NREC Australian Demonstrator Genset?

 
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

There is currently an Australian loading gauge 3 engine genset parked outside at Mount Vernon

Numbered 1201, standard NREC demo blue/gold livery. Cab looks to be out of the same Jig as the Qube locos, however the nose section extends further forward. Not fitted with DB, C-C bogies.

What rumours are circulating?

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  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Won't be going anywhere with the wiff of a hill then with no dynamics...
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

From the cab aft it looks like a standard US 3GS21C, however the "hump" at the rear where the DB is installed is missing, and there are no louvers in this area.


  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
Well, let me be the first to say it. If the long hood is the same height as the other NRE Gensets then it's going to look rather horrible with the 1100-ish cab.

That said, how it looks doesn't affect it's performance, bring on a new concept to Aus shores.
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Slave unit banker ? As was said useless without dynamic brake in most of NSW . What you'd save in fuel you'd smoke in brake shoes whilst being slow . Hard to prove to people that these exercises in non industry based futility don't work in the real world .
Locomotives here need to be versatile to be usefull operationally . These goats won't be good haulers or any kind of mountain "goat" especially without dynamic brakes . Its hard to imagine somewhere that would suit something with three engines , to move anything heavy in the same shift span you probably need all three just to get the rake rolling . For a shunt/hump unit you probably need a single engine medium Hp unit with a modern fuel efficient engine , but then its a gutless wonder on the mainline  .
All this stuff is fine a in Cali where the air quality falls and legislation dictates that the operators don't get a choice with emissions .
Its not the same here where operators can't afford unique narrow focus locomotives that can't have a decent shot at doing everything .
Far better off with mainline units that can shunt the rakes and then take their turn out in the wild blue yonder .
Multi engine switchers are a gymic and not one I can see paying off here .
Maybe a very small diesel that could power electricals and a compressor would be handy on a yard shunter . C44ACis have the auto start up shut down rubbish but I doubt anyone actually uses it . Again a gymic .
  rgmccau Junior Train Controller

Location: Canberra
Is there a link to photos?
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Is there a link to photos?
"rgmccau"


Not yet, copyright

When uploaded on a public site will give link






  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .

Won't be going anywhere with the wiff of a hill then with no dynamics...
"GT46C-Ace"


Maybe that's a bit presumptuous considering that it isn't known yet who this locomotive is bound for, or even if it is bound for Australia? Even so, the lack of a dynamic brake won't trouble a locomotive employed mainly in shunting or trip working too much anyway. For arguments sake, let's say that this locomotive is employed in Sydney local trip train working where dynamic brake is hardly going to be of any real use anyway. Therefore, not having dynamic brake fitted wouldn't be a great concern if the loco was fit for its purpose.

Personally, I can't see such a locomotive being employed on too great a task, especially in NSW where the grades would defeat any advantage it might have over a conventional locomotive fairly quickly (more so climbing hills, not going down them).

Well, let me be the first to say it. If the long hood is the same height as the other NRE Gensets then it's going to look rather horrible with the 1100-ish cab.
"GT46C-Ace"


If a "normal" NRE genset long hood was used, would that hood not potentially be to the limits of Australian loading gauge which means that an 1100 style cab actually would meet the roof line of the "normal" long hood? So generally speaking, an NRE US domestic gen-set has a cab that sits well above the long hood’s roof line. If that same hood was married to an Australian locomotive, you'd think the Australian cab and low US hood would match up fairly well. You'd think so anyway

Regardless, arguing about that is all pretty useless for now; let's just all wait and see where the thing ends up first, if indeed it does make it to our shores.

  nscaler69 Deputy Commissioner

Location: There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots.
Why does a Genset need dynamics when their main aim is shunting and or transfer movements.
  alcoworldseries Deputy Commissioner

Location: Auburn
Is ironic many have assumed the "Gen-set" bound for the locomotive equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle (NSW), HOWEVER the only media I have seen regarding NREC/GenSets was several arranged for trial on narrow guage in South Australia (GWA) to supplement loco fleet for upcomming ore contracts into Port Lincoln, this media was sometime ago. This would account for no Dyno, trying to keep weight down, remembering 830 and NJ axle load around the 12 tonne mark.
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Is ironic many have assumed the "Gen-set" bound for the locomotive equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle (NSW), HOWEVER the only media I have seen regarding NREC/GenSets was several arranged for trial on narrow guage in South Australia (GWA) to supplement loco fleet for upcomming ore contracts into Port Lincoln, this media was sometime ago. This would account for no Dyno, trying to keep weight down, remembering 830 and NJ axle load around the 12 tonne mark.
"alcoworldseries"

Last I heard, some time ago, the Port Lincoln/Whyalla experiment was off.
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .

Is ironic many have assumed the "Gen-set" bound for the locomotive equivalent of the Bermuda Triangle (NSW).
"alcoworldseries"


Sorry, but I think you might want to reread what was written above. Infact, I seem to remember myself stating that- “let's just all wait and see where the thing ends up first, if indeed it does make it to our shores” which pretty well means it exactly what it says. While GT46-Ace, never mentioned NSW at all, and BDA made a bit of a statement about how a gen-set locomotive might not be suitable for mainline use where there’s a lot of hills (which as BDA mentions there are in NSW regardless of your opinions). And myself, well I only used the Sydney trip working bit as an example of work a non-dynamic brake equipped shunt/transfer locomotive could undertake in reply to comments that a non-dynamic brake equipped unit was essentially useless which isn’t true at all. So more or less, I can’t see anywhere where anyone suggested the locomotive was bound for NSW, but instead a discussion was had on what potentially usage it might be suitable for. So it might be better to leave your own preconceived prejudices at the door next time in fear of looking like a bit of a goose.

HOWEVER the only media I have seen regarding NREC/GenSets was several arranged for trial on narrow guage in South Australia (GWA) to supplement loco fleet for upcomming ore contracts into Port Lincoln, this media was sometime ago. This would account for no Dyno, trying to keep weight down, remembering 830 and NJ axle load around the 12 tonne mark.
"alcoworldseries"


Jmt’s, first post seems to infer that the locomotive is of standard gauge proportions. Obviously we don’t have proof of that yet, but I think by what he has posted it’s unlikely this locomotive if it does indeed make it to this country is bound for Port Lincoln as I’d have expected Jmt’s post to indicate that the locomotive was smaller (maybe ex WAGR ‘A Class’ size which is a probable limit on the EP) rather than larger in that the  "…cab looks to be out of the same jig as the Qube locos, however the nose section extends further forward" and "from the cab after it looks like a standard US 3GS21C". With those few things in mind, I wouldn’t think this locomotive is bound for Port Lincoln.

  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW
I only said it'd be useless anywhere there's a hill, meaning it'll be useless there because of no dynamics but i didnt say itd be completely useless....
  jmt Deputy Commissioner



Jmt's, first post seems to infer that the locomotive is of standard gauge proportions. Obviously we don't have proof of that yet, but I think by what he has posted it's unlikely this locomotive if it does indeed make it to this country is bound for Port Lincoln as I'd have expected Jmt's post to indicate that the locomotive was smaller (maybe ex WAGR ‘A Class' size which is a probable limit on the EP) rather than larger in that the “…cab looks to be out of the same jig as the Qube locos, however the nose section extends further forward” and “from the cab after it looks like a standard US 3GS21C”. With those few things in mind, I wouldn't think this locomotive is bound for Port Lincoln.


Sorry guys due to confidentiality issues that my contact has, limited in what I am prepared to say.

When observed at Mount Vernon was on final (not shop) bogies, standard gauge

All that I am saying is that the unit has an 1100 style cab, export bogies, automatic AAR type couplers, and looks like it will fit in the ARTC loading gauge, I have no idea where it is heading, but with this profile obviously not domestic

Look at photos of broad gauge 3GS21C demo #1000 in Argentina, mentally graft on a 1100 Class cab the same height as the long hood, and you get the picture. In Argentina #1000 was used as a road loco, not as a dedicated switcher

http://rieles.com/newsletter/1306/03.jpg
http://misdiasenlavia1.blogspot.com.au/2010/10/n-viromotive-1000-de-materfer_21.html




  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .

Jmt, that's understandable, and thank you for sharing what information you are able to share with us. Personally, I'm looking forward to seeing where this locomotive ends up, even if that is overseas, but hopefully it does make its way to Australia.

I only said it'd be useless anywhere there's a hill, meaning it'll be useless there because of no dynamics but i didnt say itd be completely useless....
"GT46C-ACe"


That's okay, and I understood that, but there seems to be a bit of a misguided belief amongst the gunzel community that dynamic brakes are the be all and end all when that’s simply not the case. Sure, no mainline locomotive built today should lack dynamic brake, but it is after all only an add-on feature, and trains can still be driven without it (as an example, the IRA ex DSB MZ's have been sitting up the front of thousands of tonnes down the Blue Mountains for a while now). A locomotive built brand new for heavy bulk traffic (coal, wheat and the like) should naturally come equipped with dynamic brake because of the size of those loads these days, while a lighter interstate intermodal locomotive should ideally have it for time keeping downhill, but in a lot of traffic types a dynamic brake isn't a necessity, albeit, it'd still be nice to have.

While the dynamic brake fitted to the newer locomotives is very good, it still in a lot of cases doesn't replace the airbrake entirely (balanced braking, is using both the dynamic brake and airbrake together where the dynamic alone won’t hold the train. By using the dynamic in these situations, it assists in holding the train back while also giving time to recharge the air) and there seems to be a belief that dynamic is used in more situations than it really is. Dynamic for example isn't used going uphill to slow a train down despite what some people seem to think, nor is it in a lot of other situations for train handling reasons (the opposite does apply too though, where sometimes the dynamic is used for train handling reasons). Basically, the air gets a lot more use than some people seem believe it does, and a dynamic brake isn't an absolute necessity as evidenced by the amount of dynamic brakes cut out and the lack of desire by operators to quickly repair them. As BDA mentioned, you lose time and burn a lot of brake shoes without a dynamic brake; but you'll still get there regardless.

Anyway, in saying all that; any mainline locomotive built today should have dynamic brake fitted, but we don't know what this particular locomotive is to be used for yet, if anything. If indeed it is only a demonstrator, it is possible NRE have tried to save some money on its build, but that dynamic would be an optional extra on any production run from an impressed user. All I'm saying is that's too simplistic a view to take when there are so many variables. If the locomotive is fit for the purpose it may be heading here for, or indeed is only a demonstrator, then I'm not surprised it isn't fitted with dynamic brake. And, not being fitted with dynamic brake isn't the end of the world if it is only destined for trip working or working in lightly graded country.

  fzr560 Chief Train Controller



Anyway, in saying all that; any mainline locomotive built today should have dynamic brake fitted, but we don't know what this particular locomotive is to be used for yet, if anything. If indeed it is only a demonstrator, it is possible NRE have tried to save some money on its build, but that dynamic would be an optional extra on any production run from an impressed user. All I'm saying is that's too simplistic a view to take when there are so many variables. If the locomotive is fit for the purpose it may be heading here for, or indeed is only a demonstrator, then I'm not surprised it isn't fitted with dynamic brake. And, not being fitted with dynamic brake isn't the end of the world if it is only destined for trip working or working in lightly graded country.

[/quote]
I'm struggling to think of an operator that could justify a "trip train only" engine in NSW. Is there anyone at SFT that thinks their business would be improved by having units on fleet that can't lift what an NR can or can't be rostered  up at short notice to cover a failure. Likewise, most of PN R&Bs trip trains are continuations of mainline jobs. Do you park the mainline unit at Enfield while the genset takes the trip train to the docks, then put the same mainline unit back on the train for the trip to Nowra, Gunnedah etc? Qube  seem to be rostering everything, everywhere so they would seem to rate versatility pretty highly. Doesn't leave much else.
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .

I'm struggling to think of an operator that could justify a "trip train only" engine in NSW. Is there anyone at SFT that thinks their business would be improved by having units on fleet that can't lift what an NR can or can't be rostered up at short notice to cover a failure. Likewise, most of PN R&Bs trip trains are continuations of mainline jobs. Do you park the mainline unit at Enfield while the genset takes the trip train to the docks, then put the same mainline unit back on the train for the trip to Nowra, Gunnedah etc? Qube seem to be rostering everything, everywhere so they would seem to rate versatility pretty highly. Doesn't leave much else.
"fzr560"


 

Fzr560, those are very good points, and I totally agree. Personally, I don't see much use for a "trip train only" locomotive in this country (if it was a smaller loco, a English Electric shunter replacement for Port Kembla Steelworks might be plausible, but again that'd only be a that might work rather than a that's likely). Like you've already mentioned, the majority of "local work" in this country is a continuation of mainline work, and as you've already mentioned the same power is generally used as on mainline trains.

I don't want to bring up the whole "NSW centric" thing again, but I don't think any other state has the standard gauge work that would warrant or ideally suit a gen-set locomotive, and the only work I can think of that would suit one in NSW is possibly QUBE’s Cooks River/ Botany to Minto and Yennora trip trains. The only other use is as a PN Intermodal division shunter as you already mentioned, but I'd have doubts about that also.

Using QUBE as an example: Do you purchase gen-set units to replace a few 830's and 44's on Sydney local working, or do you purchase new mainline locomotives capable of working everywhere in the hope of increasing capacity on mainline trains while also releasing a few dodgy old 442's and 80's from the mainline work to Sydney for the trip trains, which in turn will replace the 44's. I think the answer is pretty obvious to everyone there, and it's probably not buying the dedicated gen-set's.

PN Intermodal, well that could be a different case, but I doubt PN would interested (I could be very wrong though,). The only reason I say that is because PN’s 80 class shunters aren't exactly popular and a suitable new gen-set with sufficient power might be ideal. The other thing in favour of Intermodal is that whatever motive power is released from the mainlines by new units would probably end up heading over to Bulk operations anyway rather than being put to shunting (just as the DL's and AN's are, while Intermodal’s 81's already live in the yards anyway) so a dedicated shunter might be ideal. That’s probably not very likely though.

This is all theories anyway, and while I'd like to see this locomotive arrive here; I can't see it being overly successful if it does simply because our operators don't operate their trains in the way a gen-set would be most efficient as you've already mentioned.

  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Hmm , you'd have to go back a fair way to find a "mainline" diesel designed for use in NSW that didn't have a dynamic or regen brake incorporated into it . I strongly doubt anyone would buy a road unit that didn't have it . They are not an afterthought which is why the builders here all fit them .
Myself and others use the dynamic brake shunting at Chullora to hold back heavy rakes particularly when they are long because using the brakes means they stop all the time - which wastes time .
Freight wagons have these things called chokes and we had to have them too because morons in other states refused to do grade tests and keep the grade controls operable . Chokes on a long train are a PITA because they take longer to release than is usefull on less severe grades and the result is you slow down more than you need to and in some cases virtually stop .
No one uses dynamic brakes going up hill - garbage . I had a longish Perth train recently on the up south and use the dyno brake to slow for the TSR at Bundanoon . Came past the 100 in the previous dip doing 98 bunched up against the dynos and went back to rolling and stretching a little above the restricted speed . Had I applied the brakes that train would have come to a stand on the rising grade .
Over time brake shoes cost a lot more than dynamic brake equipment does and allows higher average speeds on grades than brakes alone do .
MZs are a silly example because they were never intended for use in places like Australia . They would be a lot slower down the mountains than say a pair of 81s 82 etc and ultimately cost the owners more in train operating costs . The people operating MZs don't do it because they have a choice they do it because they can't afford anything better .
  Krel4203 Locomotive Driver

Quote "Freight wagons have these things called chokes and we had to have them too because morons in other states refused to do grade tests and keep the grade controls operable . " Quote

As an ex NSWer that is a bit inflammatry. Chokes repaced GCVs due maintenance costs, nothing else. Given how often a wagon has them in any position other than EX the cost was too high to justify especially when most mainline locomotives have D/B.

With regard to the gen-set the 48/830 branchline locos won't last forever (although they seem to be). Sooner or later there will be a need for a "light lines" loco and a gen-set may fit the bill .
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .

Hmm , you'd have to go back a fair way to find a "mainline" diesel designed for use in NSW that didn't have a dynamic or regen brake incorporated into it . I strongly doubt anyone would buy a road unit that didn't have it . They are not an afterthought which is why the builders here all fit them.
"BDA"


I love it how people always pick and choose what they want to hear and then pick an argument apart based on what they perceive rather than what was actually written. If you recall correctly, I wrote that any mainline locomotive these days should ideally be fitted with dynamic brakes, and they are. However, a gen-set isn't a mainline locomotive, it is nothing more than a glorified shunt or trip engine, and that's why I stated that dynamic brake isn't such a great concern there if it isn't fitted (ideally it should, but this one doesn't for what could be a myriad of reasons). If it was a brand new mainline locomotive, the lack of dynamic brake in this day would be an incredible oversight, but as a trip train engine and potentially as a demonstrator of the type, there might have been reasons to omit it, if indeed it is destined for Australia at all.

There's a reason the American’s don't have gen-set's climbing Soldier Summit or Horseshoe Curve; that's because they're glorified shunters, and any Australian company who tries to do different with a gen-set might find if difficult. Stay within context of what they're designed to do, that's all I'm trying to say.

Myself and others use the dynamic brake shunting at Chullora to hold back heavy rakes particularly when they are long because using the brakes means they stop all the time - which wastes time ……(insert irrelevant rant)… Chokes on a long train are a PITA because they take longer to release than is usefull on less severe grades and the result is you slow down more than you need to and in some cases virtually stop.
"BDA"


Personally, I don’t need a lesson in fixed chokes as the last train I drove was four 48 classes on the front of 40 fixed choke wheat hoppers for 3200 tonne. However, I see your point, and yes everyone has at times used dynamic brake when shunting, especially in situations like you've described. The thing is though, there's a difference between running to Junee on NR's with 1500 meters of containers and heading out to Yennora on a shorter train while doing the Enfield Crawl. A driver drives accordingly, and if a gen-set is ideally suited to trip working, but doesn't have a dynamic brake; then I'd expect the driver to drive accordingly when he is rolling along on the Metrop' Goods Line (momentum anyone?). Afterall, a gen-set isn't a mainline locomotive but a shunter.

 

No one uses dynamic brakes going up hill - garbage . I had a longish Perth train recently on the up south and use the dyno brake to slow for the TSR at Bundanoon . Came past the 100 in the previous dip doing 98 bunched up against the dynos and went back to rolling and stretching a little above the restricted speed . Had I applied the brakes that train would have come to a stand on the rising grade.
"BDA"


Having driven that exact bit of track, I can understand exactly what you are saying, and for the length of train that sounds decent as being on a high-wheeler you probably would have hit the bottom of the hill at faster speed regardless of the upcoming TSR (while I on the slower runner would have naturally hit the bottom slower and rolled up). In saying that though, you can't tell me anyone would bring the dynamic in to slow for a signal at stop having been travelling uphill for a good while. If someone did, it'd be nothing short of bad train handling and road knowledge regardless of the "chokes". The other thing is, and perhaps the most important thing is that a gen-set won't be hitting 'Shangrila' at 98 on an interstate high-wheeler either. Ideally, it'll be pottering around on a trip train somewhere (if it even gets here), not dropping down Demondrille with 2500 tonnes. Because, afterall it’s only a shunter.

 

Over time brake shoes cost a lot more than dynamic brake equipment does and allows higher average speeds on grades than brakes alone do . MZs are a silly example because they were never intended for use in places like Australia . They would be a lot slower down the mountains than say a pair of 81s 82 etc and ultimately cost the owners more in train operating costs . The people operating MZs don't do it because they have a choice they do it because they can't afford anything better .
"BDA"


 

And that's a fact I gave you credit for; however, I used the example of the MZ’s because it shows that it can be done (not that it should be done day in day out though). Granted, we don't live in the steam era anymore, and enginemen don’t bring 1000 tonnes down the mountains on a No4 brake valve, but a locomotive designed to shunt, surely can shunt or trundle backwards and forwards to Botany on the air if need be. Why, because afterall it's a shunter.

All I'm saying is that having a dynamic brake is an essential part of the modern mainline locomotive, while it should also be a part of the shunting engines as well because as you've described, it may need it at times. However, this one doesn't have it (for whatever reason, weight, budget, whatever…), and all I'm saying is that if it does actually arrive here and is used for what it is supposed to do (shunt…), then that's not the end of the world. We've all ridden the independent down the yard, or knocked a quick 50kpa out of the brake pipe during a shunt. It's not ideal in a lot of circumstances, but I think we're all still capable of that aren't we if a demonstrator gen-set happens to turn up?

  M636C Minister for Railways

The following quote is from the paper read at AUSRAIL describing the Progress locomotive for Tasmania by Clive Sheperd and Damian White. It seems to make a number of points useful here, but of course is justifying not using a GenSet.

M636C


"Downer PRS considered a multi engine locomotive as a possible solution however, this design was not considered suitable for the terrain and consequential high-duty cycle environment owing to the extended periods of time in line haul duty. The multi-engine locomotive concept is a good niche solution for low speed shunting operations where very low levels of power are often required and where a high percentage of the duty cycle is spent idling. In conventional line-haul, and in most cases of mixed shunting and short-haul operations, the gen-set has some key disadvantages including;.


ï‚· Inherent unreliability of multiple machines.
ï‚· In-use fuel consumption diverging from technical fuel consumption because of the effects of starting / stopping engines. Whilst offering fuel savings over legacy locomotives, equivalent savings are achieved with modern, efficient single engines.


From Progress Rail’s experience, the in-use fuel consumption of multi-genset locomotives diverges. 
from theoretical fuel consumption because of the starting / stopping of engines. To prevent
excessive start / stops, the second and third engines do not shut off immediately, they continue to idle for some period of time beyond when they are needed. Because each engine has its own pumps, cooling system etc., the parasitic power losses are disproportionately large when this occurs. It is also worth noting that, because of starter and flywheel concerns, most genset builders limit the number of engine starts per day which results in engines continuing to run even longer."
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Multiple lashings of humble pie

Thank you to the gentleman who emailed and pointed out the error in my logic

I had been comparing 1201 with previous 3GS21C, in particular demo loco #1000 in Argentina, built to a similar loading gauge. 1201 lacks the large dynamic brake grills of #1000 and of previous DB equipped 3GS21C, so the assumption of both my US contact and I was no DB

Sharper minds considered 1201 to be a variation/modification of the 1100 Class, and pointed out the rather unique dynamic brake arrangement on this Class (not living on the east coast have never physically sighted one)

1201 has the same compact DB arrangement as the 1100, so those of us who have been knotting their panties can now relax
  The_trolley Deputy Commissioner

Location: .
1201 has the same compact DB arrangement as the 1100, so those of us who have been knotting their panties can now relax
"jmt"


Coolness. 8)


Thanks for letting us know, jmt.
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Photo of 1202 posted By Zachary Walters at http://www.rrpicturearchives.net


The original sighting was of 1201, so there must be 2 of them!
  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Sydney, NSW





Stumbled across some more shots courtesy of Richard Barnes Jr's pbase gallery.

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