Re building the N Class in Victoria

 
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
A standard gauge N would be perfect for The Overland, if only V/Line were interested in running that service. Maybe by the start of next year (we can dream right?)

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  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
A standard gauge N would be perfect for The Overland, if only V/Line were interested in running that service. Maybe by the start of next year (we can dream right?)
greasyrhys
As likely as all the SG lines Going BG, Dream on we can
  trainbrain Deputy Commissioner

A standard gauge N would be perfect for The Overland, if only V/Line were interested in running that service. Maybe by the start of next year (we can dream right?)
greasyrhys
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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
A standard gauge N would be perfect for The Overland, if only V/Line were interested in running that service. Maybe by the start of next year (we can dream right?)
greasyrhys
Yeah absolutely.
The Overland is bad enough as it is without adding a taste of unreliable N class and the hatred of Vline for anything on that rotten stinking NSW gauge. The NRs are wasted on the Overland but PN apparently have locos to spare (or perhaps it suits their rostering). An XR, G, 81 or BL would be more than enough.
Adelaide and Albury in the one Vline basket case ................
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
A standard gauge N would be perfect for The Overland, if only V/Line were interested in running that service. Maybe by the start of next year (we can dream right?)
Yeah absolutely.
The Overland is bad enough as it is without adding a taste of unreliable N class and the hatred of Vline for anything on that rotten stinking NSW gauge. The NRs are wasted on the Overland but PN apparently have locos to spare (or perhaps it suits their rostering). An XR, G, 81 or BL would be more than enough.
Adelaide and Albury in the one Vline basket case ................
YM-Mundrabilla
You now dislike SG?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
A standard gauge N would be perfect for The Overland, if only V/Line were interested in running that service. Maybe by the start of next year (we can dream right?)
Yeah absolutely.
The Overland is bad enough as it is without adding a taste of unreliable N class and the hatred of Vline for anything on that rotten stinking NSW gauge. The NRs are wasted on the Overland but PN apparently have locos to spare (or perhaps it suits their rostering). An XR, G, 81 or BL would be more than enough.
Adelaide and Albury in the one Vline basket case ................
You now dislike SG?
Dangersdan707
Don't you believe it. It's Vline that hates the SG.
It is the BG that I hate and just about everything surrounding it.Sad
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Trapped in a meeting with Rhonda and Karsten
The most realistic timeframe for V/Line to reach DMU Nirvana and therefore be able to make the N class surplus to their requirements is about 10 years from now, give or take.

The Ns might be useful to BG freight operators if the current Antiques Railshow (B, T, S & X class) locomotives on BG start being taken out of service en masse. Even then, I doubt they'd be candidates for rebuilds - why go to all that expense when you could gauge convert some older SG motive power instead? There's a whole bunch of VLs and BRMs out there that could be converted to BG at a lower expense than an N class rebuild. There's already one VL on BG and the BRMs are close enough to make paperwork a lot less of a headache...
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
The most realistic timeframe for V/Line to reach DMU Nirvana and therefore be able to make the N class surplus to their requirements is about 10 years from now, give or take.

The Ns might be useful to BG freight operators if the current Antiques Railshow (B, T, S & X class) locomotives on BG start being taken out of service en masse. Even then, I doubt they'd be candidates for rebuilds - why go to all that expense when you could gauge convert some older SG motive power instead? There's a whole bunch of VLs and BRMs out there that could be converted to BG at a lower expense than an N class rebuild. There's already one VL on BG and the BRMs are close enough to make paperwork a lot less of a headache...
LancedDendrite
Even then the call for BG power will probably be met.  If Goulburn Valley goes SG soon, that will release more rollingstock for BG work, which essentially would amount to 2-4 daily container services, a steel service and grain.  Id say a pool of maybe 15-20 locos could handle this no problem which you'd pretty well have with the current G, BL and XR classes without any others.  The Gs and BLs could be converted to SG, but im thinking this might be less and less likely.

Of course says nothing for operator imbalance, ie PN has the good stuff whilst QUBE and SSR lash up the roadshows...  The lesser two might want to get some decent fleet.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

The locomotive class leader should be preserved. Just like X31, N451 should be preserved. I'd say in V/Line Orange and Grey.
Keep the best regardless of its number if you must keep one.
YM-Mundrabilla
I agree that the 'class leader' argument is ridiculous.

A loco number is of no historical significance whatsoever, it just indicates the order in which they were built.

Real historical significance would have been achieved if one of the locos had set some sort of record, been part of a film, hauled a Royal Train, hauled the first or last train on a route, travelled to places that others in the class had not, had some involvement in a major public event (e.g. Olympic Torch Relay?) or had some feature which distinguished it from the rest of the class.

If the history of the class was so unremarkable that the order in which they were built is the most interesting thing, then it is time for a conversation over whether there is any merit in using public funds to preserve one at all. If there is, pick the one in the best condition which would probably be the one with the lowest engine hours.
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
x31, h220, s300, GM1, A60 all class leaders GM1 is the most significant out of this group along with CL17 for obvious reasons
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
A loco number is of no historical significance whatsoever, it just indicates the order in which they were built.
justapassenger
In some cases not even that.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
'If the history of the class was so unremarkable that the order in which they were built is the most interesting thing, then it is time for a conversation over whether there is any merit in using public funds to preserve one at all.'
The combined N class in a nutshell.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

A loco number is of no historical significance whatsoever, it just indicates the order in which they were built.
In some cases not even that.
Graham4405
You are of course correct, especially with regards to the true class leaders which are typically used for development/testing and then put into storage as a 'Christmas tree' for parts rather than entering service, but I thought that level of detail was unnecessary.

If anything, the engineering prototypes would be more interesting to preserve than ordinary production units.

If the history of the class was so unremarkable that the order in which they were built is the most interesting thing, then it is time for a conversation over whether there is any merit in using public funds to preserve one at all.'
The combined N class in a nutshell.
YM-Mundrabilla
That's what I thought, they make the NR Class look interesting.

The array of different liveries they have had is by far the most interesting aspect, and preserving that is as simple as assembling a photo album.
  Heihachi_73 Chief Commissioner

Location: Terminating at Ringwood
At least the N class doesn't need to be turned to face the right way like an NR, DL or XR etc.

How hard would it be to convert an N class into a G class mechanically? Clearly the X to XR program went well enough (good enough that they even made a few XRBs from scratch instead of simply cutting off the cab of an existing loco). If they are only used these days to drag around N and H sets until they're gone, I'm sure someone would take them over the lesser T classes.

If an N class rebuild program has to remove the head end power units to fit a larger engine, I'm sure there are ample power vans still around to replace the missing HEP units. While H sets require a power van when a non-HEP-equipped loco is running, they only recently converted a derelict Z car into a power van (ACZ260 to PZ260); I'm sure this is good use for otherwise old carriages past their prime. MTH101, 103, 104 and even a number of Hitachi T carriages are right there for the taking; their next trip would otherwise be to Sims Metal.
  M636C Minister for Railways

At least the N class doesn't need to be turned to face the right way like an NR, DL or XR etc.

How hard would it be to convert an N class into a G class mechanically? Clearly the X to XR program went well enough (good enough that they even made a few XRBs from scratch instead of simply cutting off the cab of an existing loco). If they are only used these days to drag around N and H sets until they're gone, I'm sure someone would take them over the lesser T classes.

If an N class rebuild program has to remove the head end power units to fit a larger engine, I'm sure there are ample power vans still around to replace the missing HEP units. While H sets require a power van when a non-HEP-equipped loco is running, they only recently converted a derelict Z car into a power van (ACZ260 to PZ260); I'm sure this is good use for otherwise old carriages past their prime. MTH101, 103, 104 and even a number of Hitachi T carriages are right there for the taking; their next trip would otherwise be to Sims Metal.
Heihachi_73

If you want 3000HP, just fit a 12N-710G3, which is the same length as the 12-645 already there.

The 12 VLs and two BRMs are effectively new build XRs with cabs.

But the EMD alternator is recessed into the frame and the engine sits in a recess as well.
So you'd have to modify the frame to fit a longer (16 cylinder) engine.
The turbocharged 16-645E3 in the G class was exactly the same length as the 16-645E in the X class.
You just needed bigger radiators for the 50% increase in power.

So there is no need to remove the HEP units. I understand most of those are relatively new since Cummins four stroke engines replaced the original two stroke Detroit engines.

H sets were built with a diesel generator under every car. These were removed on the SG sets but I thought most of the BG buffet cars still had them, and the buffet could power two cars in an emergency.

I think the PCZ was converted for the SG anyway to provide a fourth set.

There are four PHs on the BG

Peter
  2LaGrange Train Controller

Will never happen simply not economic.
If a higher horsepower engine was to be installed would need to also replace the
following.
New main engine
New Alternator
New cooling system to handle increased hp including larger radiators
New electrical control system as existing electrical system is designed for hp of current engine.
Possibly new larger traction motors
Drawbar capacity may need to be looked at? Is the frame strong enough.
The list goes on and on...

All these items add up into the $ millions to purchase and install on a clapped out 30 year old frame. Why bother ? The economics just don’t stack up for such a conversion.

At the end of their life with VLine Pass the N class will meet the scrappers torch.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

The most valuable item in the loco is the 12-645E3 crankcase (EMD sold the rights for the E series to Morrison-Knudsen prior to M-K's bankruptcy - GE then purchased these rights from the receiver)

Two "as removed" 12 cylinder E3 engines (both traction and marine) fetched better than U$S80k at recent auctions in the States

Progress Rail has been buying auctioned DC family locos in NZ (the ones with E crankcases) for crankcase core

PR removed the engines for shipment to the States, and gasaxed the rest. PR offer African operators a 12-645E3 service exchange service, with the replacement engines prepositioned, hence require a core bank. E Roots blown crankcases can be converted to turbo (QR did around 90?)

There are machine shops in the States, with homemade jigs, who will convert from marine (ancillaries in different positions) to traction. A couple of FCAB's 2100 Class GT22CU-3 conversions use converted marine crankcases
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Surely cheaper and easier to lease Gs/BLs/81s for this kind of work , HEP aside . Maybe a hook and haul deal like with GSR .
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
As stated before in this thread when Vline is done with the Ns they'll probably generate interest from SSR or QUBE to tone down the reliance on the Retro Loco Lash ups. ontop of that 2 will probably go into preservation one to SRHC and one Presumably to ARHS Williamstown. however PN may try to buy them up to gain a monopoly on most of the Heigh Power BG stock (wouldn't surprise me). Vline probably will keep the SG Class for a bit longer as back ups for the Albury service.
  2LaGrange Train Controller

Can’t see PN touching them, they have plenty of Locos sitting around already.

SSR won’t be interested either they already have a fleet of Locos that can handle their BG and SG contracts in VIC.
With the flexibility to use those Locos in NSW also.
That wouldn’t be the case with N class as they are not allowed into NSW so would be a risk for SSR if work were to dry up in VIC  they are stuck with Locos they can’t use in NSW.

One to preservation is a possibility ?
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
Can’t see PN touching them, they have plenty of Locos sitting around already.

SSR won’t be interested either they already have a fleet of Locos that can handle their BG and SG contracts in VIC.
With the flexibility to use those Locos in NSW also.
That wouldn’t be the case with N class as they are not allowed into NSW so would be a risk for SSR if work were to dry up in VIC  they are stuck with Locos they can’t use in NSW.

One to preservation is a possibility ?
2LaGrange
Albury is in New South Wales Razz
  Galron Deputy Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
Can’t see PN touching them, they have plenty of Locos sitting around already.

SSR won’t be interested either they already have a fleet of Locos that can handle their BG and SG contracts in VIC.
With the flexibility to use those Locos in NSW also.
That wouldn’t be the case with N class as they are not allowed into NSW so would be a risk for SSR if work were to dry up in VIC  they are stuck with Locos they can’t use in NSW.

One to preservation is a possibility ?
Albury is in New South Wales Razz
Dangersdan707
By accounts vline had to do a LOT of negotiation to allow that to happen on the SG. If you dig about you will note they are only alowed as far as albury station
  n459L1150 Train Controller

Location: Echuca
I say don't scrap them when they get removed from the tracks, remove all the useful stuff (controls, seats, engine, etc.) then sell/give/donate/gift the empty shells to the named cities as static displays. I live in one of the aforementioned cities (hence my user name) and would love to see it every day in the open sunshine. they would make really cool memorabilia. Like the D3 in Seymour and the steam loco in reservoir and probably several others I don't know about.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
This is kind of funny.

Lets look at the last time the VR/ Vic Rail/ VLine rebuilt a large number of their locomotives. It was part of the New Deal program (initiated in 1981) and saw all of the B class locomotives slated for a major rebuild into the A class. It also saw the purchase of 10 brand new N class locos. Midway through the B class rebuilding program it was abandoned in favour of a further order of 15 more N class. This was because there was more value to be had in a completely new unit than rebuilding 30 year old locos.

This of course was back when just about every train in Victoria was run by the same organisation, and save for a few railmotors, every train outside the suburban area had a government owned locomotive up the front.

Now all freight trains are run by private companies, and the vast majority of V/Line's passenger trains are run by DMUs.

Add to that the known fact that V/Line are planning to replace their aging "classic fleet" with more DMUs.

So there is just no reason to spend any money on significant upgrades to the aging N class, which are older now then the B class were when they were upgraded to A class.

Sell them off.

Sell them off while enough of this state is still relying on broad gauge and QUBE and SSR are still reliant on locomotives that make the N class look fresh.
  Dangersdan707 Deputy Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
how much Horsepower is in an Vline N class?  I am led to believe it is around 2500.

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