Average Life of a Current Coal Wagon

 
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Anyone know *roughly* the expected life of a current NSW coal wagon.  The sort of stock that hauls from Hunter to Waratah

Just to nearest decade is fine.  10, 20, 30 or maybe 40 years?.

And what is typical failure mode that determines end of life if anyone knows.  

Thanks

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  wobert Chief Commissioner

Location: Half way between Propodolla and Kinimakatka
Australian built or of Chinese origin?
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Anyone know *roughly* the expected life of a current NSW coal wagon.  The sort of stock that hauls from Hunter to Waratah

Just to nearest decade is fine.  10, 20, 30 or maybe 40 years?.

And what is typical failure mode that determines end of life if anyone knows.  

Thanks
prwise
The hundred-tonners are approaching 40 years old and still in regular service. I'm not sure about the 120-ton wagons but seem to recall they are around 1998-2000 vintage for the non-ECP wagons. Could well be wrong on that though.
  prwise Locomotive Driver

Anyone know *roughly* the expected life of a current NSW coal wagon.  The sort of stock that hauls from Hunter to Waratah

Just to nearest decade is fine.  10, 20, 30 or maybe 40 years?.

And what is typical failure mode that determines end of life if anyone knows.  

Thanks
The hundred-tonners are approaching 40 years old and still in regular service. I'm not sure about the 120-ton wagons but seem to recall they are around 1998-2000 vintage for the non-ECP wagons. Could well be wrong on that though.
KRviator
Ah thanks.  Sort of answers my question.  Root of my question was were they being turned over often enough such that a transition to covered wagons could have been achieved by introducing new covered wagons when new units introduced.

Retrofitting existing stock would be a lot more expensive than a conversion program as fleet was renewed.

I was sort of thinking that as these wagons 'appear' to be light weight with use of lighter alloy metals, then life may have been sacrificed in exchange for higher payloads. Appears not.

In terms of Chinese vs local, is there a great deal of difference?.  Or too early to know either way?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I have a recollection of a 'design life' of around 25 years for freight wagons but many wagons last long beyond that span such as  the 1970s 'Whitlam' wagons.  

Before anyone starts an Australian v Chinese war be aware that many Australian coal hoppers, especially in NSW, have/had fundamental design/build flaws as have/had some early (aluminium ?) Victorian wheat hoppers.

The early National Rail 5-unit well sets designed in Australia and built in NSW plus Australian 5-pack wells built at Islington both had major design/build flaws.

On the other hand, Pilbara ore wagons are regularly re-bodied due to corrosion(?) and wear due to tippling of iron ore. The cheaper capital costs of carbon steel bodies plus potential costs of re-bodying v longer life stainless bodies is a subject of great interest to bean counters. As far as I am aware the 2008 Chinese built 40+ tonne axleload ore wagons have not suffered any major design or build problems.

It is not a fair to compare well designed and properly supervised build of Chinese wagons for FMG (for example) with many 'older' Australian built wagons.
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
Not knowing actual details and purely guessing I would say from my obs in the past in Qld it goes as follows
- Crash/crash damage would have taken out many a wagon
- Migration from CQ to Sth coal services to replace even older stock as Sth cannot use the newer taller and heavier wagons. Locos the same.
- Hungry boards added to older wagons to lift their loads and enable them to remain in service.
- Use of older wagons as trailing wagons on coal trains, likely only replaced with newer larger capacity wagons as they became available as economics and supply dictates.
- Conversion of older coal wagons to other tasks, grain, mineral, wood chip etc.
- Not uncommon to see some wagons parked up for years before finding a new job, either growth in coal or other.

The only wagons that I know of that were completely removed from coal was an older American looking design, not sure if QR ever went on a culling exercise, but they were used in other freight tasks such as limestone for a number of years and ballast and the early Google Earth photos used to show some closed branch lines storing them. Gladstone limestone traffic from Taragoola later switched to a newer but still older coal hopper when QAL switched to taking lime from Cement Aus, not limestone from the mine. This was probably done to ensure commonality in unloading to the Limestone-clay trains already running to Cement Aus.  

I doubt railways actively go on a culling exercise for freight wagons too often rather operate to near structural failure, crash write off or the technology or commodity of the wagon is no longer in use.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Aurizon has scrapped a couple hundred of its 90-tonne VSN wagon fleet built in the early 1990s - these were the first of the now standard corrosion resistant steel designs built for QR and forerunners of most of Aurizon's current 8,500 higher capacity 106-tonne and 120-tonne wagon fleet. Smaller forty year old aluminium hoppers remain in service on the West Moreton runs, but only because of restrictive axle loads that may be eased in the medium term - the West Moreton hoppers would have been scrapped a decade ago with the rest of the 80-tonne aluminium coal hopper fleet if there had been alternatives to using them. Elsewhere Aurizon runs 106-tonne hoppers to a 80-tonne gross where axle loads don't permit, such as the Minerva trains.
  Big J Assistant Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
The only wagons that I know of that were completely removed from coal was an older American looking design, not sure if QR ever went on a culling exercise, but they were used in other freight tasks such as limestone for a number of years and ballast and the early Google Earth photos used to show some closed branch lines storing them.
RTT_Rules
With some of those US inspired designs coal wagons, some were even converted to haul Molasses.

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