% or so with voting rights etc.
  QSB6.7 Chief Train Controller

Location: Going off the rails on a crazy train.
I'm afraid it will most likely be nothing like the 80's and 90's when you could pick up a 45 at the state rail auction or a 930 off AN for a couple cases of Piss. The newly privatized Aurizon is most likely going to want top dollar and I'm sure there will be plenty of foreign interest particularly in the NG units. Still who knows id be prepared to contribute a couple grand to the purchase of a CLP or NJ anyone interested each give like $2500 or something each contributor owning 5% or so with voting rights etc.
sar602
Nice idea, but could you imagine how that would end up.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
could you imagine how that would end up.
QSB6.7
Sadly, yes...
  Junction box Chief Commissioner

Location: newy
I bet the wheels are worn and traction motors tired, they wouldn't be selling top notch power for sh1t.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Crunch the numbers, diesel locos for scrap in Australia do not raise much value, due to high labor and environmental compliance costs, in reducing the carcase to material suitable for recycling

As long as the World Bank and other international lending institutions continue to guarantee hire payments (and insurance) to certain African nations, the used NG locomotive market will continue to boom. Queensland is the ideal source, third world track weight so miniscule lightweight locos. There have been press reports that RRL's dry hire of 11 ex Queensland locos to the DRC was reputedly worth over US$30 mill for 3 years (with a maintenance and support contract let separately). Southern African artisan wage rates are on par with coastal China, so if you can land a loco for around US$200 to 250k, and patch up sufficiently for 3 years use, one could probably achieve well over a 200% return on investment (with low risk) over the 3 year period. This DRC contract will be increased to 18 locos by mid 2014. Australian companies are effectively barred from this market due to Australian law banning the payment of inducements and bribes, Africa is an extremely corrupt continent in which to conduct business.

Mozambique export coking coal. On present figures an additional 85 to 105 locos will be required by the end of Q1 2015 when the new/refurbished Moatize-Nacala line is in full use. Mozambique authorities are now strictly enforcing axle weights on the Moatize-Beira line (at 16.5 tonnes), the 3km+ Dona Ana Bridge having this axle loading. Vale had been running at least 6 double headed trains per 24 hours for the last 18 months over this structure (the Brits built strong bridges in the 1930's!). Vales Brazilian built GT26C-2 come in at 126 tonnes, so Vale had been overloading by at least 4.5 tonnes/axle. Must have been costing them a small fortune in payments for local authorities and politicians to turn a blind eye. 6 ex Qld 2600 class were lightened to 99 tonnes, and hired together with other lightweight locos to cover the bridge sector. Rather ironic the number of ex Queensland locos involved in building Moz into a world class metallic coal exporter.

RRL owner Grindrod has purchased a controlling interest in Mauritius registered NLP, the majority owner of NLPI/BBR, who own the north-south rail link through Zimbabwe to Zambia, they have also leased the steam era ZECO locomotive rebuild shop in Bulawayo, as they will need to maintain up to 70 locos initially. Grindrod will require more motive power for Zimbabwe, as the NRZ are technically bankrupt, and look like they intend to sell access rights to additional routes. For the second time in 2 years, it looks like Zimbabwe has welched on its contract to purchase 14 SDD6 from CNR. The wide boys however will make a quid using the Zimbabwe rail network to transit between Zambia/Katanga, and Mozambique and South African ports. Traditionally the South African parastatal Spoorweg/Transnet has stepped in and lent/leased equipment and expertise to these nations, however now Transnet are experiencing loco and rolling-stock shortages themselves. The emerging South African loco hire companies have the ability to quickly react to changing circumstances, ready access to finance at favorable rates (and a plentiful locomotive source in Australia), so are cutting Transnet's bumbling and regulation bound Spoornet Leasing out of the frame. Transnet had attempted to manipulate the market, by limiting withdrawn locos for sale within South Africa (less than 25 diesels [all basket cases] auctioned over the last 3 years), Government ineptitude in backing this policy led to no bans on importing used locos, so the genie is loose, and close to 70 new and used units have been imported by free enterprise operators in the last 18 months, as well as RRL Grindrod Locomotives producing one new built locomotive (new frame/bogies recycled mechanicals from NREC) per week so far this year. All that Transnet and their militant unions can now do is to humbug the transit of private locos over their track, but as recent imports have shown, ex Qld locos are small enough to be readily transported by road.
  speedemon08 Mary

Location: I think by now you should have figured it out
Actually if they were selling the G's and X's QUBE seem to need more broad gauge horses.....
  GS4 Train Controller

Hmmmmmmm , since we're gazing into the crystal ball here's my guess.

The Aurizon presentation mentions "cascade" , by this I think they will be moving uncompetitive equipment off the roster and replacing it with something more efficient.
For years now I have watched QR / Aurizon hauling north coast freight with 2100 and 2800's and quite often multiple locomotives.  PN have been using much more modern power in the 4000 / PN type with normally single units and what appears to be bigger trains.
Will Aurizon take some older 4000's and put them on north coast freights to be equal with PN on fuel and maintenance costs?  
I think UGL will pitch their PowerHaul demonstrators at replacing 4000's in QLD.  Many coal trains used to run 3 x 4000's in DP consists. Quite often now many coal trains are running 2 x 4000's + 1 x 2100 variants.  IF the Powerhauls are all they are supposed to be then 2 of these PH37's could haul the same size coal trains currently heading into Calemondah and Abbot Point.

I know that leaves 2800's out on a limb but quite a lot more saleable that many locos that most likely will only fetch scrap value.
Aurizon mentions 77 new locos, most probably PH37's and Siemens 3800's. I think the heavy hauling will be far more likely to survive. There was an article in the Courier Mail a week or so back that said Gina Rhineharts Alpha coal lines will work "in conjunction with existing infrastructure".  Maybe this line will be an extension of the existing 3' 6" rather than a totally new (and long) 4' 8" which would require new unloading facility and associated infrastructure.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Why would Aurizon consider the flawed PowerHaul type when they can import the GT46ACs from overseas for probably similar money? There would be far less risk involved (same drive line as standard gauge), 22 built so far, plus an additional 3 demonstrators, due to go into series production in Brazil in 2014

As well as a propensity for self-immolation, reports are now coming out of the UK on frame fatigue and cracking in Freightliner's batch of 19 PowerHauls

GT46ACs has 4300HP, a 500HP+ advantage

Photo of meter gauge loco for iron ore in Chile
http://www.flickr.com/photos/58718875@N07/9485403475
The Chilean locos are 118 tonne lightweights, plenty of scope for more fuel capacity, and a heavier frame if required.
For coal Aurizon would not be constrained by the now obsolete QR loading gauge and weight limits
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I think imported GT46ACs are a strong possibility for Aurizon. For the last few months Aurizon has been running mostly 4500hp and 5000hp consists on the NCL freights, which seems to suggest the PowerHaul won't be powerful enough to step in...a lot has changed since the PowerHaul demonstrators were announced it seems...their test runs will have to be very impressive I'd suggest to win a big order. 4000s moving to the NCL and completely replacing the 2800s on the Mt Isa line appears to be already underway with 15 now based in Townsville (Aurizon's hub for both the Mt Isa line and NCL)...these have been replaced by 3800s on the Blackwater line. As for the Hancock line, Aurizon has already announced it will be narrow gauge throughout and it will probably need at least thirty new locos when up and running judging by the planned tonnages.

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