All things U-SETS / U-BOATS

 

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  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
One problem that didnt become apparent until an Interurban failed was that it could NOT be coupled to a locomotive, ie a 46 class to be hauled away.
To do so required firstly the removal of the 'buffer beam' that was used on the Interurbans and then it was found that (I think) the auto coupling on the Locomotive was too high so unless you had a 'Tail Rope' which was NOT carried on the Interurbans, you couldnt tow the train.
  Groover Train Controller

Location: A long way from home
One problem that didnt become apparent until an Interurban failed was that it could NOT be coupled to a locomotive, ie a 46 class to be hauled away.
To do so required firstly the removal of the 'buffer beam' that was used on the Interurbans and then it was found that (I think) the auto coupling on the Locomotive was too high so unless you had a 'Tail Rope' which was NOT carried on the Interurbans, you couldnt tow the train.
gordon_s1942
Was that corrected after the problem was noticed? What were the arrangments for hauling the U sets during the main north shut down in the late 70's when all interurbans were either hauled by diesel or 46 class, and when a U set was hauled by 3830 on a SPER tour from Waterfall to Central?  I would have thought coupler height was a standard spec for all rollingstock.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Interior Shots. I never had the chance to ride these trains but from photos I've seen I have to say they had a lot of character - a real retro feel, especially those with the original windows and shutters. It looks really cool how you see the reflection of the lights and lamp shades with the glossy/reflective green paint on the ceiling.

This I believe is an interior shot of ETB6039 at Valley Heights
https://www.flickr.com/photos/fjs_photography/4759770959/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/fjs_photography/4760403272/in/album-72157624583674442/

An interior shot of a car with Beclawat windows and the light cream ceiling c. 1993. Again, quite effective with the glossy paint.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/don5617/23808772622/

Preserved CF5003 at Junee. This was apparently the only car to retain the original chocolate/maroon lower half saloon for it's service life, although other parts that were choc were repainted in the darker green. CF5003 was one of the middle power cars on the first electric train to Gosford in 1960.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vrfan/14355273072/

Preserved CF5021 at Junee
https://www.flickr.com/photos/vrfan/14376999763/

Supposedly on first electric train to Gosford Jan 23 1960
https://www.flickr.com/photos/gostalgia/9929919975/in/photostream
  neillfarmer Chief Train Controller

One problem that didnt become apparent until an Interurban failed was that it could NOT be coupled to a locomotive, ie a 46 class to be hauled away.
To do so required firstly the removal of the 'buffer beam' that was used on the Interurbans and then it was found that (I think) the auto coupling on the Locomotive was too high so unless you had a 'Tail Rope' which was NOT carried on the Interurbans, you couldnt tow the train.
Was that corrected after the problem was noticed? What were the arrangments for hauling the U sets during the main north shut down in the late 70's when all interurbans were either hauled by diesel or 46 class, and when a U set was hauled by 3830 on a SPER tour from Waterfall to Central?  I would have thought coupler height was a standard spec for all rollingstock.
Groover
The first use of the U-Boats was for the first electric train over the Blue Mountains. It consisted of U set cars hauled by 4612.
If there was any miss matches with couplers it was corrected before the sets went into service. In the 1960s it was common to see individual cars being shunted around Flemington car sheds, and there were steam tours with them to Wallerawang and Waterfall. Both of which I have photos of.
Neill Farmer
  Groover Train Controller

Location: A long way from home
Wasn't there also a difference in brake air pressure?  I seem to recall that when coupling a loco to a U set the brake line cock wasn't opened completely?  Not sure, but someone will provide correct advice.
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Wasn't there also a difference in brake air pressure?  I seem to recall that when coupling a loco to a U set the brake line cock wasn't opened completely?  Not sure, but someone will provide correct advice.
Groover
No, the cock is always opened as normal.

The pressure regulator on the loco must be adjusted down as the maximum pressure on the U Boats is less. Can't remember by how much. Failure to do so can result in sticking brakes and wheel flats (a phenomenon that SETS and Mr. Burns quickly discovered in their short foray into towing U Boats with their 46 class in the early '00s).

Incidentally, the same rule applies to the red sets inc F1. Anything that tows it must have it's pressure reg reduced from 800kPa to 690kPa. I imagine the W / U sets would be similar. For this reason the TOC Waiver for F1 restricts recovery to an "S" set on which the regulator MUST be reduced before the train is attached. This is one of the tasks for which the on board equipment examiner (when F1 runs) is prepared to carry out.

Reducing pressure on the more modern trains is much harder in service hence the prohibition on allowing them to recover the set. Of course with 3 power cars available, one should hope there will never be any reason to.
  Just The Tip Junior Train Controller

Location: Danger zone
Wasn't there also a difference in brake air pressure?  I seem to recall that when coupling a loco to a U set the brake line cock wasn't opened completely?  Not sure, but someone will provide correct advice.
No, the cock is always opened as normal.

The pressure regulator on the loco must be adjusted down as the maximum pressure on the U Boats is less. Can't remember by how much. Failure to do so can result in sticking brakes and wheel flats (a phenomenon that SETS and Mr. Burns quickly discovered in their short foray into towing U Boats with their 46 class in the early '00s).
zordmaker
Much the same when hauling all(?) suburban/interurban sets with freight locomotives.

On an unrelated, but mentioned above, note; where is Burns now? Still assuring people that the cheque is 'in the mail'...?
  Matthew Train Controller

I seem to recall that when coupling a loco to a U set the brake line cock wasn't opened completely?  Not sure, but someone will provide correct advice.
Groover
That wouldn't reduce the pressure, only the rate that it changed.
The regulator on the locomotive needs to be changed. This was a 'normal' thing to do anyway - passenger stock often had different brake pressures to goods stock. so the appropriate adjustment was available on mixed use locomotives.

I have an old AT&SF train handing guide that someone gave to me years ago. It has a chapter on changing brake pipe pressure when switching from passenger to freight stock or vs. So there was a list of how to do this on common brake stands in use on the railway.
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
On an unrelated, but mentioned above, note; where is Burns now? Still assuring people that the cheque is 'in the mail'...?
Just The Tip

Oooh I won't touch that one...

Most of us are back on the HET / Sydney Trains / THNSW side of the fence now..
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some updates for the weekend. I've updated the listing on page one for CF, TF, ETB Cars. A couple of particular ones to note.

- CF5038 and TF6018 were the 2 cars withdrawn in 1978. TF6018 was damaged in a collision at Flemington Car Sheds on 27 March 1978 and CF5038 was either damaged on this same date with 6018 or on another day during 1978. TF6018 was condemned on August 2, 1979 (CF5038 possibly same date). Both these cars, along with fire damaged C3825, C3877 and D4017 were taken to Metal Recyclers who used the Commonwealth siding adjacent to Lord St, Botany for scrapping in August 1981.

- CF5034 and ETB6033 were 2 cars withdrawn in 1973 after being damaged by fire at Gosford on January 11, 1973. ETB6033 was condemned on March 12, 1976 and scrapped at Simsmetal Mascot on 19 June 1976 (CF5034 probably same dates).

- ETB6034 (one of very few cars left with original lift-up windows), was acquired by the school at Kandos where it remains to this day, possibly used as an admin office. This car was condemned on March 6, 1995. This info was apparently taken from the December 1996 issue of "Under the Wires" which it seems had lots of info on the U-set fleet. If anyone has access to this publication which may feature complete entry to service/withdrawal/condemning dates for U-sets please feel free to share if possible and we'll have a very complete listing. Smile

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/aus.rail/H4uiABxTxV8 (credit to Robbie O'Regan for the info on TF6018, ETB6033 and ETB6034). He also has a site featuring his extensive collection of rail photographs at http://www.robx1.net/

http://www.sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au/members.old/Trolley_Wire/195%20-%20Trolley%20Wire%20-%20Aug%201981.pdf (August 1981 issue of Trolley Wire which has details on the scrapping of the Comeng DD cars and CF5038 and TF6018 - see page 20. Also Page 22 has a photo of these 5 cars awaiting scrapping)
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

https://www.flickr.com/photos/56133443@N00/11434371254/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/intervene/4977282755/in/pool-1563921@N20/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/intervene/4766780667/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/intervene/2323233089/in/pool-1563921@N20/

(Photograph of "The Fish")
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_RcF3upnQMNM/SsMONnCXViI/AAAAAAAAAjg/5sT7k8fYbys/s1600-h/536-537.jpg

(Southern Rail Models have a number of good old photos of u-sets including The Fish)
http://www.southernrailmodels.com.au/u-boat.html


Trove is always an interesting source of info, here is some specifically on the western line and blue mountains electrification and intro of 46-class and interurban electrics (also mention of suburban - future W set electrics)

Lithgow Mercury Wed 16 June 1954
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/220823032?searchTerm=INTERURBAN%20TRAIN&searchLimits=l-state=New+South+Wales l-decade=195 "Special Rolling stock for Western Electriciation"
- talks of contract for 80 suburban cars, 80 interurban cars


The Sydney Morning Herald Thu 24 June 1954)
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/18440003?searchTerm=INTERURBAN%20TRAIN&searchLimits=l-state=New+South+Wales l-decade=195 "Stainless Steel cars ordered for Rail Department. 80 of 160 new electric passenger cars to be built for the Railways Department will be of stainless steel"

- Interesting read, in particular in regards to original plan to have buffet cars. The piece particularly talks about the benefits of stainless steel in terms of much lighter weight, strength and lower maintenance costs, etc.

Blue Mountains Advertiser Thu 2 Sep 1954
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/192187258?searchTerm=INTERURBAN%20TRAIN&searchLimits=l-state=New+South+Wales l-decade=195 "Western Electric Trains to Carry 392 Passengers a Trip"

- talks about how some cars would have buffet facilities, heaters for the winter and electric fans for the summer and to ensure that the type of carriages would suit Blue Mountains commuters.

Nepean Times Thu 13 Oct 1955
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/100991286?searchTerm=INTERURBAN%20TRAIN&searchLimits=l-state=New+South+Wales l-decade=195 "Official Opening of Electric Train Service"

- Article covering the celebrations at Penrith and St Marys with the continued successful progress towards completion of electrification of the line

Western Herald Fri 27 Mar 1959
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/103994497?searchTerm=INTERURBAN%20TRAIN&searchLimits=l-state=New+South+Wales l-decade=195

- piece on the State Railways exhibit at Royal Agricultural show with small scale model representations of various types of trains including the stainless steel newcomer "The Fish".
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

I'll try post this link, hopefully it works. It shows a few pages from the book "Comeng Vol 2: 1955-1966" - A history of Commonwealth Engineering 1955 - 1966. It covers the history of the firm including its suburban and interurban projects for the NSWGR (w sets and u sets). Some very nice photographs in there showing the Granville plant and construction of the cars.

The link should lead directly to page 112, however the chapter on the suburban and interurban projects start at page 101 of the book:-

https://books.google.com.au/books?id=9NHZm3um4WEC&pg=PA112&lpg=PA112&dq=46+CLASS+GOSFORD+1960&source=bl&ots=QcL9PKbdcV&sig=-hNo8Nr1h3gU5RwAkhYROEyo7vE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwja8fymiPLUAhVDEbwKHQLNBg84ChDoAQhFMAk#v=onepage&q=46%20CLASS%20GOSFORD%201960&f=false
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The link below contains info on the first run of 'The Fish' as a u-boat including a photo
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~mercurytravel/notebook/230/notebook.htm

In case the link were to disappear, a summation:-
- Notes that "The Fish" is a well-known business train to the Blue Mountains, and that it became a stainless steel electric train on September 15, 1958
- It's departure from Sydney was farewelled by the NSW Railway Commissioner N McCusker along with top railway officers.
- The new train carries name boards at each end, consists of 8 cars (although other evidence confirms it as 9 car set - 4 and 5 cars respectively), with a first class car marshalled in each of the sets, having a total accommodation for 528 passengers. Gross weight of train 401 tons.
- Prior to service the new train made several trips to Katoomba and Mt Victoria for instruction of drivers. During these runs a special test was made to simulate emergency situations in event of a train failing and having to be pushed out of the section.
- For this, the train was brought to a stand on the 1 in 33 grade half-a-mile west of Valley Heights and an electric loco from that depot was then brought behind the train and pushed it into the up refuge at Springwood. The loco then ran around the train and then hauled it to Lawson, making all stops en route. The train then continued under its own power to Mt. Victoria
- Mentions the new train will continue this service until intro of new tmetable on Oct 26 1958. On that date 1 set, after arrival in Sydney on "The Fish", will be utilized during day run No 23 Passenger 8.50am from Sydney to Mt Victoria, returning from there at 11.31am and due back in Sydney at around 2pm. This set will then be coupled to the other 4-car set to form "The Fish" that evening.
- Taken from Railway Transportation Oct 1958


Gosford electrification (1960)

This photo shows a U-set arriving at Gosford on Jan 23, 1960 on what appears to have been a somewhat drizzly day. A huge crowd gathers to see the inaugural electric train.
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/a6/e0/5e/a6e05e20a91c50cef64629749ff88777.jpg

https://www.flickr.com/photos/131947613@N05/18596486995/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gostalgia/9930183144/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gostalgia/9929983203/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/intervene/3119558951/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/highplains68/4088596561/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/mugzshotz/6298075934/in/pool-1563921@N20/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wp7713/6922592707/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/wp7713/5950072646/


Some interesting articles on Trove on the event

The Biz, Fairfield, Wed 13 Jan 1960
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/190740003?searchTerm=INTERURBAN%20TRAIN&searchLimits=l-decade=196
- Mentions that Dept of Railways advised that Sat Jan 23, 1960 on occasion of opening of electrified railway service to Gosford the first stainless steel interurban train following the "official" train (also a U-set) from Sydney to Gosford will be called the "Souvenir Special".
- This name given because Special Souvenir Tickets covering covering return travel to Hawkesbury River, Woy Woy or Gosford were isssued for journeys from Sydney, Strathfield or Hornsby.
- The "Souvenir Special" to leave Sydney at 10.55am, arrive at Gosford at 12.28pm after stopping Strathfield and Hornsby to pick up passengers.
- Flat rate charged for Souvenir Tickets namely 22/3 first-class and 15/5 second-class for adults and 11/2 and 7/9 for children respectively.
- Passengers can alight at Hawkesbury River, Woy Woy or Gosford
- At Woy Woy and Gosford celebrations held including band contest, procession of floats, aquatic carnival, marching girls, water skiing, fireworks and venetian carnival with streets and launches and boats being decorated

The Cumberland Argus Parramatta Wed 13 Jan 1960
http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/131619500?searchTerm=INTERURBAN%20TRAIN&searchLimits=l-decade=196
- mentions that Dept of Railways advised that on Sat 23 Jan 1960 a special train and motor tour made from Sydney to Terrigal and Gosford and surroundings tourist districts, this tour to coincide with opening electrified line between Sydney and Gosford
- The special train (this the inaugural one, prior to Souvenir Special) leaving Sydney at 8.18am and arriving at Gosford at 9.45am after stopping at Strathfield and Hornsby to pick up passengers.
- Passengers able to take part in celebrations at Gosford
- An interurban train provided for return journey. Train to leave Gosford at 5.10pm and arrive at Sydney at 6.29pm
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Over 10,000 views for my thread now. I guess I better post about the Wollon