NSW Electric Locomotive operation

 
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
G'day,
I have created this thread to continue the discussion of NSW electric locomotives.
I have managed to unearth my WET (Working of Electric Trains) book amongst the clutter.
In regard to the number of pantographs raised;
When running Light Engine, for one and up to three units, Only ONE pan is to be raised anywhere on the network.
Single unit working a train anywhere on the Main Line network, Both pans to be raised.
Two units working a train;
I pan per unit within the Metrop (subsequently inner metrop region).
Train speed below 90 kph; Both pans between; Nepean River (Penrith) and Lithgow; Rhodes and Gosford; Liverpool and Glenlee.
Train speed above 90 kph; One pan between Rhodes and Gosford; Liverpool and Glenlee.
Train speed above 90 kph not permitted between Nepean River and Lithgow.
Three units working a train;
One pan within the Metrop; Rhodes and Gosford; Liverpool and Glenlee; Katoomba and Lithgow.
Both pans between Nepean River and Katoomba; and on the UP, between Lithgow and Newnes Junction.
For THREE units in multiple, Parallel motor combination shall not be operated.
The date of my WET book is prior to the introduction of the 85 and 86 class, so would only refer to the 46 class.
However, my Western WTT dated 1985 refers to the WET book Regulation 5 pages 173 / 174.
Plus, my Metropolitan WTT dated 1987 also refers to the WET book Regulation 5 pages 173 / 174.
I presume that WET Regulation 5 remained as detailed in my copy.
The 1987 WTT also stipulates that the load for THREE electric units working between the Metrop and Gosford may only be that as tabled for TWO units.
In regards to LOADS for electric locomotives;
For the City Underground, no distinction is made as to specific class.
The maximum load of 615 tonne is permitted, except for Central to North Sydney being 410 tonne (1 in 30 grade onto The Coathanger).
A single 46 class may haul a maximum load of;
615 tonne to Cowan;
410 tonne from Valley Heights to Katoomba (715 tonne when assisted) (765 tonne if train length reduced from equal to 60 down to 45 and assisted).
560 tonne from Lithgow to Zig Zag (615 tonne if train length is reduced from equal to 70 to 60).
The equal to length being in four wheel S truck equivalents.
A single 85 / 86 class may haul a maximum load of;
800 tonne between Enfield and Cowan;
600 tonne from Valley Heights to Katoomba (1000 tonne if assisted by a single 46 class) (1200 tonne if assisted by two 46 class or one 85/86 class).
765 tonne from Lithgow to Zig Zag.
Subsequent ROVA MECH telegrams permitted the operation of train loads in excess of that stipulated under the WTTs.
Those Rova Mechs also stipulating the maximum traction amps and motor combinations permitted.
The first dated Rova Mech that I can unearth that details the working of a coalie from Lithgow with Quad units is 22nd july 1987.
This was purely for test purposes and details the train load of being 31 NHFF / NHJF type coal hoppers.
This test permitted the train WB7178 to be worked by TWO 86 class plus TWO 85 class assisting on the front to Mount Victoria.
Motor combination restricted to SERIES and ONE pantograph only to be raised per unit.
Both the train units plus assist units being manned.
The train continuing from Mount Victoria with the two 86 class.
I also possess a Rova Mech dated 23 Nov 1991 detailing the working of train 8331 by THREE 86 class.
A train load of 1572 tonne with 28 bogie vehicles.
Granville to Emu Plains; either Parallel to a Max of 400 amps, OR Series Parallel to a Max of 600 amps permitted.
Emu to Valley Heights; either Parallel to a Max of 550 amps, OR Series Parallel to a Max of 800 amps permitted.
Valley to Katoomba; Series Parallel to a Max of 800 amps, Reduced to 725 amps between Wentworth Falls and Leura.
Katoomba to Lithgow; either Parallel to a Max of 500 amps, OR Series Parallel to a Max of 750 amps permitted.
Reducing amps (not specified) between 136.0 km and 137.0 km due to low substation output.
Should the temperature exceed 30C then Valley to Katoomba only Series with weakfields combination permitted.
A power margin of 20 minutes must apply between multiple unit trains.
My 1985 Western WTT only stipulates a load for Single or Double 85 / 86 class units.
With the exception of trains being assisted from Lithgow to Zig Zag; Bell or Mount Victoria.
And trains assisted from Valley Heights to Katoomba.
Rova Mech dated 31st Oct 1997 permits the TRIAL over two months for coalies with 33 hoppers working between Port Kembla and Baal Bone.
Lithgow to Zig Zag, Two train units with Two assist units 85 / 86 class.
Zig Zag to Enfield, Two train units.
Enfield to Waterfall, Two train units with Two assist units.
Waterfall to Port Kembla, Two train units.
No traction amp restrictions are stipulated, but would comply with those earler detailed.
I remember that when coalies were increased to 33 hoppers, some dramas occurred when being assisted on the front to Zig Zag.
The assist units detached at signal 93.6 (Zig Zag UP Starter), to cross over to the Down Main.
With a large portion of the coalie still sitting on the 1 in 42 grade, many trains struggled to get mobile.
Banking did not resolve the situation as the train was still required to stop at signal 93.6 to permit the bankers to detach.
Hence, after some numerous trials, a system of NON Air banking was developed expressly for Zig Zag.
A chain was attached to the bank locos which held the auto knuckle coupler lift bar raised.
This prevented the banker auto knuckle from locking shut.
The train tail light marker had to be relocated to prevent being crushed.
But, after some fell out en route, an adapter bracket was designed to elevate the tail light sufficiently above the couplers.
The bankers would approach the train in Lithgow and ensure that the coupler did not lock shut.
When the train was granted permission to depart, the Bankers had to power up first to ensure remaining in contact.
Upon passing signal 93.8, the Bankers would shut off power to permit the train to continue without stopping.
The Train units taking second gear (Series Parallel) after also passing signal 93.8 while still being banked.
The Bankers would then slam on the brakes to stop at signal 93.6 to await the train to clear the overlap for signal 93.6.
If for some reason, the bankers did not break free from the train, they had to continue with the train to Mount Victoria.
After some initial hiccups, this method did succeed and was employed until through working by Quad units was introduced.
I don't remember ever seeing a Rova Mech, or Rova Safe being issued which granted permission for this NON air method.
Some time ago, I made diagrams for the controls of the 46 and 86 class.
Basic, but should explain the details.
Steve.

Sponsored advertisement

  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Thanks for such an interesting and detailed post.
  Groover Train Controller

Location: A long way from home
Thanks for a great piece of information.  Did anyone see or photograph 2 x 46 class assisting an 86 out of Valley Heights?  Now I know I can do it on my layout!  Looks like I have to order 2 X 85 class from Auscision to run with my 2 86 class.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
Re Bank Engine working Lithgow to Zig Zag, I was under the impression that when a 44 class was used it was NOT attached to the train as per the usual Bank Engine working but would stop above the Reverse Crossover Points the same as the Pilot did and when they were reversed, return to Coal Stage.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Re Bank Engine working Lithgow to Zig Zag, I was under the impression that when a 44 class was used it was NOT attached to the train as per the usual Bank Engine working but would stop above the Reverse Crossover Points the same as the Pilot did and when they were reversed, return to Coal Stage.
gordon_s1942
If an engine without the bank engine pin was fitted to the cow catcher to hold the jaw of the auto's open they had to be coupled to the last vehicle on the train. From my knowledge only branch line engines such as the 48 & 49class had them attached to both end catchers, but I believe that the 47cl also had them fitted

They were swung up from their horizontal position and into a welded on upside down U piece on the uncoupler arm, a screw threaded L shaped round metal pin was then secured on the outside of the BE block pin to stop it falling out. At the appointed location, the banker simply shut off and dropped the train.

Bank engine working with Main line engines such as we had at WCK with the 81's, and the updated 45/35's had the bankers coupled to the rear with the BP hoses connected and opened. A pad on the eastern side of the tunnel was where the train stopped for the bankers to be uncoupled and return to WT.

Other aspect that main line engines could not bank in the rear if guards vans or light vehicles were the last vehicle on the train.
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
G'day,
The links to my Railpage Australia™ gallery photos does not appear to be working.
I will attempt another link and see if the diagram images appear.
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/pictures/110203/46%20class%20controls.JPG
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/pictures/110203/86%20class%20controls.JPG
Steve.
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
Ok, those links appear to work.
As to banking to Zig Zag, it would depend upon the era and type of train and train load.
It was verboten to bank NON air for a period.
Plus, it was also verboten to bank to Zig Zag when empty wagons existed in the train, until tests were performed, I think on the Unanderra to Moss Vale line.
That being to permit rear train assistance when multi-pack empty wagons were in the consist.
Plus, what arrangements had been worked out with the signalman at Coal Stage after Zig Zag box was made remote control.
Yes, there are two ways to cross over to the Down Main at Zig Zag.
But, both require passing Zig Zag UP Starter, 93.6.
Either waiting for the train to clear the overlap to be granted the calling on (shunt ahead depending upon era), or the time release to reverse the first set of points.
Either method could be used as a rail clean, if nothing had crossed over for a period.
Banking with 81 class were also verboten to Zig Zag for a period due to the Super Series.
But, that was relaxed after the 80 class ceased working western coalies.
I will cut and paste a couple of the posts made to another thread concerning the NSW electric loco operations.
The Illawarra was the first to be upgraded with double contact wire, from my vintage memory.
That permitted raising both pans on the unit.
The Blue Mountains had double catenary, maintaining the single contact wire.
But, that reduced friction on the contact wire shoving it as it was more stable.
However, the MAXIMUM number of pans raised permitted anywhere on the network was 6.
So, when we went to quad units on coalies, only single plans per unit could be raised.
The No Volt Relay problem did occur, but thankfully not on the climb to Zig Zag.
The overhead supply is not affected by the number of pans per unit raised.
But, is definitely limited to the number of units in multiple and the motor combination there fore permitted.
Some of the substations on steep sections had increased line voltage to prevent pulling the power on slow heavy freights.
But, you could still exceed the limits and pull the power.
When ever the line volts dropped down around 1000, you were in jeopardy.
The substation would trip out at 900 - 950 volts.
An 8 car interurban was regarded as the equivalent of two electrics.
So, when following another train up the Hill, a power margin was imposed to prevent the two trains entering the same overhead section.
With quad units, climbing to Zig Zag we were only permitted Series (first gear) full field (no weakfields) and a max amperage of 900.
You had to remain above 11 kph or risk going back into resistance on one or more of the units.
Through the ten tunnels to Newnes Junction, only Series with four weakfields to a max of 900 amps.
Then from Newnes to Enfield, Series Parallel (second gear) full field (no weakies) to a max of 750 amps.
You multiply the number of traction motors in circuit by the traction amps displayed on the cab load meter to achieve the full amperage.
Three units in Series showing 600 amps on the gauge is drawing a total of 1800 amps from the substation.
Three units in Parallel showing 700 amps on the gauge is attempting to draw a total of 6300 amps.
Series, all motors in circuit; Series Parallel, two banks of three motors; Parallel, three banks of two motors.
Metrop substations were generally set for a max of 4000 amps, while Mountains substations set for a max of 5000 amps.
And when going downhill, the max regen permitted was 2100 amps.
With coalies increased to 3300 tonne, the units were over the load on the climb to Zig Zag.
85/86 class load for Zig Zag 765 tonne per unit.
During winter time, it was a definite struggle.
The 85 class were slightly different to the 86'ers in that the 86'ers would automatically reduce amperage when traction motor over current was occurring..
The 85 class would stop powering for up to 15 minutes if resistance overheat was happening.
So, in multiple, the 85 class had to lead an 86 class so that the driver could notice when traction motor over amperage was gong to occur.
Another unsavory facet of having all pans raised, was during winter time.
Overhead arcing would occur regularly due to ice and water on the contact wire.
Not good during night time.
With only rear pans raised, you didn't cop the arcing flash in the cab.
I got carried away there with nostalgia.
I did enjoy working the electrics.
That might be enough waffle for today.
Steve.
  gordon_s1942 Chief Commissioner

Location: Central Tablelands of NSW
On aggravating problem we had when the Pilot was returned from the UP to Down Main ready to proceed back to Lithgow was the way the Track was circuited.
I cant remember the signal number but if you couldnt get the Pilot passed it, it locked the TRAILING crossover and you could NOT reverse it to let the UP Train go.
The track circuit was at least double the length of an Engine.

During the time the UP Main was closed and the Pilot had to use the Facing Crossover, this problem didnt apply.

In later years they extended Down Receptions as well as altering the operation of the Signals.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Ok, those links appear to work.
As to banking to Zig Zag, it would depend upon the era and type of train and train load.
It was verboten to bank NON air for a period.
Plus, it was also verboten to bank to Zig Zag when empty wagons existed in the train, until tests were performed, I think on the Unanderra to Moss Vale line.
That being to permit rear train assistance when multi-pack empty wagons were in the consist.
Plus, what arrangements had been worked out with the signalman at Coal Stage after Zig Zag box was made remote control.
Yes, there are two ways to cross over to the Down Main at Zig Zag.
But, both require passing Zig Zag UP Starter, 93.6.
Either waiting for the train to clear the overlap to be granted the calling on (shunt ahead depending upon era), or the time release to reverse the first set of points.
Either method could be used as a rail clean, if nothing had crossed over for a period.
Banking with 81 class were also verboten to Zig Zag for a period due to the Super Series.
But, that was relaxed after the 80 class ceased working western coalies.
I will cut and paste a couple of the posts made to another thread concerning the NSW electric loco operations.
The Illawarra was the first to be upgraded with double contact wire, from my vintage memory.
That permitted raising both pans on the unit.
The Blue Mountains had double catenary, maintaining the single contact wire.
But, that reduced friction on the contact wire shoving it as it was more stable.
However, the MAXIMUM number of pans raised permitted anywhere on the network was 6.
So, when we went to quad units on coalies, only single plans per unit could be raised.
The No Volt Relay problem did occur, but thankfully not on the climb to Zig Zag.
The overhead supply is not affected by the number of pans per unit raised.
But, is definitely limited to the number of units in multiple and the motor combination there fore permitted.
Some of the substations on steep sections had increased line voltage to prevent pulling the power on slow heavy freights.
But, you could still exceed the limits and pull the power.
When ever the line volts dropped down around 1000, you were in jeopardy.
The substation would trip out at 900 - 950 volts.
An 8 car interurban was regarded as the equivalent of two electrics.
So, when following another train up the Hill, a power margin was imposed to prevent the two trains entering the same overhead section.
With quad units, climbing to Zig Zag we were only permitted Series (first gear) full field (no weakfields) and a max amperage of 900.
You had to remain above 11 kph or risk going back into resistance on one or more of the units.
Through the ten tunnels to Newnes Junction, only Series with four weakfields to a max of 900 amps.
Then from Newnes to Enfield, Series Parallel (second gear) full field (no weakies) to a max of 750 amps.
You multiply the number of traction motors in circuit by the traction amps displayed on the cab load meter to achieve the full amperage.
Three units in Series showing 600 amps on the gauge is drawing a total of 1800 amps from the substation.
Three units in Parallel showing 700 amps on the gauge is attempting to draw a total of 6300 amps.
Series, all motors in circuit; Series Parallel, two banks of three motors; Parallel, three banks of two motors.
Metrop substations were generally set for a max of 4000 amps, while Mountains substations set for a max of 5000 amps.
And when going downhill, the max regen permitted was 2100 amps.
With coalies increased to 3300 tonne, the units were over the load on the climb to Zig Zag.
85/86 class load for Zig Zag 765 tonne per unit.
During winter time, it was a definite struggle.
The 85 class were slightly different to the 86'ers in that the 86'ers would automatically reduce amperage when traction motor over current was occurring..
The 85 class would stop powering for up to 15 minutes if resistance overheat was happening.
So, in multiple, the 85 class had to lead an 86 class so that the driver could notice when traction motor over amperage was gong to occur.
Another unsavory facet of having all pans raised, was during winter time.
Overhead arcing would occur regularly due to ice and water on the contact wire.
Not good during night time.
With only rear pans raised, you didn't cop the arcing flash in the cab.
I got carried away there with nostalgia.
I did enjoy working the electrics.
That might be enough waffle for today.
Steve.
aussiealco
Steve I was driver at PTK 78-82 prior to going to WCK where I ended up as Branch Secretary and #4 District Divisional Councillor for NW & New England depots.

At PTK, I never saw any of the empty train working on the Mountain to MV, that were banked.  Generally speaking all the empty Medway limestone trains, and any empty bogies for Victoria for steel would have, especially on some block empties had two engines up front usually all the way.

The Sunday night/Monday morning Limestone train that started the weeks program off, often had only one engine on the front as they picked the second one up at MV.  

The primary issue back then was the BV's were still on the train, so a main liner was not permitted to push.  Same at WCK on the Ardglen bankers, only when the vans came off was it permitted, but the engines had to be coupled to the train with the air through. Cut on the MDI side of the range.  I also did the tests on those trains, but finished end of 88.

Overall though even with the BV's gone, empties were still not permitted to be banked by any mainliner, things change and when that happened I have no idea. Thing is that many of the coalies in the HV these days are push pull with 2 on the front and one on the rear, loaded, with the single running lead on some trains.
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
G'day Gordon and A6ET,
Stick 93.5U was the one on the UP at Zig Zag that you had to get in behind to be able to cross over to the Down.
I forget when the walkway was extended, but with two pilots, you initially had to clamber out onto the brick rampart for the cess.
Then hoof down it and to the west end cab.
During wet weather and winter that brick rampart got very slippery.
Climbing down in the 6 foot side was not a good idea, but I have done it when nothing was around on the Down.
Ah, the good ole days when SHE was not bludgeoned into everyone.
The test for shoving multi-pack empties up Dombarton was either at the very end of Freightcorp, or at the start of PN era.
I forget the exact date.
The test proved that banking could be permitted on empties down to 17 tonne (I think), spliced amongst loads.
The banking situation with various motive power would have been dependent upon draft gear type (heavy, medium, light).
And, the load of the train to be shoved.
Banking being previously prohibited with trains comprising empties amongst loads, also being a facet of horsepower being utilized for assist.
Similar to the use of dynamic (or regen) when empties existed in the front 10 % of the train load.
I also remember the restrictions imposed on units that transitioned with medium draft gear HAD to lead units that did not transition.
Great for the photographer with a 44 on the front of 81 class on coalies.
Probably not for the cohorts.
Though, I always enjoyed having a 44 up front when working to and from Charbon.
Anyhoo, I will put a link to a cab photo that I took of the cab of an 86 class at LMC showing the controls.
http://s3.amazonaws.com/rrpa_photos/110203/86%20class%20cab.JPG
Steve.
  a6et Minister for Railways

G'day Gordon and A6ET,
Stick 93.5U was the one on the UP at Zig Zag that you had to get in behind to be able to cross over to the Down.
I forget when the walkway was extended, but with two pilots, you initially had to clamber out onto the brick rampart for the cess.
Then hoof down it and to the west end cab.
During wet weather and winter that brick rampart got very slippery.
Climbing down in the 6 foot side was not a good idea, but I have done it when nothing was around on the Down.
Ah, the good ole days when SHE was not bludgeoned into everyone.
The test for shoving multi-pack empties up Dombarton was either at the very end of Freightcorp, or at the start of PN era.
I forget the exact date.
The test proved that banking could be permitted on empties down to 17 tonne (I think), spliced amongst loads.
The banking situation with various motive power would have been dependent upon draft gear type (heavy, medium, light).
And, the load of the train to be shoved.
Banking being previously prohibited with trains comprising empties amongst loads, also being a facet of horsepower being utilized for assist.
Similar to the use of dynamic (or regen) when empties existed in the front 10 % of the train load.
I also remember the restrictions imposed on units that transitioned with medium draft gear HAD to lead units that did not transition.
Great for the photographer with a 44 on the front of 81 class on coalies.
Probably not for the cohorts.
Though, I always enjoyed having a 44 up front when working to and from Charbon.
Anyhoo, I will put a link to a cab photo that I took of the cab of an 86 class at LMC showing the controls.
http://s3.amazonaws.com/rrpa_photos/110203/86%20class%20cab.JPG
Steve.
aussiealco
Bit of a tacky cab, though looks better than the 46's.  Notice the old style Vigo button on the floor as well, used to the type on the MK1 44's.

Sounds like yuze musta had the same people in charge for the change end at ZZ that we had with the fight at Ardglen for a proper walk way when detaching off trains.  The sight chosen had around a metre from the ballast to large falling embankment, that you would readily stop around 30metres down the side at the point of where you would encounter the safety fence, constructed of barbed wire strands over diamond type fencing wire, mostly rusted out.

With the threat of a ban on the working the head of branch at the time who had never set foot, or known to have anyway in the area, inspected the site and a good length pad with bombo dust, retaining wall, and large lights to illuminate the area was agreed to and it was a good effort really, but care in the winter as rain affected areas even on the dust could pool and freeze, making it possible to skate along it.
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
G'day A6ET,
I only swung the banjo over a week-end of shuttles to Wang and back on a soot belcher in 1991.
3112, and I have no idea what brake valve was on it.
We did have the basic number 4 on Little Toot, X207.
The shot of the 86 cab was taken after many of them started rusting to the rails.
They were naturally NOT upgraded with the "Beresfield Vigo".
I had to do battle over that dingus being the only union cab committee rep available due to the Glenbrook inquest being on at the time.
The button you can squiz on the 86 cab floor would be the sand pedal.
As to the pilot at Zig Zag, from memory, it was hinted that attempting to change ends was not a good idea after a while.
So, the scheme concocted was for the second person to jump up in the west cab after detaching from the train.
When the pilots had halted, either on the UP Main, or swung across to the Down Main, the driver would cut out and the second person cut in.
The second person working the pilots across from the UP Main to return to Lithgow.
There was a bit of a level walkway on the Down where you could stop and the driver rejoin the second person.
And, if you swung over to the Down from 93.6, then you could change ends on the level bit up near the number 10 tunnel.
Provided that you accomplished afore the train commenced to climb towards the tunnels on the UP.
I have uploaded a photo that I took from the train after the pilots had crossed over for the return to Lithgow;
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/pictures/110203/SRA%208634%20pilot%20Zig%20Zag%2023%20may%201989.JPG
Working the pilot/banker was fun most of the time.
We even halted one day to pick blackberries on the way back to Oaky Park.
Nothing on the Down, but we had to grab a bag full also for the pointcop at Coalstage.
What we didn't know was the perway had sprayed them blackberries the day prior.
The plants had not turned brown at that stage.
Them blackberries were yummy, but all three of us were very crook the next day and on sickies.
Steve.
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
I will also cut and past a comment that I had posted to another thread.
This thread is more appropriate for the operational details.
The 86 class had severely cracked frames due to being over the load with the 3300 tonner coalies climbing to Zig Zag.
Many of the cab doors would not stay latched shut, such was the extend of the stretch cracks.
The 85 class didn't seem to suffer as badly, but got kyboshed a year earlier.
Both the 85 and 86 class COULD NOT do something that the Metro Vickers butter boxes (46 class) could.
Motor in regen.
With a light load train and on easy grades, you could set up the 46ers in Series Parallel regenerative brake when going down the first hill.
And, then when they got to the bottom of that hill, they would drop out of regen and commence powering.
LOOK MUM, no hands.
This was only possible in Series Parallel and Series motor combos, not in Parallel.
And, you could not get weakies, just full field.
So, it was slow.
But, was fun when you had the time and could just sit there and enjoy the scenery.
Them butter boxes were naturally manual relays, where as the 85 and 86 class have pilot motor driven cam shafts for notching out of resistance, plus weakies and regen.
You could only get into regen on them by shutting off power and engaging regen.
Plus, you could not go back into resistance after having notched out with 85's or 86'ers without shutting off power.
That is unless train speed got down below the full field maintaining speed.
The old butter boxes were hideous toward the end of their use by date.
So modified that no two units were fully identical.
But, they were fun to drive.
On a slow haul up a steep grade, while in resistance, you could reinstate a bank to reduce power to the traction motors if a wheel slip or spin occurred.
The 85 and 86er controller notching was;
Notch One, starting full resistance, and step down notch.
Notch Two, holding notch.
Notch Three, step up notch.
Notch Four, full field.
Weakfield zone of equivalent of 4 weakfields.
Notch Five, motor combination transition.
So, to get going in Series, take notch one, and then notch two and up to notch three to remove a bank of resistance.
Then back to notch Two until motor amps steadies.
Then up to Notch three to remove a further bank, and back to Notch two to hold.
This being repeated until sufficient amps would hold the train after the brakes were released.
Release the train brakes and then continue to slowly notch out of resistance.
If a wheel slip occurs, the go down to Notch One to reinstate a bank of resistance to stop the slipping and return to Notch Two.
Once all resistance is notched out, it was either 9 or 10 banks of resistance, I forget, go for weakies.
On a light load train on a light grade, you could simply whip the controller around into Notch Four and let it step out automatically.
Once train speed has increased to permit transition, around 20 kph to attempt Series Parallel and around 40 - 50 kph for Parallel, go into Notch Five and return to Notch 4.
Better fun than simply whipping a diesel throttle up through the notches to get it to move.
So, if you have already read this, I apologize.
Steve.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Wouldn't you think cracked frames were more an issue of stretched frames as in tension rather than compression ?
My experience was that the rail conditions were poor up Zig Zag so they probably weren't giving their all anyway , due to traction issues . They used to make terrible noises shuddering and banging over the tight curves and corrugations in that area .
I tend to think that four of them head ending coal trains on the Illawarra or possibly Cowan Bank (tension rather than compression) would be a more probable cause of fatigue cracking .
Also in my experience banking is not an issue if you have the chain pin lifting devices like 86s had in that era , or pneumatic pin lifting gear like used on other locos in various places in Oz .

Back in the day I would never have swapped 81s for 86s because you opened them up - and no restrictions .
Back then Lithgow had a love of 80s I suppose because they were "the big engine" at the time .
86s had spartan cabs and were dust magnets (Blower fans) and the Bostrom seats were atrocious .

Electric locomotives fell from grace for two reasons .
Firstly Rail Corp (or whatever at the time) suddenly realised they could charge a motza when they remembered these were no longer in government hands .
Also electrics are as useless as a pregnant Moose when the OHW ends . Sooo (again in the day) at Lithgow Broadmeadow Glenlea and I think Unanderra , game over .
It was time wasting and inconvenient to change crews and locos to diesels to go further . Ultimately further could be Nowra Melbourne Perth or Brisbane .

I distinctly remember working in the Loco Design office at Transport House in the middle 1980s and the "plan" was to have all diesels out of the metrop within 10 years . History has proven otherwise .

With AC diesels like TTs and 93s , three can easily drag 4500 odd tonnes up Como Loftus and no doubt Zig Zag .
I've had a 93 up Como and Loftus in the dry pulling 1800T and it felt like it could go forever .
3 81s never seemed to have issues on the 3100T coal trains either - other than noise .

86s and Butter Boxes have had their day , really their only value is on work trains in tunnels .
  a6et Minister for Railways

G'day A6ET,
I only swung the banjo over a week-end of shuttles to Wang and back on a soot belcher in 1991.
3112, and I have no idea what brake valve was on it.
We did have the basic number 4 on Little Toot, X207.
The shot of the 86 cab was taken after many of them started rusting to the rails.
They were naturally NOT upgraded with the "Beresfield Vigo".
I had to do battle over that dingus being the only union cab committee rep available due to the Glenbrook inquest being on at the time.
The button you can squiz on the 86 cab floor would be the sand pedal.
As to the pilot at Zig Zag, from memory, it was hinted that attempting to change ends was not a good idea after a while.
So, the scheme concocted was for the second person to jump up in the west cab after detaching from the train.
When the pilots had halted, either on the UP Main, or swung across to the Down Main, the driver would cut out and the second person cut in.
The second person working the pilots across from the UP Main to return to Lithgow.
There was a bit of a level walkway on the Down where you could stop and the driver rejoin the second person.
And, if you swung over to the Down from 93.6, then you could change ends on the level bit up near the number 10 tunnel.
Provided that you accomplished afore the train commenced to climb towards the tunnels on the UP.
I have uploaded a photo that I took from the train after the pilots had crossed over for the return to Lithgow;
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/pictures/110203/SRA%208634%20pilot%20Zig%20Zag%2023%20may%201989.JPG
Working the pilot/banker was fun most of the time.
We even halted one day to pick blackberries on the way back to Oaky Park.
Nothing on the Down, but we had to grab a bag full also for the pointcop at Coalstage.
What we didn't know was the perway had sprayed them blackberries the day prior.
The plants had not turned brown at that stage.
Them blackberries were yummy, but all three of us were very crook the next day and on sickies.
Steve.
aussiealco
Steve a bit of old style ribbing with the vigo on the floor, as it was how they were fitted on the 44cl originally, both on the floor and on the windscreen dash.  We had a couple of fellows who could work them using the windscreen wiper lever inside the cab, tie some cord to it with a heavy block and turn on slow, as the wipers went across it either dropped the weight onto the peddle and then lifted it off.  One fellow got caught and so the peddle was removed and the primary reason the hold in pressure vigo's were removed as well as the treddle.

30cl, 32. 35, 36. standard goods loco's along with all the early steam loco's were fitted with the #4 BV including the 57's, very simple but I actually loved it especially on pax workings as you could jivey the brakes off for a lovely smooth stop. Like those steamers the X200 also had the #4 but also fitted with a straight air brake for the engine only, that also was on the 36 and 57cl.

On the main north between Murulla and Blandford on the down side there was a huge peach tree in a very convenient location, strangely it never got fly in the fruit and control always wondered why the trains got delayed with sticking brakes on the trains during that season.  There was another one between MDI and Pangella but you needed to get them early owing to fly.

That wooden platform would have been great in winter with heavy frost.  Certainly was not there in my Enfield/Delec days but the surrounds are quit familiar though.  Many of the trains we were assisted on went through to Newnes Jct to cut off.
  a6et Minister for Railways

Wouldn't you think cracked frames were more an issue of stretched frames as in tension rather than compression ?
My experience was that the rail conditions were poor up Zig Zag so they probably weren't giving their all anyway , due to traction issues . They used to make terrible noises shuddering and banging over the tight curves and corrugations in that area .
I tend to think that four of them head ending coal trains on the Illawarra or possibly Cowan Bank (tension rather than compression) would be a more probable cause of fatigue cracking .
Also in my experience banking is not an issue if you have the chain pin lifting devices like 86s had in that era , or pneumatic pin lifting gear like used on other locos in various places in Oz .

Back in the day I would never have swapped 81s for 86s because you opened them up - and no restrictions .
Back then Lithgow had a love of 80s I suppose because they were "the big engine" at the time .
86s had spartan cabs and were dust magnets (Blower fans) and the Bostrom seats were atrocious .

Electric locomotives fell from grace for two reasons .
Firstly Rail Corp (or whatever at the time) suddenly realised they could charge a motza when they remembered these were no longer in government hands .
Also electrics are as useless as a pregnant Moose when the OHW ends . Sooo (again in the day) at Lithgow Broadmeadow Glenlea and I think Unanderra , game over .
It was time wasting and inconvenient to change crews and locos to diesels to go further . Ultimately further could be Nowra Melbourne Perth or Brisbane .

I distinctly remember working in the Loco Design office at Transport House in the middle 1980s and the "plan" was to have all diesels out of the metrop within 10 years . History has proven otherwise .

With AC diesels like TTs and 93s , three can easily drag 4500 odd tonnes up Como Loftus and no doubt Zig Zag .
I've had a 93 up Como and Loftus in the dry pulling 1800T and it felt like it could go forever .
3 81s never seemed to have issues on the 3100T coal trains either - other than noise .

86s and Butter Boxes have had their day , really their only value is on work trains in tunnels .
BDA
Peter the reason why the western crews, not just Lithgow but those working west of OGE to BH wanted them owing to the cabs being air conditioned, cannot blame them for their action in threatening to not work non air conditioned loco's past Parkes in the summer.

I was on loan at Parkes for a month in 1970 when the SG opened, and the trip to Ivanhoe was terrible was you either had 45 or 421's both were terrible, one of my last trips before returning to WCK was on 620 the up fast freight, and return on the Indian Pacific from Bx. On signing on and walking to the station, my Parkes driver looked at the engines at the station and came out saying "what's that at the station?"  Looking I could see it was a 44cl which I told him. his response was he had never been on one.

At the station we found senior inspector Cedric Fraser who was riding the 2x mk2 44's on #1 to see how they went, knowing it was a Parkes crew he had requested at least one crew member to be familiar with the 44cl which was me. As time would have it the test was successful and meant the withdrawal of the 421's firstly and the 45's when the reallocation was complete.

Thing sticks with me is the amount of power that was dropped in the Mk2's when transitioning up or down at 22mph, on Tumulla you could feel the engines dropping back against the train, don't know what it would have been like in the carriages. With that Cedric advised keeping below transition up the 1:40's until the grade eased and to go through, thing was the drop off was still bad as both of them did it at the same or almost the same time.
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
G'day BDA and A6ET,
Yes, I remember the name Cedric Fraser, though forget IF or when I may have encountered him.
Similarly, Alan Corby, who ended up at Cowra with the LVR.
As to 81 class, PHOOEY !
Noisy ear ache things.
And, them AN AL things were hideous for noise in the cab, when through running to and from Parkes.
I remember the whinging about the 81 class number two end cab HEAT, especially before the internal door was added.
Engineroom heat pervading via the air con vents and door seals.
Belting across the Speedway with a single Butter Box on a Mountains Red Set with the cab doors open during summer.
Standing up and holding on to the handbrake to prevent from tumbling out the door.
Them old kidney puncher seats not comfortable at any speed.
Dust swirling in.
NOW that was fun.
And, you can also have yer computerized modern day dingi.
Cop a computer glitch or electrical fault, and yer marvelous AC traction quickly comes to a standstill.
YES, AC traction can grind along at painfully slow speeds without melting traction motors.
No short time ratings on AC traction.
But, DC traction is still superior for freight SPEED.
Give me an 86'er any day to play with.
I still DON'T know what a Code 66 shut down is on a stupid 82 class.
Copped that heading down the hill one nite on a coalie.
After many minutes thumping the stupid computer screen and tinkering inside the engineroom, I gave UP.
Phoned Ready Power and they could not offer any info or solution.
Had to detach it and reduce the train load at Clyde on the way through.
Give me an 86'er any day.
Get the cam shafts jammed, just stop, drop the pans and go into the high tension room and spin the cam shafts.
Had to perform that a couple of times for the driver bow-ins not fully ofay with electrics.
Also had to tickle the "piano keys" in a Butter Box one time when me driver got it stuck in dynamic.
Yes, changing transition on 86'ers with the Silver Streak did require some attention to detail.
But, them AN CLP things were absolutely HIDEOUS with transition.
As are the stupid 82 class.
THUMP.
Talk about shove the cattle about.
With 44 class, I figured out that if the train load was under around 350 tonne, you could stomp up Tumulla without backward transition.
Naturally, the train length also playing a part on the curves.
I don't recall working the Silver Streak with a pair of 44s.
But, did have a 44 on the front of an 80 class on a number of occasions.
That combo seemed to stomp up Tumulla ok.
Tumulla box going in 1987, thereby no need to slow down to exchange ETS pegs no more.
But, I do hafta admit that suffering a ground relay up the number one end of a 44 class was like a shot gun blast.
A number of blokes preferred the number two end cab of a 44 class due to no contactor noise.
I remember one back shift shed when I especially marshalled the trio of 44 class in ascending numeric order elephant style.
I planned to crawl out of bed early and go out to take pot shots at the train, 8331 from memory.
I stupidly did not bother to check the roster to find out who the crew were.
Was I annoyed when the train hove into view with the lead 44 having been spun and now facing number two end cab.
I won't mention that driver's name, but he was notorious for working 44's number two end.
I spent a week cloistered inside Transport House for the safe working review of changes proposed for the Olympics.
Three of us drivers, me representing Freightcorp and freight mobs in general.
So, I know what Transport House is like.
Weasel cab foot pedals.
Try the Taswegian Z class EE on for size.
No less than THREE foot pedals; Vigo, Independent bail off, Sand.
It was like playing a church organ, though I have never played a church organ.
Yes, I have shuddered in horror when witnessing the "creativity" of some blokes.
That Vigo and any other safety devices are there to SAVE my life, and anybody else in the vicinity.
But, that EE Anti-slip brake, E GADs.
The bail off didn't work for the anti-slip brake.
Struggling up hill on icy rails and constantly fighting the engine brakes applying when you didn't want them to.
Yes, struggling up to Zig Zag with four 86'ers was also a battle during winter.
Getting foot cramp from pounding the sand pedal constantly.
Whipping slightly on and off the independent (WHEN you wanted it, not when the stupid weasel wanted it).
Yes, I suffered the inevitable stall as virtually everyone at LMC did.
One or more of the electrics going back into resistance.
But, that was the fun of it.
Reaching around to slam shut the cab door which suddenly flapped open on a curve.
It was a crew on weasels that stalled up near the top of the climb and sat there digging down to China on the rails.
For a week, a TSR imposed over the rail gouges, until the welders got up there to fill up the holes.
Yes, the Zig Zag walkway was a tad slippery during winter.
But, so was the LMC turntable.
You definitely didn't attempt to go sprinting across the table during winter time.
The Ericsson ATC fitted to 8650 did bamboozle me briefly one time.
We had been signed on Engine Preped out of Delec to run LE over to Trackfast.
Working LE, 8650 was trailing and gave no problems.
But, after hooking onto our train and eventually departing, things started to go wrong.
The minute that we got above 25 kph (default speed I discovered later), the air went and we shuddered to a stop.
On the first event, I did not pay any attention to the box sitting on the dash.
Me driver bellowing at me to go back and sort out the Vigo penalty.
I discovered that the air was blowing from the box up the number one end of the corridor, not the air rack and vigo.
An air tap under that box was sealed, so I presumed ok.
Suddenly, the air stopped blowing and me driver bellowed for me to return up front as the brakes were releasing.
I did not bother to inspect the MCB panel and ran back up front.
We got mobile, but again as soon as our speed got above 25 kph, the air went again.
So, I got up to dash back again.
Me driver started bellowing about the weird box on the dash blinking at him.
HMMMM.
That shouldn't be switched ON, I responded.
Taking a squiz at the box, I could not espy any ON / OFF switch.
Fiddling with it did not remedy the drama.
So, I trot back to the mysterious box up the number one end and start checking it out.
Again, NO apparent isolation switch.
This time, the air continued to dump.
So, I went to the MCB panel.
Checking that out, I discovered two UN-IDENTIFIED MCBs which were switched ON.
Above these pair was some faded texta scrawl dictating DO NOT SWITCH ON.
So, I flicked them OFF and hey presto the air stopped dumping.
Me driver then bellowing that his black box had stopped blinking at him.
I presumed that the Enfield crew had simply switched on ALL MCBs as was the rule.
Not noticing the faded texta scrawl.
Upon arrival at home, I went into the boffin's office to beg questions about the Ericsson dingus.
They agreed that it was a potential concern and instructed maintenance staff to seal them two MCBs in the OFF position.
That being my only experience with ATC.
Naturally, there being no track transponders for the system to interact with, the default speed penalty would occur.
Steve.
  a6et Minister for Railways

G'day BDA and A6ET,
Yes, I remember the name Cedric Fraser, though forget IF or when I may have encountered him.
Similarly, Alan Corby, who ended up at Cowra with the LVR.
As to 81 class, PHOOEY !
Noisy ear ache things.
And, them AN AL things were hideous for noise in the cab, when through running to and from Parkes.
I remember the whinging about the 81 class number two end cab HEAT, especially before the internal door was added.
Engineroom heat pervading via the air con vents and door seals.
Belting across the Speedway with a single Butter Box on a Mountains Red Set with the cab doors open during summer.
Standing up and holding on to the handbrake to prevent from tumbling out the door.
Them old kidney puncher seats not comfortable at any speed.
Dust swirling in.
NOW that was fun.
And, you can also have yer computerized modern day dingi.
Cop a computer glitch or electrical fault, and yer marvelous AC traction quickly comes to a standstill.
YES, AC traction can grind along at painfully slow speeds without melting traction motors.
No short time ratings on AC traction.
But, DC traction is still superior for freight SPEED.
Give me an 86'er any day to play with.
I still DON'T know what a Code 66 shut down is on a stupid 82 class.
Copped that heading down the hill one nite on a coalie.
After many minutes thumping the stupid computer screen and tinkering inside the engineroom, I gave UP.
Phoned Ready Power and they could not offer any info or solution.
Had to detach it and reduce the train load at Clyde on the way through.
Give me an 86'er any day.
Get the cam shafts jammed, just stop, drop the pans and go into the high tension room and spin the cam shafts.
Had to perform that a couple of times for the driver bow-ins not fully ofay with electrics.
Also had to tickle the "piano keys" in a Butter Box one time when me driver got it stuck in dynamic.
Yes, changing transition on 86'ers with the Silver Streak did require some attention to detail.
But, them AN CLP things were absolutely HIDEOUS with transition.
As are the stupid 82 class.
THUMP.
Talk about shove the cattle about.
With 44 class, I figured out that if the train load was under around 350 tonne, you could stomp up Tumulla without backward transition.
Naturally, the train length also playing a part on the curves.
I don't recall working the Silver Streak with a pair of 44s.
But, did have a 44 on the front of an 80 class on a number of occasions.
That combo seemed to stomp up Tumulla ok.
Tumulla box going in 1987, thereby no need to slow down to exchange ETS pegs no more.
But, I do hafta admit that suffering a ground relay up the number one end of a 44 class was like a shot gun blast.
A number of blokes preferred the number two end cab of a 44 class due to no contactor noise.
I remember one back shift shed when I especially marshalled the trio of 44 class in ascending numeric order elephant style.
I planned to crawl out of bed early and go out to take pot shots at the train, 8331 from memory.
I stupidly did not bother to check the roster to find out who the crew were.
Was I annoyed when the train hove into view with the lead 44 having been spun and now facing number two end cab.
I won't mention that driver's name, but he was notorious for working 44's number two end.
I spent a week cloistered inside Transport House for the safe working review of changes proposed for the Olympics.
Three of us drivers, me representing Freightcorp and freight mobs in general.
So, I know what Transport House is like.
Weasel cab foot pedals.
Try the Taswegian Z class EE on for size.
No less than THREE foot pedals; Vigo, Independent bail off, Sand.
It was like playing a church organ, though I have never played a church organ.
Yes, I have shuddered in horror when witnessing the "creativity" of some blokes.
That Vigo and any other safety devices are there to SAVE my life, and anybody else in the vicinity.
But, that EE Anti-slip brake, E GADs.
The bail off didn't work for the anti-slip brake.
Struggling up hill on icy rails and constantly fighting the engine brakes applying when you didn't want them to.
Yes, struggling up to Zig Zag with four 86'ers was also a battle during winter.
Getting foot cramp from pounding the sand pedal constantly.
Whipping slightly on and off the independent (WHEN you wanted it, not when the stupid weasel wanted it).
Yes, I suffered the inevitable stall as virtually everyone at LMC did.
One or more of the electrics going back into resistance.
But, that was the fun of it.
Reaching around to slam shut the cab door which suddenly flapped open on a curve.
It was a crew on weasels that stalled up near the top of the climb and sat there digging down to China on the rails.
For a week, a TSR imposed over the rail gouges, until the welders got up there to fill up the holes.
Yes, the Zig Zag walkway was a tad slippery during winter.
But, so was the LMC turntable.
You definitely didn't attempt to go sprinting across the table during winter time.
The Ericsson ATC fitted to 8650 did bamboozle me briefly one time.
We had been signed on Engine Preped out of Delec to run LE over to Trackfast.
Working LE, 8650 was trailing and gave no problems.
But, after hooking onto our train and eventually departing, things started to go wrong.
The minute that we got above 25 kph (default speed I discovered later), the air went and we shuddered to a stop.
On the first event, I did not pay any attention to the box sitting on the dash.
Me driver bellowing at me to go back and sort out the Vigo penalty.
I discovered that the air was blowing from the box up the number one end of the corridor, not the air rack and vigo.
An air tap under that box was sealed, so I presumed ok.
Suddenly, the air stopped blowing and me driver bellowed for me to return up front as the brakes were releasing.
I did not bother to inspect the MCB panel and ran back up front.
We got mobile, but again as soon as our speed got above 25 kph, the air went again.
So, I got up to dash back again.
Me driver started bellowing about the weird box on the dash blinking at him.
HMMMM.
That shouldn't be switched ON, I responded.
Taking a squiz at the box, I could not espy any ON / OFF switch.
Fiddling with it did not remedy the drama.
So, I trot back to the mysterious box up the number one end and start checking it out.
Again, NO apparent isolation switch.
This time, the air continued to dump.
So, I went to the MCB panel.
Checking that out, I discovered two UN-IDENTIFIED MCBs which were switched ON.
Above these pair was some faded texta scrawl dictating DO NOT SWITCH ON.
So, I flicked them OFF and hey presto the air stopped dumping.
Me driver then bellowing that his black box had stopped blinking at him.
I presumed that the Enfield crew had simply switched on ALL MCBs as was the rule.
Not noticing the faded texta scrawl.
Upon arrival at home, I went into the boffin's office to beg questions about the Ericsson dingus.
They agreed that it was a potential concern and instructed maintenance staff to seal them two MCBs in the OFF position.
That being my only experience with ATC.
Naturally, there being no track transponders for the system to interact with, the default speed penalty would occur.
Steve.
aussiealco
Bushy  brow Corbs, nice bloke also.

No idea with you on the 86's though.

# 2 end 44cl was ok for the driver but not the fireman owing to the drafts, thing was the side pain rotating window also produced drafts badly, likewise through the nose door #1 end leading, I struck several that drafts came up through the hand brake cover plates.

The 44's had several years allocated to Bx all of them Mk2 and were replaced by 80cl.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I think 80s were the big engine out west in the late 80s early 90s because of their air con , and the 81s were mostly captive to the Hunter or the southern line and occasionally coal trains to Tahmoor and Inner Harbour . I seem to remember there not being an official load for them up the mountains but you could take around 700T up there with a Rova Mech .
I that era I believe the full section load on the south was 1050T for the 1:40s but that was later increased to 1130T .
I was loan to Pt Kembla in the mid late 90s and 81s were good for 750T up Illawarra Mountain .
I don't agree about the AC diesel electrics , I didn't spend much time in 93s but as I said I got 1800T up Como and Loftus with one and I've had a pair of them drag 4600T up Jerrawa to the top of Yass Bank , also 1:40 .
I did once have a 90MAC H spit an inverter and a 70ACE lose a cooling fan but quite reliable otherwise .
I didn't think much of 82s from an operators perspective but they stood up for me when I had them .
I did very few journeys on 44s in my time at Enfield , they were on the way out and Freight Rail was looking for any excuse to sideline them . Actually my maiden trip back from Goulburn was with 4403 and 4836 .

IMO electrics only ever felt any good on light loads , mainly because they could load up fairly quickly .
Really the early 90s was a turning point because train lengths and loads really moved forward . I remember once with a driver trainer coming back from Goulburn having a couple of 81s and a G on a train of 1960T and a length of "100" metric - being 670m . This was a BIG train for a superfreighter in 1991 . Nowdays that's not even a big string to shunt . I remember in the NRC era train lengths going from 670 to 870 meters and so on eventually to 1800m . Average loads went from around 1200T  to 6000T and beyond . We were horrified early on to get four 80s on SP5 , after 81s and 82s , you'd open the throttle and the train would boot you because throttle response was sun dial like . The Alcos would not manage on the interstate trains typical of the last say 15 - 20 years . Ditto the electrics . Can you imagine 4 86s on a 6000T steel train to Broady , and incapable of getting into Pt Waratah anyway .
The 81/G made the Alcos look sick and gutless and the following NR/AN had the legs on the 3300 Hp super series engines .
The bottom line was that a 46 was probably good for 44 class loads and an 86 couldn't pull what an 81 could .
Yes 81s were hot in the 2 end particularly with the air con not cooling . Good fun out of Junee with 1400+T and a single unit and 7 hours to Goulburn .
With the electrified area I suppose it was possible to spend long hours on electric engines but not long distances , debatable . I think the longest I ever did was Enfield to Clarence load and back to Enfield . SFA compared to working the Stainless Steel Link from Sydney Yard to Parkes via Cootamundra .
  GrahamH Chief Commissioner

Location: At a terminal on the www.
Thank you each for this interesting and informative thread!
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
G'day all,
I will hafta peruse the comments off line later and then compose a response.
Me home www is very limited in ability.
A while ago, I had edited and uploaded a video clip to You Tube featuring the innards of 85 class electrics.
I shot this video on the 2nd January 1998 while working coalie CB02 with four 85 class, lead unit 8509.
Part of the loco prep required entering the high tension room to ensure that all was ok.
This brief clip only features the innards and a brief glimpse of the cab controls.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FhlKki5Ni8
While similar to the subsequent 86 class, there were some subtle differences, especially with the cab controls.
The 85 class were an electric version of the 80 class CE615 aussie alco, shape and basic cab layout wise.
But, the high tension room innards were virtually identical between the 85 and 86 class.
As I have previously mentioned, the 85 class did not seem to suffer the same frame cracks that the 86 class did.
On this day, it was sunny, and our struggle up to Zig Zag progressed reasonably well.
One major difference was the location of the dunny.
As with the 80 class, the dunny protruded into the 85 class number two cab.
Working either 80 or 85 class from the number two end cab did become unpopular with crews.
And, when multiple unit working became the norm, locos would be marshalled where possible to have the number one cabs outwards.
The Butter Boxes were designed back when soot belchers still stomped about.
So, no such crew comforts as a dunny.
The kit bucket being the resort if suddenly caught short while working 46ers.
Sadly, by the mid 1990s them Butter Boxes had definitely passed their use by date.
So, I assisted management to get rid of them by requesting either very expensive or impossible cab improvements.
I remember one trip home with a trio of Butter Boxes.
Relieved the train at Enfield North Box.
For some reason, I had to enter the engine room before we set sail.
Anybody who has anything to do with Butter Boxes will know just how LOUD it can get inside there.
When I emerged, there was no sign of me driver.
I glanced out the cab door and hear people yelling at me from the tall grass near the box.
"GET DOWN, somebody is shooting at us", both the pointcop and my driver were yelling.
WHAT ?
I glanced at the dash, and it was lit up like a christmas tree, fault lamps glowing everywhere.
After NO MORE gun shots, me driver and the pointcop emerged from their hiding spot.
"We heard a couple of VERY loud bangs and thought that somebody was shooting at the train."
HMMMMM.
"Well, IF somebody has been taking pot shots, they have hit something important", I voiced.
Searching through the trio we finally end up in the rear cab.
The number two end cab with the low tension panel box on the cab rear wall.
There was a black scorch mark emanating from some now disintegrated coil protruding into the cab.
The pieces of this coil dingus scattered like shrapnel on the cab floor.
The black scorch marks going up the cab wall and over the cab ceiling.
HMMM.
WHAT the heck is THAT thing, I begged me driver.
He just shrugged, "I ain't seen anything like it before".
Just as well we weren't perched inside that cab.
Obviously the source of the loud BANGS.
Thumping resets, all came ok, and we set sail home.
When we got home, I stomped into the elec foreman fitters office to demand answers.
"ER UM, it was a bit of a mistake and should never have been placed inside the cab by DELEC," he expressed.
Them Butter Boxes had been so modified that no two units were identical towards the end.
AH, the joys of the good ole days.
Steve.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Yep , I remember tales of lightning bolts walking out under the death chamber door in I think it was the 2 end cab of 46's .
I remember as a fireman being up near Enfield North Box one night with the cab lit up bright orange .
Someone put a Diesel hot plate element in it and a 74V element got a bit more excited with 108 volts through it !
I also remember firing for someone who should have known better who burnt the resistor banks out of a pair of them somewhere around about Mortdale or Penshurst . We came off the coast from Port Kembla South Yards on a steelie and the drover got a bit scared climbing up through Oately and went into resistance notches in SP . I would have been in Series weak fields but he knew better . As a fireman you shut your trap and bit your tongue , and waited for the inevitable . Tongues of flame out the sides and gave over . He track locked Hurstville and yours truly went back to protect , and found an 80 class with a full load at the signal behind . Blocked the world at the beginning of the peak .
Actually we were rescued by a pair of Jumbos and a 45 class that had come down to Enfield from the North Coast .
In my experience people either knew 46's really well or they were scared of them .
I was in the second last elec loco school run and my regular mates knew them well .
After elec school you did "Flat Runners" with a loco Inspector on each class . I was getting narrow eye'd looks with my Inspector doing quick backwards transitions and stepping up combinations in one notch on a pair of Butter Boxes going down the Illa .
Powering in regen more trouble than it was worth IMO , a bit of a novelty but often stuffed up by restrictive signals etc .

And to 85s 86s . Part of the prep was to go into the high tension compartment and spin the three pilot motors as you saw above . The cams were always supposed to stop in the right positions , I can't remember now what they were .
86s and possibly 85s had really expensive switches in them for isolating control systems . Off the top of my head one was CCOS or control cut out switch , and another SIS or System Interrupt Switch . The electricians at Delec would go blue in the face if you admitted to touching these or spinning the cams , again learnt to keep trap shut .  
That Demand Meter gauge always cause heaps of arguments because many couldn't work out what it was for . Useful if you knew ...
  aussiealco Station Master

Location: Bathurst NSW
G'day all,
Yeh, them air ride seats up the number two end of the 44 class.
No good for the fireman when he attempted to lay the seat back.
Bang thump on the dunny wall.
Also initially a pain due to no hot plate up the number two end.
You had to go scrambling through the engine room trying to not get covered in hot oil carting the billy to the number one end.
Wait for the driver to shut off power and go onto a straight section of track and then navigate through.
Working home from Mudgee one time during a snow storm, the air horn froze up and refused to bleat.
Plus, them original Mudgee barracks and calico sheets, and trudging down the back yard to the dunny.
Lithgow blokes got used to the cold.
Yes, the West Load for 81 class did take a while to get published.
750 tonne up the Mountains.
1050 tonne for a 1 in 40.
Later increased to 1131 tonne so that a pair could work the Kandos cement job comprising 29 NPRX / NPRY for 2262 tonne.
And a trio could drag 3300 tonner coalies home from Charbon.
And they did grunt and groan climbing up Sawpit (top of the hill before dropping down to Brogans Creek).
I entertained the Rydal locals one nite when our magnificent 81 class karked it.
Smoke issuing forth but no flames, the High Crankcase button tripped along with the Low Water button.
Had a 48er plus also had collected the Bathurst shunter 48'er which was booked for hot engine faults so DA.
TC demanded that I attempt to clear the section with them pair of 48ers.
WHAT ?
Over the load even IF the crook one would work.
TC bludgeoned the LMC service manager and I was so instructed to have a go.
And, promised that a rescue mission would meet us at Wallerawang.
Raining quite heavily.
Fired up the dead 48'er and attempted to lift the train.
But, having no feel for them pair from the karked EMD thing, we just slid backwards.
So, I told me mate to stay up front to control the air, and I went back and ripped out the jumpa.
Drove from the front 48er.
Took heaps of sand and notching up and back and whipping on and off the independent.
But, I finally managed to coax them dinky toy AUSSIE ALCOS to inch up the hill.
Sparks showering off the wheels, and flames shooting out the stacks.
The family from the farm house came out into the deluge to watch the spectacular.
Them glorious pair got us up to the top of the hill.
The promised rescue mission from LMC didn't appear at Wang.
Told the relief crew who arrived by car that they would not make it home.
The crook 48'er fan was making a hideous noise, and the unit needed to be shut down.
You made it, WE will make it; they spruiked and jumped on board to continue.
I found out later that because they kept the crook 48er going, needed to climb to Marrangaroo tunnel, the eddy current clutch disintegrated.
The fan flew out the side of the 48er radiator.
LMC had to dispatch the rescue mission after all as the train never made up through the tunnel.
I also found out that due to second hand parts being acquired, the 81 class crank shaft had collapsed into the sump.
Anybody who ripped open an 80 class, especially after going out of dynamic, was ASKING for trouble.
You would quickly cop the Sounds of Silence treatment plus BEEP BEEP BEEP.
Cause any surge in the sump oil and you would trip the low lube on the governor.
Finesse was required.
Something that NRC bods seemed to loose when starting to run to the ends of the earth.
But, successfully get quad 80s up to pace and you were really RATTLING over the speedway with an interstater.
Nothing better than being perched on Chullora Junction south fork waiting to get into Trackfast with quad 80s LE.
Lay the seat back and earwig that magic alco idle reverberating off the concrete jungle.
Pavarotti could not be more melodic.
Mind you, I guess that the residents of that concrete jungle would not be all that entertained.
Probably why the concrete jungle was subsequently demolished.
3300 tonner coalies, while over the load for quad 85 / 86'ers, were JUST manageable with the infrastructure.
You could be put away at Katoomba and Lawson, plus held at Springwood.
At a pinch, you could even squeeze into Penrith yard.
Mind you, squeezing into Lawson was a challenge with a 3300 tonner plus quads.
You had to be virtually right on stick LN56 with very little leeway for error.
After an incident, that was the end of going into Lawson.
But, then everyone wanted fewer but longer trains.
Todays trains become a nightmare to manage when the wheels fall off.
Shunting (attempting to) with a 49 class, now that was yer Sun Dial.
Waiting for that EMD rubber band to wind up before it would finally decide to move.
You wanna really blast off in a hurry, well a 46er LE was the ticket.
Take a couple of resistance notches in Series.
Slam the reverser into second gear, rip the controller back to notch one and then take a couple of resistance notches.
Slam the reverser into top gear, rip the controller back to notch one and quickly notch out of resistance.
The Butter Box body would rear up like a bronco about to charge and you were flying.
You had to hang on or get slammed into the cab rear wall.
We had a quad of AN AN things based at LMC briefly.
Having more oomph than an 82 class, but they struggled badly in wet weather and were worse than 82s on 4200 tonners.
The things also suffered from air problems.
So, we shipped em back across the border, and good riddance.
Never been on an NR class and have no desire to.
I don't like the cab controls layout.
Plus, I had nil desire to work from smog hollow to Parkes via Stockinbingal.
Steve.
PS, I will peruse your latest comments BDA shortly when I go off line.
  42101 A end Junior Train Controller

Aussiealco.
49 class yeah....i spent 2 weeks at Manildra shunting the sidings and into the mill there as the terminal operator.....right to go  ahead driver..get smokes out of pocket light one take a draw then unit finaly moves ahead.
48 class
Great little girls had 4 coming into Parkes yard from Tottenham branch with 40 NGPF types one died on the branch anoth part died on the climb to Goobang Junction...got the call from the box to open the goods shed long road and not to stop them till in clear at the Platform end...went past me with 2 going full noise 3rd unit with flames from 2 traction motors but still pulling 4th unit dead to the world...shed crew had to bring fresh 81 from top loco to haul the 48s back into Old loco/Comet shed for the fitters to play with....tough little girls they are.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
I dare say the ANs when they were running in quads probably still had the desert traction motor gearing in them . Later they were changed . Ultimately the maintenance people didn't like the tread brake equipment they had on their bogies .
And yep they wouldn't pull much if any more than an 82 , they didn't weigh ay more and from memory had the same D87 traction motors . Like 82s 90s Gs and DLs , they still had the same useless AR11 "power glide" alternator as well .
I didn't ever have an AN as the lead but plenty of times as slaves . Longer legs than an 81 or 82 and a power house compared to a Hatey class .
You obviously never spent any time in an NR , very quiet and rode very nicely . From the length and breadth of Australia including the Pilbara US domestic locos , 99% of people agree that NRs had the best cab conditions period . You could spend 10-12 hours in an NR and get out feeling human .
81 class maximums were worked out on the Southern line and they , as well as Gs , were real slugs with 1840T out of Junee .
I nearly ran 8173 out of Juice one day many years ago on MS2 , from memory had to pinch a Billy Cart at Moss Vale because the GM was showing nothing on the sight glass . South Control insisted we go alone until I refused to leave without getting his name .
Actually they growled at us because the 48'r was over the load up Glenlea but we got there .
If you like noise doing standing starts with four 81s on a full load of 3000T on the 1:30 at Dombarton was the go . Straight into 6 let the independent off and release the auto , when the grades let go and they started to move straight into 8 .
I think I only ever beat an 81 once and that was trying to push something like 3500-4000T back up the Soy at Chullora .
The US Domestic locos are the most impressive because in the dry they almost don't know how to slip - even the DC ones . The extra 50-60 tonnes makes a massive difference . The ACs are phenomenal and will stand up to 890 Kn for short periods .
Amazing to see a pair of them muscling over 40,000 Tonnes from a standing start and even up long but minor grades . At times with failures one will get the gold home provided you don't have to stop anywhere and its flat or falling grades .

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: a6et, aussiealco, yesbenno

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.