Watco wins GrainCorp's Queensland contract

 
  dave4361 Beginner

Location: Darling Downs QLD
Watco locos currently stranded at Warwick due to QR derailment at Greenmount. WA2, WA5, WA6, WA7, WA8.

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  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Watco's 2184D departed Garbutt (Townsville) this morning at 10.30am with 45 KOJX cattle wagons previously owned by Queensland Transport. This is part of the last batch of surviving KOJXs, after around 200 were scrapped by Queensland Transport during 2017 when the new cattle sets entered service. The train is believed to be heading to Mackay at this stage. Watco's 2188D is currently northbound from Mackay to collect additional wagons from Aurizon's Cobarra yard adjacent to the closed Queensland Nickel Refinery.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Watco might need some 1720s to haul cattle out of Quilpie! Wink
  jmt Deputy Commissioner

Watco might need some 1720s to haul cattle out of Quilpie! Wink
Graham4405
Or ex Kiwi G22AR (DC Class)
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Watco might need some 1720s to haul cattle out of Quilpie! Wink
Or ex Kiwi G22AR (DC Class)
jmt
At ~80 tons they are too heavy to run to Quilpie!
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Watco's 2188D arrived at Cobarra last night to collect more wagons, having passed 2184D's train between Townsville and Mackay. Possibly the first time two Watco services have crossed each other on the North Coast Line. There's unconfirmed reports Watco has acquired up to 150 ex-cattle wagons in storage at Cobarra.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Watco might need some 1720s to haul cattle out of Quilpie! Wink
Or ex Kiwi G22AR (DC Class)
At ~80 tons they are too heavy to run to Quilpie!
Graham4405
The DCs like the 1400s were set up with 150 kN on the powered axles and 90-100 kN on the idler axles.

This could easily be adjusted to give 130 kN on all axles if required.

This might be acceptable on lighter lines at restricted speed.

Peter
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Watco might need some 1720s to haul cattle out of Quilpie! Wink
Or ex Kiwi G22AR (DC Class)
At ~80 tons they are too heavy to run to Quilpie!
The DCs like the 1400s were set up with 150 kN on the powered axles and 90-100 kN on the idler axles.

This could easily be adjusted to give 130 kN on all axles if required.

This might be acceptable on lighter lines at restricted speed.

Peter
M636C
Peter,

Did you not read what I wrote? They are ~80 ton locos, adjusting as you mentioned will not change the fact that they can't work to and from Quilpie. A 1720 can because it is a ~60 ton loco. That's ~20 tons lighter... The line from Charleville to Quilpie is only 10.75 TAL as opposed to 15.75 TAL from the east to Charleville.

I'd like to be 20kg lighter, but I'm not... Smile
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Watco might need some 1720s to haul cattle out of Quilpie! Wink
Or ex Kiwi G22AR (DC Class)
At ~80 tons they are too heavy to run to Quilpie!
The DCs like the 1400s were set up with 150 kN on the powered axles and 90-100 kN on the idler axles.

This could easily be adjusted to give 130 kN on all axles if required.

This might be acceptable on lighter lines at restricted speed.

Peter
Peter,

Did you not read what I wrote? They are ~80 ton locos, adjusting as you mentioned will not change the fact that they can't work to and from Quilpie. A 1720 can because it is a ~60 ton loco. That's ~20 tons lighter... The line from Charleville to Quilpie is only 10.75 TAL as opposed to 15.75 TAL from the east to Charleville.

I'd like to be 20kg lighter, but I'm not... Smile
Graham4405
Not disagreeing Graham. Just putting on the table, the old EBR DH locos were displaced off the old EBR with DC's so anything I'm guessing is possible!
  M636C Minister for Railways

Did you not read what I wrote? They are ~80 ton locos, adjusting as you mentioned will not change the fact that they can't work to and from Quilpie. A 1720 can because it is a ~60 ton loco. That's ~20 tons lighter... The line from Charleville to Quilpie is only 10.75 TAL as opposed to 15.75 TAL from the east to Charleville.
As built the 1720s were only 59 long tons.
1700s, which worked out that way when new in 1963 were only 58 tons.

But the 1720s are now, as you say the only locomotives weighing less than 93 tonnes.
I find it hard to believe that the track to Quilpie hasn't improved since 1963 when the design of the 1700s was finalised.
Simply the introduction of modern track maintenance machines should have improved the line and level.
The main limitation would be the older bridges where the heavier axleload might be a problem.
But it may not be that the 1720 is the heaviest locomotive that can use the line, but that 2400s as the next available class are too heavy...

Peter
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I find it hard to believe that the track to Quilpie hasn't improved since 1963 when the design of the 1700s was finalised.
M636C
I would doubt very much if any significant improvement would have been made in that time. A mate who used to work for QR as a surveyor told me once that nothing significant had been done to the Western line since it was laid, much of that in the 19th century!
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

QR's most recent Data Pack (2016) for the 200.1km Quilpie Branch from Westgate indicates the line is currently laid with 21kg and 30kg on timber sleepers with a maximum axle load of 10.62-tonnes. There are 45 timber bridges totalling 1919.6-metres and three steel spans totalling 40-metres. Maximum speed is 60km/h and maximum container height is limited to 2.65m. There are five crossing loops, the longest being 431-metres at Quilpie, and 360-metres at Cheepie and Coolbinga.  

Charleville to Westgate is 20.56km, with 30kg rail on one in three steel sleepers. There are three steel bridges totalling 29-metres. Maximum speed is 60km/h with a maximum axle load of 10.62-tonnes.

Now since this data pack was produced, I believe there has been reasonably intensive rail and sleeper replacement, plus ballasting, on the Quilpie line, so there has probably been some improvement in track structure. And it should be noted that there is still a small amount of 20kg rail in mainline use on QR's Central line supporting 15.75-tonne axle loads (between Emerald and Jericho), so with an improved track sub-structure the Quilpie line could be upgraded to 15.75-tonne axle loads without a full rail replacement.
  lkernan Deputy Commissioner

Location: Melbourne
Not disagreeing Graham. Just putting on the table, the old EBR DH locos were displaced off the old EBR with DC's so anything I'm guessing is possible!
RTT_Rules
DQs, Tassie only had one DC and I don’t think it went down the west coast much (if at all)
  hbedriver Chief Train Controller

Saw bits of the line near Quilpie last year. Delightful 42lb rails, dated 1915 (clearly they didn't know there was a war on!). Even managed to see loco 1746 hauling a rail rake, but I saw no sign of heavier rails being installed (others suggested it was a driver training run). On the other hand, they were doing a decent sleeper replacement program, albeit with timber. The track overall looked in reasonable enough condition, but that was based on running light weight locos.

Note that the NJ class of Commonwealth Railways were a 67 tonne loco, so they could probably be accepted for those sorts of rails (and they ran over lots of 41lb rails on the Oodnadatta line), although I doubt that GWA would release their 1600 class from Thevenard. The NT class were a bit heavier but got by.

Maybe WATCO could purchase and reinstate those old NSU class out at Marree? They would be light enough anyway.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Saw bits of the line near Quilpie last year. Delightful 42lb rails, dated 1915 (clearly they didn't know there was a war on!). Even managed to see loco 1746 hauling a rail rake, but I saw no sign of heavier rails being installed (others suggested it was a driver training run). On the other hand, they were doing a decent sleeper replacement program, albeit with timber. The track overall looked in reasonable enough condition, but that was based on running light weight locos.

Note that the NJ class of Commonwealth Railways were a 67 tonne loco, so they could probably be accepted for those sorts of rails (and they ran over lots of 41lb rails on the Oodnadatta line), although I doubt that GWA would release their 1600 class from Thevenard. The NT class were a bit heavier but got by.

Maybe WATCO could purchase and reinstate those old NSU class out at Marree? They would be light enough anyway.
hbedriver

QR has previously approved PN's 48 class to be operated in Queensland on narrow gauge providing some modifications are made below the running boards, although they and the associated 830 class remain too heavy for the current axle load restrictions on the Quilpie line.

This branch is the last active freight line in Queensland with an axle load under 15.75-tonnes, so modifying it to suit the needs of various operators would make better long term sense than making operators buy a couple of "small" locos for 220km of track. And that is now particularly the case with the potential repatriation of Aurizon's exported Clyde fleet and the sale of the KiwiRail DCs enabling any Queensland participant to source relatively cheap 15.75-tonne axle load locomotives.
  RTT_Rules Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Dubai UAE
Saw bits of the line near Quilpie last year. Delightful 42lb rails, dated 1915 (clearly they didn't know there was a war on!). Even managed to see loco 1746 hauling a rail rake, but I saw no sign of heavier rails being installed (others suggested it was a driver training run). On the other hand, they were doing a decent sleeper replacement program, albeit with timber. The track overall looked in reasonable enough condition, but that was based on running light weight locos.

Note that the NJ class of Commonwealth Railways were a 67 tonne loco, so they could probably be accepted for those sorts of rails (and they ran over lots of 41lb rails on the Oodnadatta line), although I doubt that GWA would release their 1600 class from Thevenard. The NT class were a bit heavier but got by.

Maybe WATCO could purchase and reinstate those old NSU class out at Marree? They would be light enough anyway.

QR has previously approved PN's 48 class to be operated in Queensland on narrow gauge providing some modifications are made below the running boards, although they and the associated 830 class remain too heavy for the current axle load restrictions on the Quilpie line.

This branch is the last active freight line in Queensland with an axle load under 15.75-tonnes, so modifying it to suit the needs of various operators would make better long term sense than making operators buy a couple of "small" locos for 220km of track. And that is now particularly the case with the potential repatriation of Aurizon's exported Clyde fleet and the sale of the KiwiRail DCs enabling any Queensland participant to source relatively cheap 15.75-tonne axle load locomotives.
Sulla1
Even QR cannot continue to operate its aging 1720 fleet of locos for ever, now exceeding over 50 years.

At some point a call will need to be made, enable heavier locos or close the line and running the same locos from Brisbane to Quilpie is far more practical.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Watco's 2188D picked up another rake of long term storage KOJX and KLEX cattle wagons from Cobarra yard yesterday, taking them to Mackay for servicing. A third such train is scheduled for this week. At this stage Watco now has approximately 90 KOJX and one KLEX, with more to come.

The presence of the KLEX in this transfer is an interesting development, as this wagon type is the last of the traditional cattle wagons (formerly the KL class) still on wheels, with the body built onto the underframe rather than as a container crate. As this wagon can't be readily converted to intermodal traffic it would appear very likely Watco is actually entering the cattle business.

Early indications are this will be a big cattle season for rail in the north, with Aurizon operating several cattle services west and south of Townsville last week.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
The presence of the KLEX in this transfer is an interesting development,
Sulla1
Perhaps it was easier to drag it along rather than shunt it out of the rake?
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

Watco's third cattle wagon transfer from Cobarra to Mackay ran today with 2184D. The best I can tell, Watco has moved 133 KOJX and two KLEX to Mackay for this yet to be announced contract.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

2188D working what is believed to be the final Cobarra to Mackay transfer today. 10 KOJX and 2 KLEX. That should bring Watco's fleet up to 143 KOJX and 4 KLEX.
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
2188D working what is believed to be the final Cobarra to Mackay transfer today. 10 KOJX and 2 KLEX. That should bring Watco's fleet up to 143 KOJX and 4 KLEX.
Sulla1
Where are they storing them? At the Harbour? I haven't seen them at the Mackay Station yard. I guess there would not be enough free space there to accommodate that with the usual traffic.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

I believe they're at the Harbour. A grain set appears to have been moved to Gladstone to make room.
  Sulla1 Chief Commissioner

2188D working what is believed to be the final Cobarra to Mackay transfer today. 10 KOJX and 2 KLEX. That should bring Watco's fleet up to 143 KOJX and 4 KLEX.
Sulla1

As things turned out, 2188D failed as it worked south through Oonoonba (a southern Townsville suburb). Aurizon's 2830 was sent to rescue the stranded Watco train and took it south to QR's Partington yard to await Watco's replacement loco 2184D to make the 366km journey north from Mackay.
  dave4361 Beginner

Location: Darling Downs QLD
Warwick yard
  Big J Deputy Commissioner

Location: In Paradise
I believe they're at the Harbour. A grain set appears to have been moved to Gladstone to make room.
Sulla1
Thanks Sulla1. I will try to check it out during some exercise with a bike.

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