Railroad Australia, Wheat haulage and spillage

 
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
I am sure many many Moons ago when we had a huge wheat crop to shift, they tried to use present day Coal hoppers and had bottom door leakage as we saw on that recent episode.
As this haulage was sort of a last minute arrangement, they used tarpaulins to cover the wheat which were not really successful due to the area to be covered and the lack of tie down positions. Somewhere in the dim mist of time, I think they did sort of cobble up a 'fixed' roof cover but nothing like the one shown.

With Coal it didnt matter if it got wet as it actually helped to stop much of the leakage but thats not on for wheat.

If they intend to use those hoppers again for wheat, they will have to come up with a better door seal than what is there now.

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  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
I watched the episode from last week where the wheat was leaking and was most interested in the reason.  The episode showed the wagons being modified for the grain traffic with roof hatches being applied.  The wagons also had the bottom doors changed in a certain way.

Was this to close up the differences in the doors meeting (the tolerances) as grain is smaller than coal?
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville

If they intend to use those hoppers again for wheat, they will have to come up with a better door seal than what is there now.
gordon_s1942
That was an early trial run several months ago - I thought it was pretty clear from the program that was the case, but maybe not?

They've been using those hoppers for several months now in a rake of up to 50 hoppers, and a second rake will soon be available - but don't let that get in the way of a good (negative) story.

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11386161.htm
  trainguy84 Junior Train Controller

Hi

Yes they doors were modified to have a smaller gap when closed. The gap didn't really matter carrying coal due to the size but grain is a different story. I would hate to see them try to carry Canola in there as it will certainly find any hole/gap that there is.

Having a bit of water on the grain won't make much difference, and it certainly won't be spoilt. Most grains needs to be under 12% moisture to meet export requirements. If the grain was at 11% and the wagon was carrying 60t then you would need the equivalent of 600kg of water to increase it that 1%.

I'm not too sure what they would have done if they couldn't get those leaks sorted, in an ideal world they would have been tested prior to being used.

Were they a clamshell door?
  theanimal Chief Commissioner

Hi

Yes they doors were modified to have a smaller gap when closed. The gap didn't really matter carrying coal due to the size but grain is a different story. I would hate to see them try to carry Canola in there as it will certainly find any hole/gap that there is.

Having a bit of water on the grain won't make much difference, and it certainly won't be spoilt. Most grains needs to be under 12% moisture to meet export requirements. If the grain was at 11% and the wagon was carrying 60t then you would need the equivalent of 600kg of water to increase it that 1%.

I'm not too sure what they would have done if they couldn't get those leaks sorted, in an ideal world they would have been tested prior to being used.

Were they a clamshell door?
trainguy84
Even dedicated grain hoppers experienced problems when tasked to carry Canola, there were several occasions in NSW where spilled Canola caused the next train to fail with wheelslip.

The last time I saw it loaded, the wagon doors were sealed with a silicone compound
  trainguy84 Junior Train Controller

Hi

Yes they doors were modified to have a smaller gap when closed. The gap didn't really matter carrying coal due to the size but grain is a different story. I would hate to see them try to carry Canola in there as it will certainly find any hole/gap that there is.

Having a bit of water on the grain won't make much difference, and it certainly won't be spoilt. Most grains needs to be under 12% moisture to meet export requirements. If the grain was at 11% and the wagon was carrying 60t then you would need the equivalent of 600kg of water to increase it that 1%.

I'm not too sure what they would have done if they couldn't get those leaks sorted, in an ideal world they would have been tested prior to being used.

Were they a clamshell door?
Even dedicated grain hoppers experienced problems when tasked to carry Canola, there were several occasions in NSW where spilled Canola caused the next train to fail with wheelslip.

The last time I saw it loaded, the wagon doors were sealed with a silicone compound
theanimal
Canola is about 40% oil, so yes once it gets crushed it is very oil and I can certainly see how it will be come an issue for locomotives.

Yes canola will find any hole/gap present and will flow like water.
  Showtime Chief Train Controller

They seemed to be on the ball.
They had plenty of wet duct tape and ripped up aprons on hand to seal the doors. Bluetack would have been my next suggestion for them:)
One would think a test before using them might have been prudent.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
We drove past the Old Yard at Lithgow today and there are 4 of those wagons fitted with those covers stowed down near the old Turntable pit.
There was a gang there lifting one of the covers off using what I would guess was a purpose made frame (not unlike those used to lift a container) and we stopped and watched them lift it clear of the wagon and wheel it away, presumably for repairs or adjustments.
  Spletsie Chief Commissioner

There was an article about wheat spillage attracting birds to the railway line in the Blue Mountains Gazette this week:

http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/4749173/cockatoos-on-track/
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

A bit off topic but relevant. Never drive behind a truck leaking canola. The hard round grains will chip paint off your car.
I beg to differ about grain getting wet. the rain may only penetrate an inch or two but that grain will be ruined. A heavy shower could cause a serious loss by down grading the quality. There is a reason why grain is not stored in the open.
  Pressman Spirit of the Vine

Location: Wherever the Tin Chook or Qantas takes me
A bit off topic but relevant. Never drive behind a truck leaking canola. The hard round grains will chip paint off your car.
I beg to differ about grain getting wet. the rain may only penetrate an inch or two but that grain will be ruined. A heavy shower could cause a serious loss by down grading the quality. There is a reason why grain is not stored in the open.
neillfarmer
Likewise, grain terminals have complex aeration systems that are designed to shut down the moment any rain is detected or if humidity level increases passed a set point.
If you ever watch a grain ship being loaded, just watch how fast hold covers are closed at the slightest hint of rain.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
There was an article about wheat spillage attracting birds to the railway line in the Blue Mountains Gazette this week:

http://www.bluemountainsgazette.com.au/story/4749173/cockatoos-on-track/
Spletsie
Geee whiz, hows about that !!!
After the wheat season it wasnt uncommon to see a 'line' of sprouting wheat in the 'Four Foot' from where spillage from the doors of the wagons had dropped.
Some areas seemed to have more coverage than others, particularly on the steepest downhill sections, no doubt because the slower speed allowed more to fall in that area than would have had the wagons been traveling at speed.
The Up refuge at Katoomba was one spot because all Goods were run through there (even if they didnt stop) while they were being examined.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
And at Gheringhap it would seem?

https://www.railpage.com.au/railcams/gheringhaploophd/photo/35453454512

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