Not being fully across all of the issues in relation to SCT's locomotive fleet but certainly knowing that the SCT's in particular are very intensely utilized it has been mooted for a while now that SCT would be expected to have a very strong interest in the LDP's now coming out of Aurizon's withdrawal.
Whilst it has been indicated here that at least 3 LDP's are likely to go across I would not be surprised if they wouldn't be looking for more.
In view of SCT's recent addition of a 4th weekly round trip on the Bromelton-Melbourne run and the withdrawal of Aurizon obviously there will be a transfer of loading as is now being seen already and that has to mean increasing the current 4 round trips out to maximum length/tonnage which requires 3 locomotives plus potentially adding a 5th round trip.
Certainly the Chinese CSR units are much more prevalent but if we say 5 round trips per week and 3 locomotives per service that ties a pretty significant number of locomotives up just on Melb-Bromelton without taking into account what the flow effect from Aurizon's withdrawal is also likely to have on SCT services on the east-west corridor to WA.
Does anyone have any feel as to what this may result in in terms of future motive power requirements???
Obviously SCT has made a big investment in the Chinese build and we know it's been working hard to get performance and reliability up. As well, SCT works its SCT class very hard with most east-west services running only 2 SCT units on very heavy, full length consists versus PN and Aurizon (previously) running 3 locos for equivalent size trains. Even with a component change out style of maintenance regime, I'd imagine there comes a point where SCT will have to just like PN did with it's NR's undertake a much more substantial overhaul of the SCT class???