Watco wins GrainCorp's Queensland contract

 
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

News from Watco's headquarters, eight new locomotives currently on order from NRE and new wagons on order from China for a late 2019 start in Queensland.


http://www.watcocompanies.com/pdfs/Dispatch2018/07July2018Web.pdf

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  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
News from Watco's headquarters, eight new locomotives currently on order from NRE and new wagons on order from China for a late 2019 start in Queensland.


http://www.watcocompanies.com/pdfs/Dispatch2018/07July2018Web.pdf
Sulla1
Very interesting.

I wonder if it is just grain wagons they'll invest in long term...
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
I think this is massive step forward for a big US operator coming into the Eastern Australia market.   This company has big investments in terminals and operations in Rail freight.  I hope they move forward with some big investments for Australia as WA is such a small market compared to what they could be delivering.
  emerald-a Locomotive Driver

Has anyone seen details on the spec of the locos, interested in seeing whether they can go to Capella or not
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Has anyone seen details on the spec of the locos, interested in seeing whether they can go to Capella or not
emerald-a

It'll be the same story for the grain lines west of Toowoomba. Locomotives will have to be under 94.5-tonnes or most of the grain network will be out of reach. NRE has delivered four GT22s this year to Abidjan, so the company should be able to produce a GT22-CU or GTL22C-3 similar to or identical in specification to Aurizon's 2300 class. A GL26C-3 might be an alternative option. The three-engined Gensets look they'll be too heavy and the two-engined Gensets not powerful enough.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Has anyone seen details on the spec of the locos, interested in seeing whether they can go to Capella or not

It'll be the same story for the grain lines west of Toowoomba. Locomotives will have to be under 94.5-tonnes or most of the grain network will be out of reach. NRE has delivered four GT22s this year to Abidjan, so the company should be able to produce a GT22-CU or GTL22C-3 similar to or identical in specification to Aurizon's 2300 class. A GL26C-3 might be an alternative option. The three-engined Gensets look they'll be too heavy and the two-engined Gensets not powerful enough.
Sulla1
Tasrail TR class? Cannot find its weight listed though

Spoke too soon

The locomotives can be modified from 18 tonne axle load (108t gross) to 16 tonne axle load (96t gross) for Melba line services by removing 1 tonne weight blocks from each of the four corners of the locomotive and limiting the overall fuel load
  M636C Minister for Railways

"The locomotives can be modified from 18 tonne axle load (108t gross) to 16 tonne axle load (96t gross) for Melba line services by removing 1 tonne weight blocks from each of the four corners of the locomotive and limiting the overall fuel load"

Taking off four blocks gives you 104t:

Eight tonnes of fuel is about 9 000 litres, isn't it? Do they carry that much?

My recollection was that they would also remove two traction motors....

But I think the 2000s still work the Melba line these days.

It is interesting that Watco are going with NRE rather than Motive Power who they picked for the WA locomotives.
Watco purchased ten DBZ class.
These might replace some MP27s that would be light enough to run on light lines in Queensland.

The NRE 1200 class were built to NG clearances and three of these are still at the factory.

These could be rebuilt with a single larger prime mover and give a light enough locomotive for QR track.

Peter
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

"The locomotives can be modified from 18 tonne axle load (108t gross) to 16 tonne axle load (96t gross) for Melba line services by removing 1 tonne weight blocks from each of the four corners of the locomotive and limiting the overall fuel load"

Taking off four blocks gives you 104t:

Eight tonnes of fuel is about 9 000 litres, isn't it? Do they carry that much?

My recollection was that they would also remove two traction motors....

But I think the 2000s still work the Melba line these days.

It is interesting that Watco are going with NRE rather than Motive Power who they picked for the WA locomotives.
Watco purchased ten DBZ class.
These might replace some MP27s that would be light enough to run on light lines in Queensland.

The NRE 1200 class were built to NG clearances and three of these are still at the factory.

These could be rebuilt with a single larger prime mover and give a light enough locomotive for QR track.

Peter
M636C
Trouble is there are several NG clearances aren't there? The 2800s on SG appeared physically smaller when standing beside NSW SG locos. I don't recall that being the case with the NRE 1200s.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

A quick look at NRE's re-build options - it has at least four narrow gauge cores on site at Mt Vernon, ex-QR 1462, 1488 and 1489, plus WAGR A1503. NRE has previously rebuilt 1460s for Chile and Kenya. Another option could be the eight un-modified, but stripped 1502s stored at FCAB's Antofagasta workshops in Chile - 1509, 1510, 1511, 1515, 1516, 1527, 1528 and 1529. The 1460 and 1502 cores probably represent the easiest option for delivering a 15.75-tonne axle load locomotive fitting QR's kinematic envelope.
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
Maybe AURIZON have some spare locos for sale given all the traffic they have lost?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Maybe AURIZON have some spare locos for sale given all the traffic they have lost?
x31

Maybe they do, but whatever it is it's going to be acquired or built and supplied via NRE. Aurizon's 2700 class rebuild program appears to be still underway despite these contract losses, so any spare 2170s, 2300s and 2470s are slowly going into that project.
  M636C Minister for Railways

"Trouble is there are several NG clearances aren't there? The 2800s on SG appeared physically smaller when standing beside NSW SG locos. I don't recall that being the case with the NRE 1200s."

The 1200s are significantly smaller than the 1100s which fit the standard SG profile.

I just checked a photo of mine which I think appeared in a recent edition of RD, showing 1202, 1201, BRM002 and G514 on Cullerin bank on 24 Feb this year. 1201's cab roof is lower than the top headlight and number boards on the rear of BRM002. And the whole loco would sit 75mm lower on narrow gauge to allow the couplers to line up.

I think the 1200s are smaller in profile than a 2800.

While NRE would be happy to rebuild older locomotives, Watco have purchased new build locomotives to date.

A version of the 1100 built to 1200 class clearances with a 12-645E3 (or a QSK 60) would be my best guess.

I think the DBZs would be too heavy even if rebuilt with a lighter engine, and might be too tall for QR clearances.

Recent Trains magazine articles suggest that the day of the genset locomotive has passed....

Peter
  james.au Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
What is the term of this agreement has anyone seen?
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

"Trouble is there are several NG clearances aren't there? The 2800s on SG appeared physically smaller when standing beside NSW SG locos. I don't recall that being the case with the NRE 1200s."

The 1200s are significantly smaller than the 1100s which fit the standard SG profile.

I just checked a photo of mine which I think appeared in a recent edition of RD, showing 1202, 1201, BRM002 and G514 on Cullerin bank on 24 Feb this year. 1201's cab roof is lower than the top headlight and number boards on the rear of BRM002. And the whole loco would sit 75mm lower on narrow gauge to allow the couplers to line up.

I think the 1200s are smaller in profile than a 2800.

While NRE would be happy to rebuild older locomotives, Watco have purchased new build locomotives to date.

A version of the 1100 built to 1200 class clearances with a 12-645E3 (or a QSK 60) would be my best guess.

I think the DBZs would be too heavy even if rebuilt with a lighter engine, and might be too tall for QR clearances.

Recent Trains magazine articles suggest that the day of the genset locomotive has passed....

Peter
M636C
Thanks for the additional info.
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .
If you’re talking NRE then think recycled EMD AR10, utex D29 or 43 tractions (narrow gauge), likely a 12-645E3 of some recycled description laid out like an EMD Export GT model (possibly with an ill conceived and poorly laid out cab) riding on rough riding Atchison 5650 bogies with NRE’s N-Force Engine Management and Control System (absolute rubbish). Combine that with an engine canopy which seems like an afterthought and matches none of the internal equipment locations and you’ll have one very rugged piece of gear held together with rough welds and a lot of spatter. God speed is all I can say.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

If you’re talking NRE then think recycled EMD AR10, utex D29 or 43 tractions (narrow gauge), likely a 12-645E3 of some recycled description laid out like an EMD Export GT model (possibly with an ill conceived and poorly laid out cab) riding on rough riding Atchison 5650 bogies with NRE’s N-Force Engine Management and Control System (absolute rubbish). Combine that with an engine canopy which seems like afterthought and matches none of the internal equipment locations and you’ll have one very rugged peice of gear held together with rough welds and a lot of splatter. God speed is all I can say.
The_trolley
Sounds perfect for the job at hand......
  M636C Minister for Railways

If you’re talking NRE then think recycled EMD AR10, utex D29 or 43 tractions (narrow gauge), likely a 12-645E3 of some recycled description laid out like an EMD Export GT model (possibly with an ill conceived and poorly laid out cab) riding on rough riding Atchison 5650 bogies with NRE’s N-Force Engine Management and Control System (absolute rubbish). Combine that with an engine canopy which seems like afterthought and matches none of the internal equipment locations and you’ll have one very rugged peice of gear held together with rough welds and a lot of splatter. God speed is all I can say.
The_trolley
But would a rebuild of a 1502 with similar equipment be better?

I'm not recommending NRE. Watco apparently placed an order with them.

Of course, the MPI units were so late that Watco got three more units in compensation.

I'd bet NRE gave an earlier delivery date...

The 5650 bogies are on all the MPI units, on the 1100s and 1200s and on the EL class...
The 442 class bogies are to the same dimensions, so on the GL and RL as well.
They must have something going for them.

Peter
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .
But would a rebuild of a 1502 with similar equipment be better?

I'm not recommending NRE. Watco apparently placed an order with them.

Of course, the MPI units were so late that Watco got three more units in compensation.

I'd bet NRE gave an earlier delivery date...

The 5650 bogies are on all the MPI units, on the 1100s and 1200s and on the EL class...
The 442 class bogies are to the same dimensions, so on the GL and RL as well.
They must have something going for them.

Peter
M636C
I don't think the 1502 rebuild idea can be taken seriously. The only reason we're mentioning it is another poster speculated that it might be an option in this thread. What's more, knowing NRE's preference for building aftermarket EMD type locomotives, I can't see an 1502 frame being long enough or suitable enough for an AR alternator, 12 cylinder 645 and associated radiators and fans. Furthermore, I don't know what would have the worse ride and adhesion qualities; the GLC bogies from a 1502 or the 5650.

On a personal level, the only reason I think the 5650 has found some level of success is that it's a cast bogie frame available at at lower price point that can be fitted with both EMD or GE traction motors and fits readily within restricted loading gauges without modification. No aftermarket locomotive builder is going to go to the extent of creating a new design or attempting to copy other licensed designs when the likes of the 5650 is available poor riding and adhesion qualities aside.

As for what Watco QLD is likely to get, I think you only need to look at the aftermarket EMD's RRL Grinrod was building in association with NRE in South Africa to get a feel for what we're possibly going to be looking at. Complete with Atchinson bogies and recycled EMD components.

On a different note, as someone who has worked very closely with the CM and 1100 classes over the past couple of years I can say that;

- The MPI CM class is a competent hauler mainly due to the QES-III System (it has it's limitations but QES-III is the only aftermarket control system that has really proven successful in our lighter weight locomotives) but they have habit of developing turbocharger faults and suffer from bad lateral movement at higher speeds (the Atchison 5650). The cabs are small and poorly laid out but the build quality is reasonable.

- The NRE 1100 class features the single worst cab design I have ever worked in while they are also deafeningly loud within the cabs, suffer from bad lateral movement at higher speeds (again, the Atchison 5650), suffer from incredibly poor build quality, are poorly laid out (the engine layshafts and water sight glasses are almost inaccessible due the hood door layout), feature a number of NRE electrical accessories which are prone to failure such as electronic fuel sensors and finally their real achilles heel is the N-Force engine management and control system which is unresponsive, prone to contactor/command signal failures and delays and is still unable to meet the load rating the locomotives were intended for after eight years of testing and adjustment by NRE. They are the single worst locomotive I have worked with having worked with most locomotives that have seen service in NSW in the last ten years and longer.

NRE struggled to supply a locomotive that met the NSW axleload requirements having designed a heavyweight frame sitting on heavy 5650 bogies and as a result had to put the 1100 on a diet on the factory floor combined with fuel reductions and small sandboxes to make it acceptable. It'll be interesting to see how they go producing something for the QLD market and particularly if it follows their preferred aftermarket EMD design principles.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

But they're very photogenic.  No really....
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

The 5650 bogie, whether it has Atchison or Americast casting marks, is sourced from Bradken in China
Metre gauge in West Africa is fairly basic, I doubt if speeds of greater than 60kph are ever exceeded

The Bolloré Group, who are hard nosed bastards at the best of time, are running 10 Mount Vernon assembled GT22CU-3 clones in West Africa, together with 4 Mount Vernon GT26CU-2 clones, with an additional 4 from the NRE/TZV Gredelj JV in Zagreb. These units have been ordered in dribs and drabs over the last 6 years, so Bolloré have kept coming back

GT22CU-3 clone
http://www.trainweb.org/railphot/Cameroun_2013/slides/3018-0041-151213.html
Last tranche landed in April, note fuel tank
http://www.railwaygazette.com/news/traction-rolling-stock/single-view/view/locomotives-arrive-in-abidjan.html
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

I don't think the 1502 rebuild idea can be taken seriously. The only reason we're mentioning it is another poster speculated that it might be an option in this thread. What's more, knowing NRE's preference for building aftermarket EMD type locomotives, I can't see an 1502 frame being long enough or suitable enough for an AR alternator, 12 cylinder 645 and associated radiators and fans. Furthermore, I don't know what would have the worse ride and adhesion qualities; the GLC bogies from a 1502 or the 5650.
The_trolley

A brave statement

the GR12 is 14.427 metres over headstocks
Perhaps you should have told Carlos Bastias at FCAB that such a conversion was not possible
https://www.flickr.com/photos/27106288@N04/4667962321/
One of 7 homemade GT22CU-3 utilising ex Colombian 3' gauge GR12 cores

The 1502 is 16.026 metres. FCAB purchased the 8 1502 cores in 2010 with the initial intention of a GT22 conversion. the guts then fell out of copper prices, tonnages dropped, and the project was abandoned. FCAB subsequently purchased new GT42AC, to keep pace with raising demand when copper prices increased

On systems where locos are governed to 50kph, rough ride does not seem to be a problem

BTW NRE still have 1462, 1488 and 1489 in stock at Mount Vernon
  M636C Minister for Railways

I don't think the 1502 rebuild idea can be taken seriously. The only reason we're mentioning it is another poster speculated that it might be an option in this thread. What's more, knowing NRE's preference for building aftermarket EMD type locomotives, I can't see an 1502 frame being long enough or suitable enough for an AR alternator, 12 cylinder 645 and associated radiators and fans. Furthermore, I don't know what would have the worse ride and adhesion qualities; the GLC bogies from a 1502 or the 5650.

On a personal level, the only reason I think the 5650 has found some level of success is that it's a cast bogie frame available at at lower price point that can be fitted with both EMD or GE traction motors and fits readily within restricted loading gauges without modification. No aftermarket locomotive builder is going to go to the extent of creating a new design or attempting to copy other licensed designs when the likes of the 5650 is available poor riding and adhesion qualities aside.

As for what Watco QLD is likely to get, I think you only need to look at the aftermarket EMD's RRL Grinrod was building in association with NRE in South Africa to get a feel for what we're possibly going to be looking at. Complete with Atchinson bogies and recycled EMD components.

On a different note, as someone who has worked very closely with the CM and 1100 classes over the past couple of years I can say that;

- The MPI CM class is a competent hauler mainly due to the QES-III System (it has it's limitations but QES-III is the only aftermarket control system that has really proven successful in our lighter weight locomotives) but they have habit of developing turbocharger faults and suffer from bad lateral movement at higher speeds (the Atchison 5650). The cabs are small and poorly laid out but the build quality is reasonable.

- The NRE 1100 class features the single worst cab design I have ever worked in while they are also deafeningly loud within the cabs, suffer from bad lateral movement at higher speeds (again, the Atchison 5650), suffer from incredibly poor build quality, are poorly laid out (the engine layshafts and water sight glasses are almost inaccessible due the hood door layout), feature a number of NRE electrical accessories which are prone to failure such as electronic fuel sensors and finally their real achilles heel is the N-Force engine management and control system which is unresponsive, prone to contactor/command signal failures and delays and is still unable to meet the load rating the locomotives were intended for after eight years of testing and adjustment by NRE. They are the single worst locomotive I have worked with having worked with most locomotives that have seen service in NSW in the last ten years and longer.

NRE struggled to supply a locomotive that met the NSW axleload requirements having designed a heavyweight frame sitting on heavy 5650 bogies and as a result had to put the 1100 on a diet on the factory floor combined with fuel reductions and small sandboxes to make it acceptable. It'll be interesting to see how they go producing something for the QLD market and particularly if it follows their preferred aftermarket EMD design principles.
The_trolley

The 5650 was an MLW design, a lightweight version of the truck developed for Canadian National with the specific intention of reducing lateral force, particularly from the leading axle of the trailing truck. Hamersley had the first of those in Australia and they were unhappy with the ride. Mt Newman wouldn't use them until Comeng refused to supply any more Alco Hi Ads and none of those were ever rebuilt by BHP as GE units. Hamersley borrowed a set of new dampers off a defective Newman M636 that had never run, and tried some expensive Koni hydraulic dampers Newman had bought for ore car trials.

But unless the dampers worked well, the MLW trucks rode badly.

The lighter version on the 442 had problems while they were working out the design of the rubber pads to operate at the lower weight of the local units. 44201 appeared at its handover with black painted wooden blocks in place of the not yet supplied rubber pads. Even the 80 class had two different arrangements of lateral dampers so I'm not surprised that neither NRE nor MPI have got it right yet.

But it is pretty good as far as adhesion is concerned.

The 1502, like the WAGR AB, had the D32 generator which I think is the same size as an AR 10 (unlike the 1460, A and AA which had the smaller D25.) You might lose the rear walkway to accommodate the bigger radiators for a 12-645E3. The GLC has poorer adhesion than a 5650 and doesn't have reputation for a good ride.

I haven't heard anything good about NRE's control systems.

But Watco appear to have gone with NRE and they are the biggest user of MPI units in Australia,

Peter
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .
Jmt,

I realised after I posted that a GT22 would fit on the 1502 frame. I had in my mind the dimensions of a GT26 when I was posting. My bad. In saying though, I’d be very surprised if they went to effort of sourcing the 1502’s in Chile or rebuilding the three locomotives in the US as opposed to a new build especially when you take into account the GT22’s you posted.

M636,

Very interesting, thanks. On a personal level I don’t believe the MPI product to be all that brilliant either as Watco may or may not be finding. In particular the Cunmins QSK engine seems to be a weakpoint. All in all though, they are reasonable locomotive when working properly.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
I wonder if Watco is talking to Tasrail about the 2050s as well.
After all, they bought the two D's from them.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Jmt,

I realised after I posted that a GT22 would fit on the 1502 frame. I had in my mind the dimensions of a GT26 when I was posting. My bad. In saying though, I’d be very surprised if they went to effort of sourcing the 1502’s in Chile or rebuilding the three locomotives in the US as opposed to a new build especially when you take into account the GT22’s you posted.
The_trolley

Fair comment

I was only using FCAB as an example

NRE also have a pair of 1460 in their South African hire fleet

They have subcontracted a lot of their overseas work to TZV Gredelj in Zagreb since 2007. This partnership has exported around 80 locos so far

NRE own GT22HW-2 core stored in Croatia, these would build into sub 94.5 tonne Cape gauge GT22CU-3, but if they would fit into the Qld loading gauge is a moot point
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EMD_GT22HW-2

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