Upgrading the horsepower for the N Class locomotives in Victoria

 
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

As the V Locity fleet continues to grow, so the N Class locos will become more useful as freight locos rather than as passenger locos. Having being introduced in the mid 1980's, the current N Class are relatively new compared to their older counterparts such as the X Class and the (rarer) S and B class locos

These locomotives are relatively light on the track. They were originally 123 tons and that increased slightly to 126 tons after receiving the D77 traction motors.

They have an EMD 645 12 cylinder engine for just under 2500 hp. Is it possible to drop a 16 cylinder EMD 645 engine into one and boost it up to 3300hp. So the same hp as a: G, BL or 81 class?

Also would removing the head end power generator help with such an upgrade by potentially freeing up more space in the engine compartment? Because if that locomotive is to become a freight loco, the HEP will become redundant.

Sponsored advertisement

  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
Which company will be using these upgraded locomotives for freight?
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Thanks Jack. I will await the result of your efforts.
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Thanks Jack. I will await the result of your efforts.
Duncs
It is discussed in this thread below.

https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11386472-0-asc-s200.htm

There are at least two other threads other than the above thread.

Conclusion, they will NOT be permitted into N.S.W. as they haven't ever run there, therefore are NOT covered by the Grandfather clause of the other Classes of locomotive, and with the shrinking B/G, they won't be much use in Vic.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Hi Jack

I went through that thread but could not find anything relating to my question. So I welcome input from others.

Thanks for your input, but when I was looking at the N Class loco I was only considering operations in Victoria. There are still destinations in Victoria that will need BG locos. They are: Bairnsdale, Long Island, Swan Hill, Towcumal and Warranambool.

I expect new SG lines to cover Geelong to Ballarat to Maryborough. After which it is now SG to Mildura and Ararat already. So no need to SG the rest of the Victoria network, especially where there is BG passenger rolling stock in use, plus it has go go though the current suburban BG network.

It would be interesting to see if the hp of the N Class can be increased at all. Also if such an option is a simple exercise, or a complex one. After all it was the problems encountered converting the old B Class into the A Class in the early 1980's that led to the increase in the original order for the N Class from 10 units to 26.
  Jack Le Lievre Assistant Commissioner

Location: Moolap Station, Vic
Hi Jack

I went through that thread but could not find anything relating to my question. So I welcome input from others.

Thanks for your input, but when I was looking at the N Class loco I was only considering operations in Victoria. There are still destinations in Victoria that will need BG locos. They are: Bairnsdale, Long Island, Swan Hill, Towcumal and Warranambool.

I expect new SG lines to cover Geelong to Ballarat to Maryborough. After which it is now SG to Mildura and Ararat already. So no need to SG the rest of the Victoria network, especially where there is BG passenger rolling stock in use, plus it has go go though the current suburban BG network.

It would be interesting to see if the hp of the N Class can be increased at all. Also if such an option is a simple exercise, or a complex one. After all it was the problems encountered converting the old B Class into the A Class in the early 1980's that led to the increase in the original order for the N Class from 10 units to 26.
Duncs
I have gone and found the Threads that YOU started in 2014 & 2018!

2014
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-p1945279.htm

2018
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11397117.htm


I am sure that the answers are in there since you basically asked the same questions.

If not search in your favourite search engine for "N Class Rebuild Railpage" and more Threads will come up.

Now can this Thread, please be locked. Thank You.
  hbedriver Assistant Commissioner

Few things to note.

The B into A class conversion became an issue due to structural issues with the B class. I doubt such an issue would apply to the N.

The N are already a go anywhere/do anything loco. Not quite as powerful as a G/BL/81, but as they are quite useful. Set up for driver only operation, so potentially a saving for future owners. The HEP could be used for refrigerated containers, so retention of it would be potentially be useful quite apart from saving money. Potential new owners might note they are as powerful as three T class, but use less fuel.

As to operation in NSW, what about Albury? N class arrive there thrice daily, unrestricted.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Few things to note.

The B into A class conversion became an issue due to structural issues with the B class. I doubt such an issue would apply to the N.

The N are already a go anywhere/do anything loco. Not quite as powerful as a G/BL/81, but as they are quite useful. Set up for driver only operation, so potentially a saving for future owners. The HEP could be used for refrigerated containers, so retention of it would be potentially be useful quite apart from saving money. Potential new owners might note they are as powerful as three T class, but use less fuel.

As to operation in NSW, what about Albury? N class arrive there thrice daily, unrestricted.
hbedriver
Albury is a good point. They probably got a special dispensation to go there as it is just across the border. But if it is further afield then Jack's earlier point is valid. Thanks for the info on the B to A class conversions. I never knew that.

I agree that 1 x N versus 3 x T class is a no brainier. Although as I check Vicsig, the T's are 950hp each so the N is closer to 2.5 x T class. But still a major advantage. Plus the driver only factor. Yes on reflection I would leave the HEP intact, just in case it was needed. The A Class have done a lot of freight work in Victoria over the years, so as the N is essentially a more modern version of the A Class, better to leave them as they are. They will do nicely as a replacement when the time comes.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I would assume that the regulations that would potentially limit N class operating in N.S.W. would be the same as those that prohibit GML10 from operating there. In that case, I am told GML10 is permitted to run as far as Albury, and I believe it has been permitted to run as far as Junee for maintenance on a conditional basis.

As for whether or not the N class locos could find a home in the freight market in the event that V/line were to let some go, I could see either QUBE or SSR being interested if the price was right.

If the Managatang and Sea Lake lines finally do get gauge converted, I think the N Class could be seen as quite useful on grain duties on these lines, and others in Vic with lighter weight ratings.

Whether or not they would need more horsepower for such a role is debatable.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

If Qube could get their hands on enough Ns to justify their compliance to NSW standards, they would certainly prove useful for port shuttle services, particularly if they were upgraded with a 12-710 donk. I am not aware of any double ended locos available off the shelf other than the chinese offerings and I've heard that Qube are not enthusiastic about that option.
  Dangersdan707 Chief Commissioner

Location: On a Thing with Internet
I am not aware of any double ended locos available off the shelf other than the chinese offerings and I've heard that Qube are not enthusiastic about that option.
fzr560
Really?

https://www.progressrail.com/en/Segments/RollingStock/Locomotives/FreightLocomotives/JT42CWRM.html
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

I am not aware of any double ended locos available off the shelf other than the chinese offerings and I've heard that Qube are not enthusiastic about that option.
Really?

https://www.progressrail.com/en/Segments/RollingStock/Locomotives/FreightLocomotives/JT42CWRM.html
Dangersdan707
I said "I am not aware". I did not say "there are no double ended locos". Well done. I hope you've bought a thousand.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Few things to note.

The B into A class conversion became an issue due to structural issues with the B class. I doubt such an issue would apply to the N.

The N are already a go anywhere/do anything loco. Not quite as powerful as a G/BL/81, but as they are quite useful. Set up for driver only operation, so potentially a saving for future owners. The HEP could be used for refrigerated containers, so retention of it would be potentially be useful quite apart from saving money. Potential new owners might note they are as powerful as three T class, but use less fuel.

As to operation in NSW, what about Albury? N class arrive there thrice daily, unrestricted.
Albury is a good point. They probably got a special dispensation to go there as it is just across the border. But if it is further afield then Jack's earlier point is valid. Thanks for the info on the B to A class conversions. I never knew that.

I agree that 1 x N versus 3 x T class is a no brainier. Although as I check Vicsig, the T's are 950hp each so the N is closer to 2.5 x T class. But still a major advantage. Plus the driver only factor. Yes on reflection I would leave the HEP intact, just in case it was needed. The A Class have done a lot of freight work in Victoria over the years, so as the N is essentially a more modern version of the A Class, better to leave them as they are. They will do nicely as a replacement when the time comes.
Duncs
If one takes a random look the load tables an N class is usually only worth, more or less, two T class.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Few things to note.

The B into A class conversion became an issue due to structural issues with the B class. I doubt such an issue would apply to the N.

The N are already a go anywhere/do anything loco. Not quite as powerful as a G/BL/81, but as they are quite useful. Set up for driver only operation, so potentially a saving for future owners. The HEP could be used for refrigerated containers, so retention of it would be potentially be useful quite apart from saving money. Potential new owners might note they are as powerful as three T class, but use less fuel.

As to operation in NSW, what about Albury? N class arrive there thrice daily, unrestricted.
Albury is a good point. They probably got a special dispensation to go there as it is just across the border. But if it is further afield then Jack's earlier point is valid. Thanks for the info on the B to A class conversions. I never knew that.

I agree that 1 x N versus 3 x T class is a no brainier. Although as I check Vicsig, the T's are 950hp each so the N is closer to 2.5 x T class. But still a major advantage. Plus the driver only factor. Yes on reflection I would leave the HEP intact, just in case it was needed. The A Class have done a lot of freight work in Victoria over the years, so as the N is essentially a more modern version of the A Class, better to leave them as they are. They will do nicely as a replacement when the time comes.
If one takes a random look the load tables an N class is usually only worth, more or less, two T class.
YM-Mundrabilla

Thanks for that information. So we are looking at one N Class equaling two T Class. Still a more efficient option. Also there are freight trains where you may have 3 x 3300 hp locos (G, BL , 81 etc) but you are a bit over powered for the train. In those cases an N instead of (for example) a G Class would work well. So 2 x G class and 1 x N class.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
In practice perhaps not worth the effort of trying to mix and match to the extent mentioned. Even more so when one reads the rules and regulations of mixing, and matching locos of differing continuous ratings. Let alone worrying about an overload of 15 tonnes in a 3,000 tonnes load ????
If you want to be upset, have a read of the Vline Addenda on this and similar operational dargs and restrictions.
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

In practice perhaps not worth the effort of trying to mix and match to the extent mentioned. Even more so when one reads the rules and regulations of mixing, and matching locos of differing continuous ratings. Let alone worrying about an overload of 15 tonnes in a 3,000 tonnes load ????
If you want to be upset, have a read of the Vline Addenda on this and similar operational dargs and restrictions.
YM-Mundrabilla
Thanks for that. But I wont be wading through V Line's red tape today all the same.

I think what is more likely to happen in future is that the freight trains that are currently hauled by two A class locos will in future be hauled by two N class locos. Given that the A Class appear to be on their way out.
  ngarner Deputy Commissioner

Location: Seville
Given that the A Class appear to be on their way out.
Duncs
AFAIK, PN only own one A class now as they've scrapped the rest & Vline only have two, one in store and #66, possibly returning to traffic in January. 60 and 62 are now in preservation after being stored for a while, so double headed A class freights haven't been a thing for a number of years now

Neil
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

Given that the A Class appear to be on their way out.
AFAIK, PN only own one A class now as they've scrapped the rest & Vline only have two, one in store and #66, possibly returning to traffic in January. 60 and 62 are now in preservation after being stored for a while, so double headed A class freights haven't been a thing for a number of years now

Neil
ngarner
Thanks Neil

That confirms what I though was the case. I think the transition of the N class (in their current set up) over to freight is now only a matter of time. I should add that back in the 1980' & 90's. N class locos did a lot of freight haulage with in Victoria. Passanger by day and freight by night.
  GT46C-ACe Deputy Commissioner

Location: Gold Coast QLD
When they were owned by a company that did both, the expectation that a big player will buy Ns on their retirement is a bit far fetched as it's far and away more likely if and when they're retired from hauling cattle they'll stay as is. No point rebuilding them...
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
In these COVID tough times we all need a good laugh.
  Gman_86 Chief Commissioner

Location: Melton, where the sparks dare not roam!
I think what is more likely to happen in future is that the freight trains that are currently hauled by two A class locos will in future be hauled by two N class locos. Given that the A Class appear to be on their way out.
duncs
There hasn't been a freight train hauled by an A class since about 2013. PN put them all to the gas-axe in 2019 except for A78, which is sitting up at SSR's Bendigo North Workshops providing a nice home for the local spiders.

On a different note, in August next year, B61 will turn 70. The fact that it, several of its class mates and several similar aged GM class are still in freight service tells me that the N class could have a new lease on life.
  james.au Minister for Railways

Location: Sydney, NSW
A78, which is sitting up at SSR's Bendigo North Workshops providing a nice home for the local spiders.
Gman_86

Will probably need an environmental impact statement to come back into service then?
  Duncs Chief Commissioner

I think what is more likely to happen in future is that the freight trains that are currently hauled by two A class locos will in future be hauled by two N class locos. Given that the A Class appear to be on their way out.
There hasn't been a freight train hauled by an A class since about 2013. PN put them all to the gas-axe in 2019 except for A78, which is sitting up at SSR's Bendigo North Workshops providing a nice home for the local spiders.

On a different note, in August next year, B61 will turn 70. The fact that it, several of its class mates and several similar aged GM class are still in freight service tells me that the N class could have a new lease on life.
Gman_86
I totally agree
  Galron Chief Commissioner

Location: Werribee, Vic
The N Class will still be in use by vline for 5 years at least. They hung onto the P classes for at least 3 years after they stopped using them  prior to selling the ones they did. I assume SSR presented an unsolicited offer at some point? Cant see them becoming available to an alternate operator any time soon. However, don't know how many N's one might consider "spare" given the nature of the timetable, and likely service changes over the coming 12-24 months. Will the SG sets go back to BG when Albury goes VLocity for example? or might we see services to new destinations? or those sets and locos mothballed?

Remember also that they are geared for passenger running, 115km/h i think. would re-gearing for freight, to say 100km/h, make any marked difference in their pulling power, and therefor effectiveness for freight, with the same power plant?

As for NSW, I believe several C's have been fitted with silencers to keep NSW regulators happy. One imagines the same could happen with the N's, with some HP penalty I would expect, to meet compliance there.

As for the alternative new double ended loco's, those Progress Rail ones quoted look to be setup for SG, and who's to say they are suitable for BG operation, and also are a bit heavy for the most of the victorian network. Any operator getting them will want something in the same load range as the G class. These progress rail locos are just one option however.
  fzr560 Chief Train Controller

The N Class will still be in use by vline for 5 years at least. They hung onto the P classes for at least 3 years after they stopped using them  prior to selling the ones they did. I assume SSR presented an unsolicited offer at some point? Cant see them becoming available to an alternate operator any time soon. However, don't know how many N's one might consider "spare" given the nature of the timetable, and likely service changes over the coming 12-24 months. Will the SG sets go back to BG when Albury goes VLocity for example? or might we see services to new destinations? or those sets and locos mothballed?

Remember also that they are geared for passenger running, 115km/h i think. would re-gearing for freight, to say 100km/h, make any marked difference in their pulling power, and therefor effectiveness for freight, with the same power plant?

As for NSW, I believe several C's have been fitted with silencers to keep NSW regulators happy. One imagines the same could happen with the N's, with some HP penalty I would expect, to meet compliance there.

As for the alternative new double ended loco's, those Progress Rail ones quoted look to be setup for SG, and who's to say they are suitable for BG operation, and also are a bit heavy for the most of the victorian network. Any operator getting them will want something in the same load range as the G class. These progress rail locos are just one option however.
Galron
Available since 1988 and no takers in Australia. There may be a reason for that.

Sponsored advertisement

Subscribers: Duncs, fzr560, GheringhapLoop

Display from:   

Quick Reply

We've disabled Quick Reply for this thread as it was last updated more than six months ago.