AC vs DC , is the AC all its cracked up to be for general purpose use ?

 
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
In another thread BDA you suggested to search Inline Refueling. So I googled it and come up with LIQUIP ILF. What aspects of ILF fail currently?

Their literature states their system self checks and wont overfill, and their hoses are dry break.  

If the leaking issue is on the wagons itself that carry the fuel build a tank / bund around the wagon. May make access a little harder though. Even a 1M high wall around the wagon would probably contain most of the fuel in the event of a total loss.

Sponsored advertisement

  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Well the upshot is that some or all engines don't get fuel or the system sets off alarms and refuses to pump .
What you have to remember is that fault finding involves stopping and spending an infinite amount of time stuffing about . There is no time in an MB/BMs table to do this and you can forget about it under wires .
The only reliable fix is to throw the path away and swing into SFT Chullora , detach the engines and ILF wagon to gas up the 93s at our fuel point . No time in a congested terminal not expecting to host an MB/BM service . Instructions are to get the damn thing in and get it out ASAP .
As mentioned they were set up in Melbourne and Brisbane terminals so they get more hands on than we do . ATM the 93s and ILF Skids aren't supposed to run on these trains due to repeated fuel problems and lost path late running , some days both trains were diverting for low fuel reasons .

Anyhow more likely to see 93s on steel trains and the odd one going to Parkes as extra power and being detached at Goobang Jct .
They have to refuel it at Loco and send it back again as a banker .

More rumors about C44ACis in different paint running through , running all the way , and not - running out . Maybe something for the Paparailzi to keep an eye out for - a long glass eye .
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Would it be practical for PN to establish a fuelling and inspection facility somewhere between Taree and Broadmeadows or in the Southern Highlands instead? If ILF is not working for the 93s then maybe an old school fuel pad beside the mainline would? Mackay manages to top up Aurizon's 2800 hauled freights in fifteen to twenty minutes.
  piepants Chief Train Controller

Location: Newcastle
This is true. I thought that hoods were 'reasonably' sealed and pressurized? Or is this an option?
DBclass

I'm guessing by "hood" you mean the engine's head/top deck? I'm not real familiar with the setup of GE engines, but the EMDs do have a seal on the top deck covers that I wouldn't trust as far as I can throw it.

The EMDs I've worked on all have twin spin fuel filters. They already get dirty/clogged enough that they pretty much get changed at every lettered service (everything other than an inspection or provisioning).
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
9305 and 9306 are in the engine siding at Carrington.
I have been told 93's will be replacing the TT's on the Tahmoor job. As there is no UGL service center down there they will be sent to Newcastle on the JW jobs for servicing.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Hmm I wonder how its all setup?

Your mention of dunny float valves is one that got my attention, as after I made my first comment that was exactly the thought I had. Our float valve has failed once in about 20 years. So their pretty good. Add a second one above for good measure and your set.  

Piepants, do you mean spin on fuel filter? How many liters approximately would be pumped through them at that point?

And yes I meant hood/ top deck/ engine compartment doors etc.

Would it be possible to run the prime mover off the ILF tanks, eliminating the transfer, just draw from the tanks themselves? I dont know if that solves anything but reduces the volume of fuel being pumped around.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No because the supply and return systems make that impractical .
Like I keep saying ILF in the eastern states at least has to fail safe and not spew any amount of diesel around on the ground , river systems etc . Think 20,000 litre ILF tank gushing fuel into Hawksbury Riven from the bridge .
You can't tell if a gravity feed system has leaks and the regulators in the east know it . In a pressurised system you can sense unintentional pressure drops and that's where the system can be made to shut down and minimise fuel spills .

According to drivers on the Tahmoors they are getting four 93s if they don't already have them . They still had the TTs as of last weekend but they are supposed to be going back to Northern Coal soon .
If all 17 93s go elsewhere the tarted up ANs won't cover Intermodals workload so who knows what relics will wind up behind NRs .
ATM 93s are working well on steel trains between Port Kembla and Melbourne and with a bit of juggling they can go all the way on a 7400L tank of fuel . I've proven one can run near the table , except for TSRs , Goulburn to Sydney with 2000 plus tonnes and around 1200 m . The previous crew obviously did a similar kind of thing from Melbourne to Junee only they isolated the front unit because of the quiet running factor .
  M636C Minister for Railways

If all 17 93s go elsewhere the tarted up ANs won't cover Intermodals workload so who knows what relics will wind up behind NRs .
BDA


Having just taken a break in South Australia, DLs seem to be reappearing behind NRs in that part of the world.

To return to the original topic, I've found some pretty fast AC locomotives that might give NRs a literal run for their money.

I had been recommended to take phoytos at Hesso siding on the Trans Australian, where that line crosses the Stuart Highway.I'd seen an SCT train in Spencer Junction and  thought I'd try for a photo.  So I was driving up the Stuart HIghway, looked at the line and thought "there should be an SCT train around here somewhere". I had only seen it in the distance behind a container train, and up ahead I saw three CSRs on a short rake of about thirty empty ore container wagons.

While this was grossly overpowered, I found I was making 130km/h (indicated) just to keep up with it, so it had to be making a full 115 km/h.

Fortunately it crossed an eastbound PN container train at Hesso so I got my photographs. But the CSRs look to be as fast as any DC locomotives I've seen.

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
To do better than an NR means having better performance at the same weight with the same range . By todays standards NRs are hardly current technology and plenty of other classes pull greater loads and have more horsepower . With a brain transplant and fuel system updates repowered NRs use less fuel so their range would be better .
I want to see all the alternatives run from Melbourne to Brisbane with 1300T , or more , an engine and no refuelling stops . Specifically on internal fuel and legally able to do 115 km/h .
Heaps of compromise went into the NRs design to make it 115 capable with 12500 litres of fuel . I don't see this being matched in an AC drive locomotive unless it had a much lighter power assembly probably meaning less horsepower .
The compromise for larger heavier traction motors cooling systems and inverter gear is a smaller fuel tank - or a big one with less fuel in it . Juggle it any way you like but I can't see 12500 litres of fuel in a 4000 plus horsepower locomotive with AC drive at 134 tonnes gross . I'm not saying it's impossible but with the cost of high tech lightweight materials not an economic reality , it isn't going into orbit is it .
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

A possible one for one replacement for the NR would be to follow BNSF's and GE's lead in the US. BNSF has begun replacing Dash 9-44CW units - their intermodal standard since the nineties - with GE's new ES44C4 model. The ES44C4 is essentially an ES44AC but with only four AC traction motors - an A1A-A1A. The four AC traction motors provide the same tractive effort as 6 DC motors but with the weight saving of two less motors. I'm not sure how much extra fuel that weight saving could convert to, but it would have to be somewhere above a 1000 litres. A four motor 93 class (a C44C4i perhaps) might tick the boxes the current 6 motor version can't if speed and fuel load is more important than brute strength.
  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Problem is with the loads stuck behind locomotives here the C4s would be even more useless on trains in Australia, there's enough complaints on American forums by 'hoggers' who use the C4s and they all say the same thing, very slippery on a tonnage freight and useless outside high HPT trains.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Having just taken a break in South Australia, DLs seem to be reappearing behind NRs in that part of the world.

To return to the original topic, I've found some pretty fast AC locomotives that might give NRs a literal run for their money.

I had been recommended to take phoytos at Hesso siding on the Trans Australian, where that line crosses the Stuart Highway.I'd seen an SCT train in Spencer Junction and thought I'd try for a photo. So I was driving up the Stuart HIghway, looked at the line and thought "there should be an SCT train around here somewhere". I had only seen it in the distance behind a container train, and up ahead I saw three CSRs on a short rake of about thirty empty ore container wagons.

While this was grossly overpowered, I found I was making 130km/h (indicated) just to keep up with it, so it had to be making a full 115 km/h.

Fortunately it crossed an eastbound PN container train at Hesso so I got my photographs. But the CSRs look to be as fast as any DC locomotives I've seen.

M636C
M636C

Those 3 CSR's, only 2 would be in run. They go like the wind and keeping them at 110km/h is a breeze when compared to my experience with NR's.

Maximum speed for SCT trains is 110km/h for the wagons.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Those 3 CSR's, only 2 would be in run. They go like the wind and keeping them at 110km/h is a breeze when compared to my experience with NR's.

Maximum speed for SCT trains is 110km/h for the wagons.
seb2351


It was CSR010 leading. Perhaps its wheels are still a little oversize for the calculated top speed.

I spent some time looking across at it through the trees and it took a while to get past. I'd checked my speedo that trip at the indicator near Chiltern in Victoria so I don't think I'm that far off indicated speeds, certainly no more than 7km/h.

My comment was aimed at BDA's concern that the 93s seemed less able to make their top speed. I'm sure that some tweaking of the software would fix that.

Clearly there are fast AC locomotives about.

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No the major concern is being able to legally do 115 whilst running from Melbourne to Brisbane with a viable load . Actually doing 115 isn't the big issue , it's having good tractive effort and long range capability .
Basically ILF isn't meeting east coast standards , AFAIK , and neither of the current EDI or the UGL products has the same range as an NR .
Forget about four motor AC diesels here because the dinky axle loads put us at an even greater disadvantage than the Americans have .
It's the standards that need updating here but because our Governments don't rate freight rail haulage as high as the American ones do the operators here have zip say and get screwed .
And before some clot ups and says why spend money to improve Aurisons or PNs bottom line think about how many operators in the US are private , yes they make money and the service they provide is pretty efficient too .

Anyway there are disturbances in the force ATM and there may be less AC units on box trains in future .
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

In the end, PN really needs to decide how it moves forward from this point. The choices as I see it are -

1. Retain the status quo and deal with the issues of an ageing DC intermodal fleet (which appears to be the decision)

2. Resolve the issues with ILF

3. Build and maintain additional mainline fuel and servicing pads at Taree and Cootamundra (or Junee)

4. Develop a strategy to reduce the weight of the 93s

5. Accept a 1 for 1 replacement ratio of the NRs instead of the 2 for 3 the 93s were expected to achieve. This could be new generation DC locos, a smaller AC loco such as the GT42CU-ACe, use the existing C44aci as an A1A-A1A four motor unit or use the existing C44aci with NR loadings to reduce fuel demand

6. Encourage or finance an axle load upgrade of the interstate corridors

All options will cost money...some are short term solutions...some are long term, but with the NR fleet about to turn twenty there's not a lot of time left for thumb twiddling.
  Greensleeves Chief Commissioner

Location: If it isn't obvious by now, it should be.
How do Aurizon's LDP's go fuel wise from Melbourne to Brisbane? Having a lighter tare weight than a C44 they'd be able to take a bit more fuel wouldn't they?
  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
10,000L @ 134t for the GT46 vs the C44's ~7500L @ 134t.
  M636C Minister for Railways

And before some clot ups and says why spend money to improve Aurisons or PNs bottom line think about how many operators in the US are private , yes they make money and the service they provide is pretty efficient too .
BDA

If you are talking about Norfolk Southern, CSX Union Pacific and BNSF (and others) they own and maintain their own track. They are spending billions of dollars on double and triple tracking and new bridges.

PN owned and maintained the (broad gauge) track in Victoria but sold it back because they didn't want to keep paying for it.

M636C
  M636C Minister for Railways

4. Develop a strategy to reduce the weight of the 93s
Sulla1

The 92 class were supposed to do what the 93 class are doing now.

I understand that the early 92 class were about two tonnes heavier than the nominal 139 tonnes with full fuel. This didn't affect their use in the Hunter Valley.

I looked very closely at one of the later Aurizon 6000 class while it was being completed. The radiator fan ducts were fibreglass rather than steel and were translucent. Not much weight to save there. There appeared to be a lot of other light weight items (plastic air filters, aluminium cabinets and so on).

I think we can say that UGL are really trying to keep the weight down.

But the standard equipment they get from GE is pretty heavy since it is intended for 180 tonne locomotives.

But there are a lot of light weight items on the GT46C ACe too. The stainless steel handrails don't look very heavy and the pressed ribs in the hood panels are there to allow the use of thinner material.

Both GE and EMD are offering lighter prime movers now and the MTU 16V4000 in the CSR is pretty light for 3000 kW into the alternator.

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
93s won't get a major redesign and really don't need it . Hardly a modern power assembly by todays standards but that's GE/UGLs problem not ours .  
The issue is Sydney Trains standards and I don't think the current situation will last forever . Word is that ILF will return and I think eventually they will allow the intermediate fuel level with some speed reduction . I don't think it's going to matter very much because most of them look like going to Southern Coal and once they realise what a ship box 82s are the rest will probably follow .
The GT46C ACE story is there won't be any more and no one knows if or when there will be from OS .
The AN mods are going ahead and some think they will end up together on steel trains, time will tell .
  Typhon Assistant Commissioner

Location: I'm that freight train tearing through the sky in the clouds.
In the end, PN really needs to decide how it moves forward from this point. The choices as I see it are -

1. Retain the status quo and deal with the issues of an ageing DC intermodal fleet (which appears to be the decision)

2. Resolve the issues with ILF

3. Build and maintain additional mainline fuel and servicing pads at Taree and Cootamundra (or Junee)

4. Develop a strategy to reduce the weight of the 93s

5. Accept a 1 for 1 replacement ratio of the NRs instead of the 2 for 3 the 93s were expected to achieve. This could be new generation DC locos, a smaller AC loco such as the GT42CU-ACe, use the existing C44aci as an A1A-A1A four motor unit or use the existing C44aci with NR loadings to reduce fuel demand

6. Encourage or finance an axle load upgrade of the interstate corridors

All options will cost money...some are short term solutions...some are long term, but with the NR fleet about to turn twenty there's not a lot of time left for thumb twiddling.
Sulla1


Well choice 1 is the go at the moment. The repower program is in full swing and issues are being worked through and sorted out.
As for 2, ILF isn't dead in the water just yet. You might notice some NRs are getting retrofitted with ILF capabilities as part of the repower. 3 wont be needed. 4 wont be needed, all the 93s are going to coal. 5 not needed because of 1, 6 - that's the track operator's business.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Well choice 1 is the go at the moment. The repower program is in full swing and issues are being worked through and sorted out.
As for 2, ILF isn't dead in the water just yet. You might notice some NRs are getting retrofitted with ILF capabilities as part of the repower. 3 wont be needed. 4 wont be needed, all the 93s are going to coal. 5 not needed because of 1, 6 - that's the track operator's business.
Typhon

I understand that in line fuelling is only a concern to Sydney Trains so it only affects trains that run through Sydney. It could be used anywhere else PN operate.

I was told last night that Sydney Trains doesn't want to approve distributed power working of the Marulan stone trains for reasons that aren't that clear to me at least.

However, they own the track so they approve what is allowed to run.

PN refuel trains from road tankers at Spencer Junction and could presumably do the same at any convenient siding. QUBE refuel from road tankers in Goulburn, so PN could do that too.

The ARTC have significantly upgraded the interstate corridor track, but the reality is that it is only now suitable for the present axleloads and traffic levels, having ben neglected for so many years.

There is no incentive for Sydney Trains to change their track to suit freight trains if it involves additional cost over maintaining it for their own services. Freight trains have to fit in with Sydney Trains track and operations if they want to use their track.

M636C
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Interestingly in Queensland, Aurizon has started stepping away from using refuelling trucks in favour of fixed servicing pads. Not sure whether its economic or environmental issues.
  donttellmywife Chief Commissioner

Location: Antofagasta
I understand that in line fuelling is only a concern to Sydney Trains so it only affects trains that run through Sydney. It could be used anywhere else PN operate.
M636C

I thought from previous BDA posts the issue was one of system reliability.  Sydney Trains shouldn't really care, if the system is designed to appropriate standards.

(The NSW (or other state) EPA will very much get rather antsy if an inline fuelling system gets confused and puts lots of diesel into the environment - but that's not specific to Sydney, or even train operations.)
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Bit of interesting reading here.
http://www.halcrow.com/Documents/australia/CORE_2008_Paper_Next_Gen_Loco.pdf
Case study of SCTs entry into the AC traction market.
Its a bit old now , but it seems SCT are getting pretty impressive performance from their AC locos.

Sponsored advertisement

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.