Hunter Coal Wagons

 
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
I just got back from a trip over east and i spent about a week in the Hunter region checking things out. One of two things i noted are the fabricated framed bogies and the brake rigging with the air cylinder on the end sill of the wagon.

My question is why are the air cylinders for the brakes not between the wheels like normal?

And how many problems have arisin with the fabricated steel frame bogie as with the NHBH wagons? I am quessing cracking is a problem judging by the dye mark, and how do they go with wheel loading, as they dont flex like a typical cast steel bogie frame would with clearance on the bolster.

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  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Can't answer your second question, but the simple answer to the first is "Because it works". IIRC, it is only the NHFF-type wagon's that have the 1-piece bogies anyway. Everything else has 3/5-piece bogies.

Wagons have had end-deck and under-body mounted brake equipment for generations, it certainly isn't abnormal for the brake equipment to be mounted on the end decks.

Possible reasons for using this on new-build wagons might include:
Better maintenance access
Easier identification of brake status for crews
Cost (1 BC & some rigging vs. 2 on the bogies)
Reliability (1 vs. 2)
Strength of the application, with one 12" cylinder giving a stronger application than two 6" cylinders
  beyerpeacock Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gorton Foundry
Some NHPH wagons are fitted with EBA type one piece bogies. The older DCA type bogies are found on the NHBH/JF/SH/FF type trucks.

The PHWH 120t wagons are the first coal trucks I've seen up north with bogie mounted TMX brake gear. The rest are just nice and simple endeck jobs.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The QHBH wagons have "Wabcopac" self contained brakes with a cylinder mounted on each brake beam. It is like the TMX system but much simpler. The QR have been using these on narrow gauge since at least 1972 (where they are called "Auscopac").

The fabricated bogies on the NHPH wagons were replaced on later production by the conventional EBA bogies because of concerns about fatigue in the fabricated bogie frame, I was told. The later NHQH wagons were all on conventional bogies. All of these fabricated frame bogies show signs of regular crack testing to guard against fatigue failure.

I was at least partly responsible for bringing the British Gloucester bogie design to Australia by strongly suggesting to one of their consultants in London in 1975 that it be offered in Australia rather than another design they were offering. It has the advantage of a reduced unsprung mass compared to conventional three piece bogies. Anyone who has watched a loaded coal train pass over an insulated joint or a point frog will appreciate that any reduction in those impact forces will be favourable.

M636C
  Fireman Dave Chief Commissioner

Location: Shh, I'm hiding
I just got back from a trip over east and i spent about a week in the Hunter region checking things out. One of two things i noted are the fabricated framed bogies and the brake rigging with the air cylinder on the end sill of the wagon.

My question is why are the air cylinders for the brakes not between the wheels like normal?
"DBclass"


Since others have missed the bleeding obvious. The brake gear is on the end deck because there is no room under the wagons due to the hopper doors.
  X_Class Junior Train Controller

Location: Hunter Valley
I just got back from a trip over east and i spent about a week in the Hunter region checking things out. One of two things i noted are the fabricated framed bogies and the brake rigging with the air cylinder on the end sill of the wagon.

My question is why are the air cylinders for the brakes not between the wheels like normal?
"DBclass"


Since others have missed the bleeding obvious. The brake gear is on the end deck because there is no room under the wagons due to the hopper doors.
"Fireman Dave"


I think you'll find he meant in the bogies as opposed to under the middle of the wagon.
  Fireman Dave Chief Commissioner

Location: Shh, I'm hiding
I just got back from a trip over east and i spent about a week in the Hunter region checking things out. One of two things i noted are the fabricated framed bogies and the brake rigging with the air cylinder on the end sill of the wagon.

My question is why are the air cylinders for the brakes not between the wheels like normal?
"DBclass"


Since others have missed the bleeding obvious. The brake gear is on the end deck because there is no room under the wagons due to the hopper doors.
"Fireman Dave"


I think you'll find he meant in the bogies as opposed to under the middle of the wagon.
"X_Class"


In my experience bogie mounted brake cylinders are not normal. Infact they aren't very common at all. When DBclass refers to the air cylinder between the wheels I'd suggest (I'm prepared to be corrected) he means between the bogies.
  a6et Minister for Railways

I just got back from a trip over east and i spent about a week in the Hunter region checking things out. One of two things i noted are the fabricated framed bogies and the brake rigging with the air cylinder on the end sill of the wagon.

My question is why are the air cylinders for the brakes not between the wheels like normal?
"DBclass"


Since others have missed the bleeding obvious. The brake gear is on the end deck because there is no room under the wagons due to the hopper doors.
"Fireman Dave"


I think you'll find he meant in the bogies as opposed to under the middle of the wagon.
"X_Class"


In my experience bogie mounted brake cylinders are not normal. Infact they aren't very common at all. When DBclass refers to the air cylinder between the wheels I'd suggest (I'm prepared to be corrected) he means between the bogies.
"Fireman Dave"


Dave is spot on in his answer.  One only has to go back to the NSWGR BCH to realise that all the main brake equipment is on one end of the deck of wagons that have bottom discharge hoppers..

OTOH I have seen photo's of some wagons in overseas countries that have brake cylinders on the bogies, I do not remember where they were or if just experimental or not.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Thanks guys. I thought it was the NHBH but wasnt too sure of the markings on those wagons. They were not something i got a photo of unfortunately. I was fascinated by the bogies too much. I did think that it would mean less unsprung mass but there would be massive amounts of twist in the frames unless the track was in ace condition.

As for the brake gear, in thinking about the responses its my narrow mindedness on the issue that called cylinders between bogie frames underneath as normal. I just looked at all our wagons in use where i am, exception is the QR skeletons BUAY i think they are and the QUA's but i figured they were just old and not the way things are done anymore.

KRviators comment on 1 12" versus two 6" makes sense. Funny i allways thought that but somewhere a while back got confused and thought no half diameter half area, but I worked it out and yeah its different.

On a side note for unsprung mass, does that mean that the EDI locos with pivot arm suspension do more harm on the track than the UGL bogies such as the NR's. Given that there is some weight on the pivot. Interesting that UGL havent got a radial bogie in common use, at least that i have seen anyway.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The rigid frame bogies like the DCA have hemispherical centre plates on the body and matching recesses on the bogie bolster. This allows the bogie to adjust to most track irregularities, and the springs are longer in travel to assist in matching track irregularities.

One of the consultants in London in 1975, David Fairweather, was very critical of the swing axle primary suspension now used on EDI locomotives. His concern was for the then new bogie on the prototype BR Mk III carriages. He felt that they would suffer from fatigue failure. Certainly the similar XPT bogies are checked for that regularly.

I'm not sure how much the track impact would be increased by the swing axle arrangement, but I would think that it would reduce the resistance to radial curving arranged with the pivot on the inner side.

In fact there may not be much difference in the curving performance of the latest EDI and UGL bogie designs. The central axles of a TT and a 92 bogie are located in much the same way and certainly the motor suspension is very similar on both. The UGL design might be as good, or nearly as good as the EDI design in curving ability.

M636C
  42101 Banned

Location: Banned

I was at least partly responsible for bringing the British Gloucester bogie design to Australia by strongly suggesting to one of their consultants in London in 1975 that it be offered in Australia rather than another design they were offering. It has the advantage of a reduced unsprung mass compared to conventional three piece bogies. Anyone who has watched a loaded coal train pass over an insulated joint or a point frog will appreciate that any reduction in those impact forces will be favourable.

M636C
"M636C"


WELL THANKS FOR NOTHING then...they are a crap design that should never have been imported into our system..they ride badly, suffer lots of fatigue problems with the welds and frame, are a mongrel to service to say nothing of having to lie on ones back underneath the bogie with both arms through the bolsters lowest part to release the freaking stupid french pin that holds the king and queen castings together.
  beyerpeacock Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gorton Foundry
Gotta agree with you on one part there at least Greg they are a b*stard of a thing to work on. Changing brake shoes and doing minor brake gear adjustments are a right pain in the clacker.

Not un-doable, just much more difficult than a conventional 3-Piece design.
  M636C Minister for Railways


I was at least partly responsible for bringing the British Gloucester bogie design to Australia by strongly suggesting to one of their consultants in London in 1975 that it be offered in Australia rather than another design they were offering. It has the advantage of a reduced unsprung mass compared to conventional three piece bogies. Anyone who has watched a loaded coal train pass over an insulated joint or a point frog will appreciate that any reduction in those impact forces will be favourable.

M636C
"M636C"


WELL THANKS FOR NOTHING then...they are a crap design that should never have been imported into our system..they ride badly, suffer lots of fatigue problems with the welds and frame, are a mongrel to service to say nothing of having to lie on ones back underneath the bogie with both arms through the bolsters lowest part to release the freaking stupid french pin that holds the king and queen castings together.
"42101"


Greg,

I didn't order any and my employer never needed them. We had good track. But the then NSW PTC had a serious problem. Thirty five years ago the coal roads had just finished running wooden hoppers behind 50 class locomotives and there wasn't a lot of welded rail and very few concrete sleepers. Herbert Scheffel had only just introduced his diagonal braced three piece bogies in South Africa, so that wasn't a proven option.

The CHS wagons with their conventional bogies were pounding the track into something much like a pulp. The Goninan-Gloucester bogies did reduce track forces and allowed the whole NHFF series of wagons to run at 100 tonnes gross without destroying the track to the same extent as the earlier heavy wagons.

These days they may just be a relic of earlier harder times. I think Les MacNaughton was still the PTC bogie expert at that time, and he would have made the decision, not me... And he really knew what the problems were - he literally wrote a textbook on them.

Now everyone including the Chinese have three piece bogies with diagonal links (I'm told the brake gear isn't easy to adjust on those either) and more importantly rubber pads above the axleboxes which reduce the impact forces in the same way as the coils on the Gloucester design.

But in the early 1970s, the three piece bogie was a big problem in heavy haul traffic if yoour track was not up to standard.

I spent a lot of the 1970s lying on ballast under three piece bogies fitting electronic measuring equipment, so I understand your concern....

M636C
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Thanks for the information its been really helpfull. I was told by a PN worker that the 30 ton axle load trains also travel at 60kph loaded. Is that because of the track?
  KRviator Moderator

Location: Up the front
Without knowing for sure, I'd say yes.

It's an ARTC-imposed restriction, not a PN one, but I reckon PN wouldn't mind much as they'd probably save a few quid on wear and tear of the bogies/wheelsets at the slower speed.
  FieldShunt74 Chief Commissioner

Without knowing for sure, I'd say yes.

It's an ARTC-imposed restriction, not a PN one, but I reckon PN wouldn't mind much as they'd probably save a few quid on wear and tear of the bogies/wheelsets at the slower speed.
"KRviator"


Don't they have some 80 km/h exceptions to this rule up the banks now?
  OK2RUN Assistant Commissioner

Don't they have some 80 km/h exceptions to this rule up the banks now?
"FieldShunt74"

Thats correct. Nundah, between Mount Owen Junction and Camberwell Jcn. Minimbah, Whittingham to Belford.
  244hseriesalco Chief Train Controller

The QHBH wagons have "Wabcopac" self contained brakes with a cylinder mounted on each brake beam. It is like the TMX system but much simpler. The QR have been using these on narrow gauge since at least 1972 (where they are called "Auscopac").

The fabricated bogies on the NHPH wagons were replaced on later production by the conventional EBA bogies because of concerns about fatigue in the fabricated bogie frame, I was told. The later NHQH wagons were all on conventional bogies. All of these fabricated frame bogies show signs of regular crack testing to guard against fatigue failure.


I was at least partly responsible for bringing the British Gloucester bogie design to Australia by strongly suggesting to one of their consultants in London in 1975 that it be offered in Australia rather than another design they were offering. It has the advantage of a reduced unsprung mass compared to conventional three piece bogies. Anyone who has watched a loaded coal train pass over an insulated joint or a point frog will appreciate that any reduction in those impact forces will be favourable.

M636C
"M636C"


I was an apprentise at A.Goninan at the time of building the NHPH wagons, and we had a huge amount of problems with the hole wagon.
The bogies were "CD" type standing for "Constant Dampened" similar in design to the original "DCA" but different in that a plunger was fitted in the in-bound pedestal, the idea being that when the weight increased on it the sliding spring nest would push the plunger against the axle box and dampen the or attempt to leason the shock (i guess). Several incedents occured where after dumping the pay load the plunger would jam the axle box and leave the wheel set floating and then derail. We eventually took the plungers out and welded in wear plates like a conventional cheek liner. The issues got so bad that production was stopped while the 3 peice bogies could be sourced from the US, it took some time to actually find a suitable bogie that would "fit in". Other mods were done (some i took part in retro'ing them) resulting in renaming them to "CDD" to denote one of the mods. No cracking of the frames has to my knowledge really imposed it self unlike their DCA cousins, when I transefered to MainTrain our Freight bogies section was doing a huge project on DCA's which resulted in the fixed or inbound pedestal being cut out and a new cast type welded in due to cracks from stress.

But back to the NHPH the other big issues was the Tare weight (unloaded), when the first 4 or 8 racks were put into service Freight Corp complained they were to heavy, solution, make all the plate work in the bolster/head stock area 10mm plate instead of the 12mm plate those first few racks were made of. Result a lighter wagon but stress fractures galore. The cracks got so bad all wagons (nearly) were recalled and twice the weight in stiffing plates were added. Some wagons had actually had the hole draft gear pulled out of the pocket cause the bump stops either side of the yoke spring could not hold the forces. Also the end walls used to bend to the point that the end doors would not shut all the way, solution, add 50x50 box section welded to the centre cill to the end wall. The other issue (and still was when i left) the hardness of the raw stainless steel, it was basically to hard on the edges of the sheets resulting in cracks all over the body (this is why pink flaw finder paint can be seen on the seems in these wagons to this day) many techniques were employed even special flux cored welding wire to just weld em up.

244hseriesalco
  M636C Minister for Railways

244H,

I was very interested in your description of the NHPH and its problems.

My recollection is that the Goucester design had a friction wedge on one spring post (the outer one) on each pedestal. These were much like the bolster wedges on a Barber bogie, where the load carrying springs carried the friction wedges. There was only one, intentionally, to reduce the risk of locking that occurred on the modified Goninan bogies (at least in theory).

The NHPH must have been a lot heavier than the preceding NHRH, the original "Batwing" design. The NHPH had coal sheilds over the end platforms while on the NHRH, the platforms were not long enough to need them. Again, the NHRH were almost all stainless, while the NHPH had a lot of painted steel visible. Of course we since got the Chinese RHHH and NHWH wagons  using no stainless steel at all.

What steel was used for the hoppers and lower sides on the NHPH?

Was it mild steel or a high tensile type?

Were the NHQH really the same?

Did Freight Corp ask for the composite construction, and what was their reason for wanting it? (assuming anyone said what it was)!

The recent Bradken wagons NHYH, PHYH, NHEH and PHWH are almost all stainless with only the end subframes in mild steel. All these subframes were made in China, although many of these wagons were built in Braemar or Karribin. These also have a very small centre sill just like the QR QHAH and QHBH and QR NG wagons.

However, the very latest cars, the NHDH have more mild steel (or at least more painted steel) with all the support and bracing for the end slope sheets being painted steel rather than stainless on the NHYH.

I was interested in your comment about the hardness of the stainless in the NHPH. Some of this would be work hardening due to the cutting and bending required, I guess. Budd got around this by using high power spot welding in their passenger cars.

M636C
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
Very interesting guys.
  080900 Assistant Commissioner

Location: -
Hi all

I have a photo of an NHEF coal wagon from port Warath I will have the photo on the net soon
  244hseriesalco Chief Train Controller

244H,

I was very interested in your description of the NHPH and its problems.

My recollection is that the Goucester design had a friction wedge on one spring post (the outer one) on each pedestal. These were much like the bolster wedges on a Barber bogie, where the load carrying springs carried the friction wedges. There was only one, intentionally, to reduce the risk of locking that occurred on the modified Goninan bogies (at least in theory).

The NHPH must have been a lot heavier than the preceding NHRH, the original "Batwing" design. The NHPH had coal sheilds over the end platforms while on the NHRH, the platforms were not long enough to need them. Again, the NHRH were almost all stainless, while the NHPH had a lot of painted steel visible. Of course we since got the Chinese RHHH and NHWH wagons  using no stainless steel at all.

What steel was used for the hoppers and lower sides on the NHPH?

Was it mild steel or a high tensile type?

Were the NHQH really the same?

Did Freight Corp ask for the composite construction, and what was their reason for wanting it? (assuming anyone said what it was)!

The recent Bradken wagons NHYH, PHYH, NHEH and PHWH are almost all stainless with only the end subframes in mild steel. All these subframes were made in China, although many of these wagons were built in Braemar or Karribin. These also have a very small centre sill just like the QR QHAH and QHBH and QR NG wagons.

However, the very latest cars, the NHDH have more mild steel (or at least more painted steel) with all the support and bracing for the end slope sheets being painted steel rather than stainless on the NHYH.

I was interested in your comment about the hardness of the stainless in the NHPH. Some of this would be work hardening due to the cutting and bending required, I guess. Budd got around this by using high power spot welding in their passenger cars.

M636C
"M636C"


M636C

Its makes a very interesting story indeed.  

The bogie design was opposite to the DCA in regard to the sliding wedge you mention, DCA inbound, CDD outbound pedestal. The basic idea has as far as i know worked in the DCA but as i said it was removed blanked over on the CDD, having said that i dont know what the current arrangements are regarding this feature on the CDD bogies (we get very few at MainTrain these days but ill pay closer attention next time we get some).  

The weight (i recall) was a big issue, Freight Corp basically wanted a 120tonne wagon gross, with as little tare weight as engineeringly possible (hence the idea to change from 12mm to 10mm plate) i think the first few racks were some where around 14-16tonnes, and for memory (dont quote) FC wanted a 12tonne tare. But i would guess that the amount of stiffing that subsequently went into the latter NHPH types has basically increased their weight to some where close the original batches.  

The hardness of the stainless became an issue within the first 12 months of service life i think. It got to a point that serious discussion were had between A.Goninan, BHP, Atlas Copco & Freightcorp, AG being the builder - BHP (Lysaghts) being the local supplier/refiner - Atlas being the steel  producer in South Africa - FC being the customer. Basically Atlas said the steel was fine when they produced it and BHP was to blame for their refining techniques, BHP said AG was included in the fault becasue of the way we bent and welded the steel, and the raw steel was too hard,  the hole saga nearly ended with a law suit from AG against BHP & Atlas and scrapping of the hole 520 wagons and replacement costs was to be also sought. FC did not really get involved in this conflict (that i know off) the hole thing had the potential to get way out of control, when i left in 1999 it was still going and rework was still being done of the fleet.  

The wagon consisted of a stainless steel that was rough in suface texture and welded using stainless mig wire. The sole bar (main longditudinal) was a mild steel hat section type (flat plate with "U" channel welded to it) and mlid steel headstock and bolster, end wall supports were mild steel tubes welded to mild steel plates that were welded to the stainless end walls. All other parts were stainless alloy, the sides were submerged arc welded at Hexham and the End walls, wing panels, upper transom's & lower transom's were constructed at Broadmeadow, doors and sub assembly was also done at broadmeadow at the start of the build except for when the order was increased from 400 - 520 when headstock production was shared with Taree to give them some work in a quite period.  

The reason for the hoods or covers over the brake gear was (i think) because the slope was less than the ABB built NHRH types, if you look at the NHRH type their sides actually cut over the headstock in triangular fashion and have a more horizontal slope on the end wall, also they do not have the upright tubes that support the end walls as on the NHPH as they have a straight slope on the side peice which matches that of the end wall. Another weight cutting idea was to replace the original steel hoods with white phibre glass covers as now fitted, another retro that was done on returned wagons.
  DBclass Chief Commissioner

Location: Western Australia
So whats the reason behind using stainless? does mild steel wear out that much faster/ rust to be a problem?

Have they ever used Bisalloy plate? thats pretty strong and hardy, still rusts but.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Firstly it is good to see that PN are running ECP trains and it is amazing that the three TT class escaped body damage while heading into the tunnel(or culvert). That will cut down on the repair costs.

To revert to coal hopper materials, coal does tend to be acidic and corrosion resistant steel would be an advantage. There will also be abrasion of the surface from coal during loading and unloading. The hard surface and corrosion resistant characteristics of stainless steel is particularly good for this service. The high strength allows thinner sections to be used with an overall saving in weight over conventional mild steel.

Corrosion resistant steels, like Cor-Ten and Austen can be used as well and were used by Australian Iron and Steel for coal traffic around Port Kembla and by BHP Iron Ore on their Port Hedland iron ore services. But stainless steel cars have replaced nearly all the Austen iron ore cars, maybe 2500 cars in all.

So the higher first cost of stainless steel is thought to be justified by the main coal haulers, certainly PN and QR and by BHPB and Rio in iron ore.

M636C

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