All things U-SETS / U-BOATS

 
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Tomorrow will be 21 years since the last single-deck interurban ran under it's own power, 2 days after the final revenue service (an afternoon Newcastle to Sydney service). Below is a link to Trams Down Under with some info and photo posted of the final run, a SETS farewell tour which occurred on Sunday, November 3 1996. One of the lines the train passed over during the tour was the brand new Y-Link (Harris Park to Merrylands on it's way to Macarthur), which was officially opened on Saturday, November 2 1996 (inaugural train was a Tangara G set). By virtue of the tour, a u-set did get the chance to run over this new line of track that it would have otherwise missed out on given that they were retired a day prior to the opening and further to the fact that the last Blue Mountains u-set service ran February 26, 1996.

http://tdu.to/m/48362/u-boat-4-of-4

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  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Will I live to see one run again? I hope so.

I think the latest is that we're gonna try and do one at a time then attach to the W set. Eventually we'll get'em all done. Depends of inf we can get help with it or if all the work has to be done by volunteers, as it is now.

One power car will take about 4 years. When the W is out, we'll start on it.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Quick update before bed, just found these 2 shots, all credit to David Johnson for these 2 shots. Shows SETS u-set power cars CF5003 and CF5021 outside at Junee with a whole bunch of locomotives taken on 29 July 2017. Shots of U-boats these days are far and few between.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gunzel412/24904818378/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gunzel412/23913673537/
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

The following video posted by tressteleg1 at 2:15 shows a u-boat working it's way up the mountains and later hauled by steam locomotive 3646 to Wallerawang in April 1965, which was originally going to be the limit of the wires. Lots of other interesting footage with standard red sets, 3801 is seen briefly (assisted by a 46 up Cowan Bank) and a (then) brand spanking new C3805 and C3806



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4Zd0JdU7qM


Some footage posted by brma webmaster from 1968 shows a u-boat hauled by an AD60 Class Garratt locomotive on a railfan tour. The footage of the U-boat can specifically be seen at 9:08 and 9:50 and for good measure 2 46 class electrics can be seen on freight duties in their (then new) yellow whiskers livery at 9:28. Not sure of the location/stations of the footage but someone here may know.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K5DEe1jClVg


Another old video posted by nsw gr briefly shows u boats at 3:47. Interesting to see these electrics among still active steamers




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xs0YCvjywbM
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

A post that may be of interest on facebook by Ross William Jackson showing an auction that was to be held on 4 April 1995 for various NSW Rolling stock. This largely comprised of many of the trains/carriages that were retired by the end of 1994 or early 1995. Among them are DEB Set cars, 600/660/700/760 class rail cars, some 620/720 railcars and 41 electric train cars. The electric cars comprised of several 1955 Comeng and standard red set tulloch cars (assumingly the 7000 series that were part of the M sets) and 31 U-boat cars. The U-boat cars that were to be on offer included 14 power cars and 17 trailers.

I wonder if the u set cars set aside by RailCorp for preservation were initially included as part of this auction? Also it notes that the 14 power cars had either a DH25 or AY62 air compressor - from what I recall, it seems most of the u-set cars retained their original older style compressors or did some of them get the S-set compressors? From what I do remember the W set power cars seemed to mostly have S set compressors under them....


https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157342569993266&set=pcb.1647671308648840&type=3&theater


Speaking of compressors, here is an excellent video posted by tressteleg1 of a 3801 tour to Newcastle. A U-boat arrives at Newcastle at 8:52 and it's distinctive compressor can be heard clicking over as it waits at the platform for it's next service while 3801 reverses out.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTN3e2BWZJg
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW

I wonder if the u set cars set aside by RailCorp for preservation were initially included as part of this auction? Also it notes that the 14 power cars had either a DH25 or AY62 air compressor - from what I recall, it seems most of the u-set cars retained their original older style compressors or did some of them get the S-set compressors? From what I do remember the W set power cars seemed to mostly have S set compressors under them....
SydneyCider
This sale never happened (I noticed someone even wrote "cancelled" on the flyer!). It would be several more years until these vehicles were actually sold off after the ARPG had their pickings of them first. This was of course after the original single decker scrapping contract had been completed. It should be noted that some of these vehicles were those purchased by SETS through ARPG in early 1998, the single deck manual door cars being 7000 series motors ex Flemington Shunters.

The "Railcorp heritage fleet" by this time had already been chosen and largely moved to Redfern, except for the U Boats which were not chosen until 1998.

Some of the finer detail is out and out wrong, gawd knows where they copied it from, the electrics are DC not AC and the single decker tullochs have AEI149's under them not MV222's. Not many of the W's had double deck compressors. The DH25 is the type found under 1927/1940/1950 stock, the DH28 is the 1955 stock.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some stuff found on flickr, sometimes you find some of these photos by fluke through other ones as they do not come up in the search using typical key words. Credit to all respective individuals for sharing these. Hopefully these links work as there has been some issues with flickr shots showing up (or should i say disappearing) in threads.

U boat pulling out of Central Sydney Terminal c. 1964. Posted by Trainiac, Ted Lister Collection
https://www.flickr.com/photos/29903115@N06/37991320005/

44212 leads U set due to failure through old platforms at Rookwood c. 1977 (no idea where these platforms were)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/133770415@N04/40207542561/

One of the preserved U boat cars with original lift windows (not sure which one) leading set U2 on the main up through Burwood probably late 1980's. Info suggests that there were only 6 motor cars left by the end with original windows and one of those, CF5025, was easily identifiable with a distinctive attachment/port under the off side window - this one was used for the Matrix filming, the other 5 survived with different groups.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mollyschase/39910464862/

One of the preserved U boat cars leading a set through a location unknown likely late 1980's (somewhere on the northern line?)
https://www.flickr.com/photos/mollyschase/39044443225/in/album-72157633570719175/

U set pulling into Sydney Terminal in May 1987
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wellingtontrolleybuses/40512050694/

U set at Sydney Terminal
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wellingtontrolleybuses/26398727167/

U-set at Wollongong next to 3642, 5910 and 3001T on tour on 16 September 1989
https://www.flickr.com/photos/don5617/24530545674/

U and V sets stationary at Newcastle railway station in August 1990
https://www.flickr.com/photos/wellingtontrolleybuses/26659762698/

Taken 29 December 1994. Crossing an underbridge that was replaced over the weekend of 21-22 May 2011 a northbound intercity U set surges through Banksia
https://www.flickr.com/photos/highplains68/5746226116/

44 set pulling a U-boat
https://tdu.to/10729.att
  C3765 Junior Train Controller

There have recently been some new and exciting rumours that CF5003 and CF5021 (which was recently transferred a few days ago with electric locos 4615 and 8086 from Junee to Lithgow) will be restored to working condition for use with the AK cars (Not for heritage runs) with a role similar to the S Set motor cars. This will be great if it is true as we will be able to see them running with the newer rolling stock which did not exist back in the day (A Sets, M Sets, H Sets, B Sets, etc.). Does anyone think there is a particular reason why they would choose to use single deck intersurbans for the job when they already have the Suburban S Set Motor Cars? (Maybe so they can also run the new metro line? which would be pretty cool! Old stock on brand new rail system - Don’t take this too seriously). Remember this is only a rumour so do not take this too seriously.

Just some extra info on 4615 and 8086 - They are planned to be reactivated for use by Sydney Trains as maintenance trains on the underground network.
  C3765 Junior Train Controller

Here’s some footage of them being transferred:



https://youtu.be/-8DbbAMrmjg

All Credit goes to Sydney Trains Vlogs
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Interesting info, I don't know much about AK cars but wouldn't they be too heavy for them? Also, will the new metro be using the same overhead power as the existing system? Anyway, as you said, who knows.

But you are right that the last time the u boats ran, Tangara G sets were the brand spanking new trains at the time and they were introduced to replace them. 4615 and 8606 did a couple of tours from around c. 2002 - 2005 and the Milleniums were around then, but yes, a lot of this stock hasn't been seen with newer typically seen stock around today, that's how long it's been and it was a similar case with the Red Set F1, was strange to see it among a sea of Waratahs, Oscars and Milleniums and the bling of the opal card machines. Like taking something that was dead and buried for a long time and re-introducing into the modern world.
  C3765 Junior Train Controller

It’s great because they can bring back elements from the past and repurpose them so they can be reused in the system to improve certain things while not making the passengers angry as they are not being used for passenger service. Nobody (other than rail fans) cares if there is a old train running around the network as long as they are not on it.
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
There have recently been some new and exciting rumours that CF5003 and CF5021 (which was recently transferred a few days ago with electric locos 4615 and 8086 from Junee to Lithgow) will be restored to working condition for use with the AK cars (Not for heritage runs) with a role similar to the S Set motor cars. This will be great if it is true as we will be able to see them running with the newer rolling stock which did not exist back in the day (A Sets, M Sets, H Sets, B Sets, etc.). Does anyone think there is a particular reason why they would choose to use single deck intersurbans for the job when they already have the Suburban S Set Motor Cars? (Maybe so they can also run the new metro line? which would be pretty cool! Old stock on brand new rail system - Don’t take this too seriously). Remember this is only a rumour so do not take this too seriously.

Just some extra info on 4615 and 8086 - They are planned to be reactivated for use by Sydney Trains as maintenance trains on the underground network.
C3765
Just rumours mate.

This is what we know:

- The four vehicles were moved by ARHS ACT from HMC to Junee in 2010, after a long and protracted legal dispute between Cityrail and the owners (SETS) who refused to remove them themselves. The movement was paid for by Railcorp.

- The two U Boat cars both received extensive restoration works in the early '00s, firstly at Goulburn (where they were eventually evicted due to some dispute arising between the two groups) and then at Hornsby. One car was reportedly partially rewired (although the quality of workmanship was described in their own newsletter at the time as dubious). Work was also done to restore damaged floors and roof areas. Both cars never operated under their own power, and it is reported that an attempt to raise one of the pantographs prior to a tour in 2004 resulted in a shower of sparks and blown fuses, after which the tour operated with pantographs lowered.

- They were only ever at Hornsby as a result of a handshake deal with a former supervisor, there was nothing in writing. When Railcorp requested that the two electric locos be made available for use on the Bondi Turnback project in 2005 (through 3801 Ltd, using 3801 Ltd crews), SETS refused to allow them to be used in this way. This confused Railcorp management (who had previously turned a blind eye to them being at Hornsby in return for them hopefully becoming available for such projects). As a result, the welcome at Hornsby was terminated. It took four more years of legal wrangling before Railcorp were finally able to move them after a court order was obtained. (I might note that I was president of SETS between 2009 and early 2011 and the relocation to Junee took place during this time).

- The deal to house them at Junee was done by a SETS member but without the involvement of the committee. A rent was also negotiated, again without knowledge of the SETS committee at the time. The arrangement admittedly solved an immediate problem, however the details of the deal were never made by the member, nor at any time did the committee vote to approve of the undertaking.

- During the move, the pantographs for 4615 (having been removed at Hornsby) were unfortunately dropped from a forklift onto concrete by a careless Railcorp forklift driver during the collection process. Both pantographs were extensively damaged and neither will ever be used again.

- Late last year (2017) the vehicles were moved out of the roundhouse at Junee to make room for new exhibits. At the time, it was reliably reported that a large amount of rent for their storage at Junee remained unpaid and that JRRM had filed application to a court to allow sale of the items in order to recover the unpaid rent.

- This year (as reported above) the vehicles were moved from Junee to State Mine (Lithgow) by Pacific National. The status or ownership of the vehicles is at present, unknown. The location of the pantographs is unknown, I last saw them at a property (outdoors, in the grass) in Oakville (NSW), having delivered them there myself from HMC in 2010.

Observations:

- Some rumours have circulated that the locomotives are to be made operable (by whom? Pacific National?) and leased to Sydney Trains for underground work. These rumours are unsubstantiated and have not been backed up by Pacific National.

- It is known that Sydney Trains CEO Howard Collins has previously shown interest in obtaining an operable electric locomotive for use on Sydney underground work trains, as recently as October last year. However it has always been considered that this would likely result in the re activation of THNSW heritage locomotive 4638 (currently stored at Broadmeadow) and become a THNSW project once the current 3801 restoration project is completed at Chullora. Howard currently sits on the Board of THNSW.

- Given the very coloured history between Railcorp / Sydney Trains and SETS in the past (with particular reference to the above vehicles), it is extremely unlikely that Sydney Trains would ever accept any contract with any operator for their operation on the Sydney Trains network all the while they remain the property of the original owners, for fear of a possible repeat performance of the earlier legal issues arising. This would remain even if the vehicles were to be operated by a third party.

- The only way any of these vehicles will ever operate in an electrically powered capacity on the Sydney Trains network again would be for them to be sold to another owner with which Sydney Trains are satisfied with their status. It should be noted that the two U Boat cars still contain original VIR Rubber cabling in an advanced state of decay (the same as the THNSW/HET preserved cars do) and thus will not be suitable for reactivation without extensive electrical works.

- It should also be noted that the regulatory environment in NSW for operation of privately operated trains in NSW has changed since these vehicles last operated under their own power. The "non electrified" and goods lines network is now managed by ARTC (Federal Gov't). The electrified network (i.e. the wires above the tracks) are entirely owned by NSW Railcorp and operated by Sydney Trains, for their own exclusive use. There is no regulatory framework in existence in NSW anymore to permit a privately operated electric train on the NSW main line network, this being one of the key reasons why heritage Red Set F1 now operates under Sydney Trains accreditation - because there is simply no other regime in existence to do it any other way. Any operator wishing to operate electric traction in the NSW Main line network will need to enter an exclusive arrangement with Sydney Trains in order to use the network.

OK, that's it!

Let's see what happens...
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Thanks for the interesting information. Sounds like you could write a book about this stuff. So it sounds like as it is, it's not even known who owns these 4 items of rolling stock anymore or the specific reasons why they were taken to Lithgow.

In regards to 4638, someone made an interesting post in the 8606 & 4615 thread in the Locomotives forum that Thirlmere gave up on that one because it needs to be stored in a wired section with pans up? As far as I understand 4638 is owned by NSWRM and not part of the official state collection such as the cars in your care (F1, U2, W3)? That means if this loco were to run again (or 8646 for that matter), there would be some contract/agreement between NSWRM, THNSW and Sydney Trains to allow their working? By the same token, as a purely hypothetical, if 4601 at Valley Heights Museum was workable they would be in a similar situation to NSWRM Thirlmere in the type of agreement they would have with THNSW + ST as well since both of these museums are listed in the "Our Museums" section of the THNSW website? I'm guessing though it means the respective museums would lose the locos as far as a display piece is concerned as they would probably no longer be able to store them there as they'd be in the hands of ST.

Also, as far as underground works are concerned where the electric locos would still be of benefit, how often does that happen? Once a year? Once every few years?
  C3765 Junior Train Controller

Oooooooh so that’s why SETS doesn’t do any train tours anymore! I didn’t know that. Thanks for your very informative responses!
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Thanks for the interesting information. Sounds like you could write a book about this stuff. So it sounds like as it is, it's not even known who owns these 4 items of rolling stock anymore or the specific reasons why they were taken to Lithgow.

In regards to 4638, someone made an interesting post in the 8606 & 4615 thread in the Locomotives forum that Thirlmere gave up on that one because it needs to be stored in a wired section with pans up? As far as I understand 4638 is owned by NSWRM and not part of the official state collection such as the cars in your care (F1, U2, W3)? That means if this loco were to run again (or 8646 for that matter), there would be some contract/agreement between NSWRM, THNSW and Sydney Trains to allow their working? By the same token, as a purely hypothetical, if 4601 at Valley Heights Museum was workable they would be in a similar situation to NSWRM Thirlmere in the type of agreement they would have with THNSW + ST as well since both of these museums are listed in the "Our Museums" section of the THNSW website? I'm guessing though it means the respective museums would lose the locos as far as a display piece is concerned as they would probably no longer be able to store them there as they'd be in the hands of ST.

Also, as far as underground works are concerned where the electric locos would still be of benefit, how often does that happen? Once a year? Once every few years?
SydneyCider

4638 is on the state register, the custodian is THNSW. The electric cars are too, and in their case the custodian is HET. However nowadays the THNSW/ST/HET cosy thing is one big blur, partly because HET occupies a THNSW site (Redfern), ST operates a HET train for THNSW (F1, soon to add W3), and Howard is on the Board of THNSW and CEO of ST.

The 86's will never run again. Too much 1980's vintage electronics in them, maintenance nightmare. Would have to re engineer whole sections of the loco to work with modern parts. At least the 46's with their electro mechanical technology transcend the parts problem, but people who can understand and trouble shoot complex relay logic are getting rarer and older, I'm one of the younger ones at 51.

Really the only practical option for a working electric loco would be 4638 and possibly 4615 if it changes owners. Crew cert shouldn't be a problem, however whoever operates it will need to reach separate agreement with ST for use of the overhead and certification, this can't be done through "Rail Access" like it used to be. In reality the cosy THNSW/ST relationship would be the only hope of seeing it happen.

If it did, you could expect many operations currently using other access means, to then use it. Mostly work trains, more efficient to get stuff in and out on one train than keep using dozens of hi rail trucks like they do now.

Haha write a book.. yeah I did that back in 2014.. THNSW internal doc.. and it kinda played a part in kicking F1 back out on the track (or at least convincing certain board members at old RTM that they should help try).

And no, there's not much information about the SETS (ex SETS?) stuff around at the moment. That tends to suggest to me that ownership may have already passed, as I doubt State Mine would be interested in dealing with SETS either.

Yes, it's important to have somewhere that electric locos can be left "on the air" for extended periods especially before a run, in order to keep the equipment dry. The EMU's are a bit more forgiving in this regard however we still like to have the pans up for at least 24 hours before any scheduled run and also include a shakedown beforehand if possible.

I would just love to see the SETS stuff back in action one day. Too many good people spent too much time on them to have then rot away.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

LSMR no doubt knows what's up with those 4 vehicles, but having a look at their facebook pages there is no posts about it - and I highly doubt there will be, all hush hush, unless some kind of rather big announcement comes in the future. No chance that LSMR themselves may have purchased these 4 vehicles looking to lease the 2 locos to ST and/or THNSW? Smile They have since entered into an agreement with THNSW  for 623/723 which is being restored. Either that or some potentially new 3rd party has taken notice of the impressive restoration work they have been doing, which can be added, is a good thing for that area in opening up potentially new employment opportunities there. Will be interesting to see nonetheless.

For those interested in the movement of this rolling stock here is the PDF showing details of the movement and a further link as well

http://www.jhrcrn.com.au/media/4197/crn-18-021-movement-of-a-non-operational-electric-vehicles-on-the-crn.pdf

Interesting with above that the max speed of the locos was listed as 80km/h and 115km/h for the u-boat cars

https://extranet.artc.com.au/docman/DocManFiles/DocTypes/TOC/Files/18083.PDF?1276244332


For a list of full movements:-

https://extranet.artc.com.au/docman/default.aspx
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
LSMR no doubt knows what's up with those 4 vehicles, but having a look at their facebook pages there is no posts about it - and I highly doubt there will be, all hush hush, unless some kind of rather big announcement comes in the future. No chance that LSMR themselves may have purchased these 4 vehicles looking to lease the 2 locos to ST and/or THNSW? Smile They have since entered into an agreement with THNSW  for 623/723 which is being restored. Either that or some potentially new 3rd party has taken notice of the impressive restoration work they have been doing, which can be added, is a good thing for that area in opening up potentially new employment opportunities there. Will be interesting to see nonetheless.

SydneyCider
The fact that LSMR are involved tends to suggest to me that ownership has already changed. LSMR are a pretty progressive group and are known for entering contracts with third parties and keeping things hush hush until it's time to let the cat out of the bag. I just hope they've done their homework on this one, as just about everywhere these vehicles have been this century, they have outlived their welcome and the issue as ended up in court.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

A new facebook group that I have just discovered "NSW Railways Past and Present", for those interested in historical photos may find this group interesting. They have 2 facebook posts covering the transfer of these cars.

Photo taken 19 June 2018 where they are stored Lithgow

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2492137324145399/


Their arrival at Lithgow Station around 3:37pm Sunday 16 June 2018 after a long 2 day trip from Junee. Quite amazing how many people covered this journey.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2487954684563663/


A historic photo of 3820 passing on the main down through Summer Hill near the Liverpool Road overpass on 01 July 1966 with a u-boat heading in the opposite direction. I believe those 2 old houses (Carlton Cres) still exist today

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2491367247555740/


U-boat tour with U7 through Turrella to Glenlee Colliery
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155401307360776&set=g.803360366356445&type=1&theater&ifg=1
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
A new facebook group that I have just discovered "NSW Railways Past and Present", for those interested in historical photos may find this group interesting. They have 2 facebook posts covering the transfer of these cars.

Photo taken 19 June 2018 where they are stored Lithgow

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2492137324145399/


Their arrival at Lithgow Station around 3:37pm Sunday 16 June 2018 after a long 2 day trip from Junee. Quite amazing how many people covered this journey.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2487954684563663/


A historic photo of 3820 passing on the main down through Summer Hill near the Liverpool Road overpass on 01 July 1966 with a u-boat heading in the opposite direction. I believe those 2 old houses (Carlton Cres) still exist today

https://www.facebook.com/groups/NSWRailwaysPastandPresent/permalink/2491367247555740/


U-boat tour with U7 through Turrella to Glenlee Colliery
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10155401307360776&set=g.803360366356445&type=1&theater&ifg=1
SydneyCider
Haha sure a lot of armchair clatter in that lot!
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Some great shots contributed in light of the recent move by Lindsay Bridge from an April 17, 1960 tour, HQ and in colour
SydneyCider
I have just had reliable confirmation that the vehicles have nothing to do with LSMR (Lithgow State Mine Railway) and that this is not their destination.
  C3765 Junior Train Controller

Does that mean they could be taken closer to the heart of Sydney?
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Does that mean they could be taken closer to the heart of Sydney?
C3765
No idea.

I doubt they will enter Sydney Trains jurisdiction, given what happened last time (unless they've changed ownership). And it's a given that they're not heading to any of the four THNSW managed sites.

Lithgow Railway Workshops (LRW) would be the only other logical destination, although they could just as easily end up rotting in  some crazy isolated siding at Bowenfels or something.. who knows.
  SydneyCider Chief Train Controller

Some posts on the SETS facebook page regarding the vehicles concerned

https://www.facebook.com/setsAU/
  zordmaker Train Controller

Location: NSW
Some posts on the SETS facebook page regarding the vehicles concerned

https://www.facebook.com/setsAU/
SydneyCider
Yeah, it does seem that they are still owned by SETS.

The farcebook comments have been amusing to say the least, especially Ben Parker's replies.

All I can say is.. "Here we go again"...

ZM

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