Former 'Murraylander' sets and 909/907- situation update

 
  Klink Chief Train Controller

Location: Stalag 13, the toughest POW Camp in all Germany
Hi everyone,
Myself and a number of others got up to Tailem Bend Depot to meet Steve Moritz and have a look around the former roundhouse depot on the weekend.

It is not a pretty sight. Most people would have seen the pictures over the last few years of the destruction done by vandals.





As not much has ever been said 'officially' about what is happening or supposed to happen, I thought its about time some proper facts dispelled the rumours and at least let everyone know the situation.

The Carriages are mostly up for sale. SteamRail has expressed interest in some. The condition varies- most of them have been almost completely graffiti covered over, some are still presentable inside to a reasonable extent. At least the vandals have not been able to get into some as the doors have proved difficult to get into for them.

The locomotives are a sad sight. 907 is on blocks and the worse off of the two mechanically. Furthermore, there is a possibility it may be sold and shipped to England- a group rebuilding the English Electric diesel LMS 10000, which has common parts, have visited and expressed interest in acquiring it. apart from that, it may end up as scrap if it cannot be restored or sold.



909 is on the way to standard gauge conversion. The new standard gauge bogies are ready to go under it. Mechanically there is a lot of work to be done. Progress has been made on acquiring a computer link up from the UK which can make EE locos talk to Alcos and other types. Due to new safety demands they've had to shell out for a bulletproof windscreen which has cost over $7k. Steve is adamant that even if 907 may have to be let go he will not let 909 go easily.



Overall nearly $200k has been spent on the locos since they've arrived. A great deal has been undone by copper thieves and vandals. While their power car was on hire to SCT all funds from that were used on the restoration but this is no longer the case.

Steve is realistic that the work is now beyond his own financial and practical abilities and those of his small group. he believes the only way that things can now move forward is if a non-profit group can be formed to take over and volunteers found. He is not getting his hopes up- there is little local interest or understanding , and most other SA organizations are short on volunteers/members.

They have already been offered help from another organization to help put a full train together- all it would take is one fully operational carriage according to Steve.

We also talked the recent Wine Train movement and learnt that there is a few good signs happening on the owners end with wineries and corporate sponsors coming on board rapidly.

I would suggest anyone who is vaguely interested in helping should get in touch soon, time is not on anyones side in this case. Please PM me for Steve's contact details. I don't have a connection with the group apart from repaying their generosity in having us to visit.

Matt

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  sar602 Chief Train Controller

Location: Nomadic truckie
Whats the plan with 909 if he is still working on it? last i heard it was going to be a lease unit when its done?
Im definately keen on helping out.
  Klink Chief Train Controller

Location: Stalag 13, the toughest POW Camp in all Germany
We never got to talk about that unfortunately- right now Steve is only really concerned with keeping it in one piece, getting it back into action eventually and hopefully moving on from the current stage of affairs.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Is there a market for leasing an ageing 1500 HP locomotive? I suppose at least if they require donk parts some might be available from HMAS Otama, they're not having much luck restoring that either.
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Regional rail in SA, for the future we all want! Smile
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hi,
this is good news in the fact that the wine train is now able to move under its own power and is now possibly getting resurrected.
furthermore if a regional rail group has offered Steve assistance this is also good news for regional rail in SA.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Is there a market for leasing an ageing 1500 HP locomotive? I suppose at least if they require donk parts some might be available from HMAS Otama, they're not having much luck restoring that either.
Aaron


There are no common parts between the English Electric 16SVT Mk I in the 900 class and the Vickers Admiralty Standard Range 1 engines in Otama. They are not even the same bore and stroke.

M636C
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
There are no common parts between the English Electric 16SVT Mk I in the 900 class and the Vickers Admiralty Standard Range 1 engines in Otama. They are not even the same bore and stroke.

M636C
M636C

I didn't look that far, I just presumed the C and M were indicative of intercooler-ing and marine use, presumed much of the rest would be much the same.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Hi,
this is good news in the fact that the wine train is now able to move under its own power and is now possibly getting resurrected.
furthermore if a regional rail group has offered Steve assistance this is also good news for regional rail in SA.
Heath Loxton

Don't go cracking the champagne just yet Heath. Just because something can move under it's own power does not mean much if it cannot move because of red tape etc. You have to comply with all the paperwork etc first before you can move anything these days. So if there is no paper work, no moving on the mainlines is allowed!

I doubt very much your grand plan for regional rail will eventuate in your life time even, not unless something really important is found almost right on top of a railway right of way, and moving it by rail is the best option! But other than that I would not hold my breath actually!
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
hi secret agent,
funnily enough you should say that as my regional rail in SA grand plan just got me an A+ for my business class assignment! Smile
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Whats the fuel consumption of a 900 like?
Ive often wondered about the basic economics of running very old locos today, due to the
massive price differances in diesel fuel today compared to the 1950s.
Even if the loco could be restored to an operational state , would it be economically viable to run it anywhere?
I simply cant see anyone wanting to lease a 1950s vintage loco.
Any current rail operator who needed to lease one could get far more modern locos off CFCLA.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Whats the fuel consumption of a 900 like?
"MD"
Possibly viable in Saudi Arabia.

hi secret agent,
funnily enough you should say that as my regional rail in SA grand plan just got me an A+ for my business class assignment! Smile
"Heath Loxton"
Thanks for providing us with a good example of how SA school standards have gone downhill with a complete loss of academic rigour.
  Klink Chief Train Controller

Location: Stalag 13, the toughest POW Camp in all Germany
besides the fuel issue the fact that the 900 is a heavy beast also plays against it.

I cant imagine any operator wanting one unless there was a serious motive power shortage or they have money to burn.

In regards to Regional Rail, this really doesnt have anything to do with such a thing- all anyone in charge wants to do is get a running set going to run excursions to wherever. Nothing regular, and even the Wine Train has a lot more hurdles to jump through elsewhere.

As I mentioned to others off forum though, even clapped out 907 is a better restoration job than SRHC buying GM28 from Pirie, regardless of the availability of GM parts.
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hi,
would there be enough rail enthusiasts for excursion trains in south Australia?
  Klink Chief Train Controller

Location: Stalag 13, the toughest POW Camp in all Germany
Enthusiasts, most likely.

people to do the groundwork, restoration and volunteering is a diferent manner entirely and scarce on the ground.
  greasyrhys Chief Commissioner

Location: MacDonald Park, SA
I definitely can't imagine any company wanting to lease a loco that weighs 128 tonnes, only holds 4,550 litres of fuel, & can only provide 1600hp.

They only belong on tourist/enthusiast specials.
  steam4ian Chief Commissioner

Hi,
would there be enough rail enthusiasts for excursion trains in south Australia?
Heath Loxton

Heath

You should know that from you business plan.

Ian
  Z1NorthernProgress2110 Chief Commissioner

Location: Burnie, Tasmania
Would be nice to see a classic EE 900 class roaming the rails one day. But I can see the old gal not being used much more than tourist experience.
  David Peters Dr Beeching

Location: "With Hey Boy".
Heath

You should know that from you business plan.

Ian
steam4ian

Yes Heath if you have done your sums right and got bums on every seat then you should know that. However getting enough enthusiasts is never going to make it pay you will need to get the public interested as well to really make ends meet. ARHS tours over the years were for the most part a mix like this and some of those tours just scraped in a times as goers. It is not as easy as one thinks to sell a ticket to sit on a train. Especially on special trips only like this. There is just not really enough people interested in this kind of thing these days to do it.

Yes you might be interested in it but a lot of people would rather photograph the special train for free than actually ride the train for a fare! It has always been like this though!
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
I have often considered that 'enthusiast specials' could make more money if they didn't bother selling tickets to the special enthusiasts, and instead, cordoned off the line and sold admissions to the best photograph spots, charging on exit for the number of shots taken.
  MD Chief Commissioner

Location: Canbera
Back in the 1970s Victoria ran a lot of enthusiast trains and I travelled on many of them , but the
sad thing that always seemed to happen was the ratio of motorcaders and people who followed the trains in their cars
taking pictures and the actual number of people on the train.
The motorcaders won every time.
Enthusiast specials just cant operate like this.

I am somewhat surprised though that there hasnt as yet been a railfan trip to Darwin by now.
Would have to be the only line in Australia that hasnt seen a railfan trip.
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Hi,
I was talking to Steve on the telephone last night and we discussed the fact that each carriage would need about $30,000 put into it in order for it to run mainline again.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
That's a lot of high quality propeller sales!
  Gayspie Assistant Commissioner

Location: Adelaide, SA
Aaron,
The costs that we come up with were:

$5000 for paintwork.
$10,000 for A/C and electrical.
$8000 for bogie inspection and minor repairs.
$7000 for toilet refurbishment.

This would could be carried out on site by volunteers, EDI, CFCL, or Bluebird rail.
  hosk1956 Deputy Commissioner

Location: no where near gunzels
Aaron,
The costs that we come up with were:

$5000 for paintwork.
$10,000 for A/C and electrical.
$8000 for bogie inspection and minor repairs.
$7000 for toilet refurbishment.

This would could be carried out on site by volunteers, EDI, CFCL, or Bluebird rail.
Heath Loxton

Heathy, I would say that what Steve said and you wanted to hear would be two different things, you are absolutely no where near the correct figure, those numbers would not even count as a deposit if you are going to get the likes of EDI, CFCL or Bluebird to work on them. Those figures would barely be material costs, labour and transport costs to any company for work would cripple that budget.

Wayne

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