PN "93" class delveries

 
  trainman3801 Chief Commissioner

Location: Why do you want to know?!?!?!
Different screens and different software , no hotplate . I get the feeling they are trying to use bits more current in USDM GEs so possibly later computers to run the updated control system . No hotplate
Going to be problems having four screens around the primary driving station which was probably designed for three . Its been suggested that Freight Miser will go back up into the marker/number light access door . Aside from being a distraction you know whos head it lands on if it does the King Leonardo TV thing ... No hotplate .
Word is that ICE display will get a larger font when Victoria cans I think ASW , and can be placed a bit further from the driver ie where Miser is now . 
Going to be a bit like a sound studo with all the clicks beeps and tunes going on around you . No hotplate .
Stuff set up on both sides to run long end leading , very little space round the co drivers seat for luggage . 
Have not had a 92 on a train and the load behind the 93s I had was not really challenging .

Have not had a hot feed on a 93 because that marvel of electrical engineering , yep that spiral glowing element , was flicked in favour of a nuke pit . Not confirmed but rumor is that Gonads reckon they can't or won't use the desktop design found in NRs . Possibly the drain from the NRs hot plate well is challenging ...
Better I think to lose nuke pit and fit - a portable HOT PLATE .
A 45 class has a hot plate and its hard to understand why a MKVI 45ACi doesn't .
And did I say no ... ..... .

Not the opinions of anyone with a HSV FPV ATWD ABN HMVTV or todays paper .
 
"BDA"


My friend uses the donk to heat his hot meals with great success.  Twisted Evil

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  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Har bloody har . Simple reliable DC heated coil thats probably the most reliable thing on a diesel loco .
How many people have been cruising along in a NR or anything with a 240V inverter when the inverter poos its pants ?
Guezz what ? Down goes the air con kettle fridge - and anything plugged into a 240v GPO , what d'ya reckon still works ? 
Goin to look silly trying to cook something or boil water on a bar heater aren't you ?
Been from Parks to Sinn City on a single unit with a forked inverter . Jan was there in spirit ... 
  D3639 #TeamRog

Location: Melbourne, Vic
Some more 93 have arrived 9303-9304 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/Railpage/7696997572/in/photostream
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Any truth to the rumour that all the 93's are returning to be refitted with equipment?
  Raichase Captain Rant!

Location: Sydney, NSW
Any truth to the rumour that all the 93's are returning to be refitted with equipment?
"seb2351"


I was under the impression that this was being done at UGL's Spotswood facility.
  seb2351 Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Any truth to the rumour that all the 93's are returning to be refitted with equipment?
"seb2351"


I was under the impression that this was being done at UGL's Spotswood facility.
"Raichase"


Thank's Raichase, my mate mentioned it today at work and was curious to see if it was true (If I thought RC was bad for rumours- PN is somehow even worse!)
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Current story is yes they will all return to probably Spotswood for more cab mods and software upgrades .
Seems it takes two upgrades to turn a Belmont into a Premier so for a while they will be Kingswoods .
Also word is that Gonads are booked out for some time in advance so theres more 44s on the way but in someone elses colours .  


  M636C Minister for Railways

Current story is yes they will all return to probably Spotswood for more cab mods and software upgrades .
Seems it takes two upgrades to turn a Belmont into a Premier so for a while they will be Kingswoods .
Also word is that Gonads are booked out for some time in advance so theres more 44s on the way but in someone elses colours .  

"BDA"


9301 to 9306 were built for another customer (possibly CFCLA) and were purchased by PN when almost complete.

There are ten XRNs and twelve 6020s following 9306.

9307 to 9309 will follow those and any other current order not disclosed.

There are ten more for QRN apparently but they will probably follow the three 93s.

The last three will have all the PN standard fittings from new, maybe even a hotplate if BDA complains even more extensively...

With around a hundred of these locomotives being built I don't see why anybody is particularly interested in nine for PN. Only Centennial and CFCLA will have fewer of them than PN.

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
No you wouldn't M but then again you don't do many cab hours do you .
We would have the cab exactly the same as as an NR is if it were possible but it isn't .
Maybe the other operators crews don't mind the way generic C44ACIs are , did they have a choice ?
It wouldn't always be the case but getting out of 30+ year old engines and into a brand new C44ACi with Belmont options was probably pretty good . The difference is that we're not and mostly the 15+ years we've had in NR cabs has been pretty good too .
Is it really so difficult to understand why we want things as good or better that what we already have ?
I can keep saying things like Intermodal is predominantly a two driver division and we need to drive these units long end leading sometimes considerable distances . Shifts lengths are often long to longest and we need these locomotives to be as operationally flexible as they can be - as well as user friendly . I really don't see a 92 or an XRN or a 6000 or WH or a CEY running around sometimes on its own as a go anywhere do anything engine . NRs can and if fitted out as required 93s should be able to as well .
Be interesting to hear the crews opinions from other divisions and operators that use C44ACis after a trip in a final state 93 class wouldn't it ?
I think we both know what would be the most usefull overall and thats what will make them different .
I also think you can be certain that operators ordering these C44ACIs will take a real close look at the 93 class options because they maybe usefull to them as well . If the purchase price is little to no different what have they got to lose except flexibility ?
  M636C Minister for Railways

I spent many long hours in locomotives 36 years ago, in M636Cs operating out of Port Hedland.

They still had the American cab heaters, and one or two days a year they were used.

The 6000 class have been working container trains from Melbourne to Perth since they were new.

The 6000s have been doing the same job for QRN as NRs do for PN.

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
And I'll say again what did the 6000s replace , G classes from memory , and was there any cab equipment layout choice for the people who make them go and stop . Given a choice which cab would you prefer ?
The whispered feedback from the makers is that other operators didn't mind what went where in generic C44ACis but they don't operate the things do they .
We also have some amongst us that worked out of WA not so long ago and they have had some input into the 93 class cab , they experienced what was good and what was so so in US spec cabs . They saw a different kind of 6000 and ACes amongst other things so their knowledge and experience has been invaluable , don't imagine the SD40 cabs were too flash .
You are right in that a 93 class is essentially like any other late C44ACi and unless there has been some software or hardware change which is unlikely they should perform about the same .  

It occurs to me that we have been here before many years ago with early super series Clyde EMD products , there were many varying opinions with the cabs in 81s Gs and BLs . The basic stuff was similar but it was set out differently and from memory the G was seen as best and the BLs the poverty packs . Note that even the basic got a ... yeah .

Future builds will tell if other operators looked over the Prem Pack and ticked the same boxes .

Not necessarily the opinions of anyone anywhere with an ABN GPS iPhone or a mobile microwave oven .
  EFB5800 Chief Train Controller

Location: On my office roof.
Here are some views of an NR cab in the late 90's. Would be interesting to see what's in a 93. Note the hotplate Smile Could do with a better coffee cup holder though.




  DounutCereal Chief Train Controller

Location: Who knows.
Very nice office there Laughing

What is actually stopping any of the 'new breed' NR clones from having the same cab layout as the NR's? If the NR was a successful cab layout logic says just make the conditions and layout the same in the new locomotives.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Very nice office there Laughing

What is actually stopping any of the 'new breed' NR clones from having the same cab layout as the NR's? If the NR was a successful cab layout logic says just make the conditions and layout the same in the new locomotives.
"DounutCereal"


The general layout is indeed the same. Certainly the 92 and the 5000 are basically similar.

The location of the controls is the same. The layout of radios and the control displays changes according to the requirements of the operator. As BDA has told us, the 93 had light switches in different locations.  The displays and radios are different and in different locations, although they are being altered to more closely resemble the NR arrangement.

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
Good question , I'd say it starts with having two SDIS (Smart Displays in GE speak) where a NR has one and if you throw in comms equipment it becomes three instead of the NRs two . Freightmiser actually makes it four because its currently in a 93 where the Ice radio is supposed to be going  . SDIS screens are taller and wider and it seems Gonads changed the whole top section across the middle . On the co drivers side the 93s Microwave install is quite bulky and it kind of shunts the ICE comms unit and the "space saver" speedo /distance counter into the left side . One SDIS and the ICE console would have been better on the co drivers side and with a centrally mounted hot plate NR style there should be room for it . I'm not sure how many smart displays the computer systems can support and I think it may only be four .
As in the picture above NRs have the well for the kettle and another central one for the hot plate .
From memory the 92s had a hotplate in the middle which takes up less space than a microwave , they have their wave in a mount behind the drivers seat . 93s have an extra console behind the primary driving position for the co driver for running long end leading and NRs/92s don't . It has a digital speedo and distance counter the same as the 1 end leading co drivers side has - the space saver thing . 93s also have a much wider "inspectors" seat than NRs have .    
With the hot plate NRs have a problem because they have a drain pipe that has to run over the top of the fridge and eventually runs out underneath . Sadly grubs cook fatty foods on the hot plate and wash it down the drain hole . The fat coagulates and blocks the pipe which is difficult to clear - compressed air from underneath and a heap of rags up top - messy . The drain pipe sometimes rusts through meaning anything run through it hits the top of the fridge and ends up all over the cab floor . In a way its not hard to see why Gonads is reluctant to go with a hot plate . A simple means of cleaning and some basic life skills would solve this one .
It seems a lot more space in the sides of the vestibule is taken up by electronic hardware and that extends into the back of the cab on the co drivers side where the cupboard that holds safeworking forms is in an NR .
If you don't know locomotive cabs you may not understand why in the case of NRs switch groups were set out as they are  . These switch all kinds of things and they can be cab/reading/timetable/marker/headlights/ditchlights/steplights and go beyond into brake pipe maintaining cutouts/dyno brake cut outs/millipede blowers/demisters etc etc etc .
They should all be accessable from the primary driving position because these are a driver only equipt engine as well .
I believe you should be able to reach over and switch the head and ditch lights on/off/dim/bright without looking where your hand is . Its no fun looking into high beams and ditch lights at night coming the other way and its preferable not to blind adjacent road users as well .
One other thing that comes to mind is the timetable light and I think it may be in the middle on 92s and a bit blinding at night as well . They need to be where they can be seen though in this day and age writing times in your notebook and comparing times with the table and fuel sheets keeps you informed anyway . Its not like these are going to haul suburbans up the Shore or on Bankstown circles .        

I think the thing to understand is that a C44ACi may look similar to an NR but in reality just about everything is different . That extends to the cab and its equipment as well and equipment seems to have changed partly because some components in NRs are no longer made . The other thing is that the original C44ACi was the 92 class and because they were earmarked for northern coal the final fit out was left to what coal division wanted . Some think Hunter coal leans towards driver/"fireperson" operation and they don't set locos up to go any distance long end leading . Intermadal division sets locos up for two driver or driver only operations and for long distance/high mileage crew stints . There are some long hops out there eg Parkes to Broken Hill and Taree to Brisbane and to do 600+ km over up to 12 hours means trying to keep the crew in a fit and healthy state . I'm not sure what distance and shift length Hunter Bulk crews do - not that they should have anything less than any other division has .
Anyway had some 92s gone to Intermodal or a single multi purpose variant been speced these issues would have been thrashed out years ago . Those with the say at Bulk for whatever reasons did what they did and the 92 cab and its cab fitout are the result of that . When it came to building more C44ACis the other operators would have had 92s to look at and base their opinions on and may not have had the original to compare . Possibly the manufacturer had issues with recreating some features of the NRs and wanted minimum customisation and costs - in other words start a virtual 92 production line and churn out the one model with a minimum number of variations and minimise manufacturing agro . 
I can't understand why anyone would have a problem with raising the bar a little and as I've said before if the final price is virtually the same what has anyone got to lose ?
A locomotive is a serious aquisition and the more it can do for you while having good operators conditions the better off it is for all concerned .  
Its possible that the 93s cab in final form could become the standard for C44ACis and if other operators or divisions choose to opt for a poverty pack version they simply delete a few things . Its far easier to retrofit optional extras to a Belmont if the basics are there to support them . Would make life easier at UG and give their catalog a few price/equipment level variations for very little effort . 
Another unknown is how long the soon to be one surviving manufacturer continues to build locomotives here . If they eventually go offshore too it would be easier for them and their customers to order batches of Belmonts Kingswoods or Premiers if the groundwork is thrashed out now .
    
  M636C Minister for Railways

BDA,

While the 92 class has become a fixture in the Hunter Valley, the original intention was that ten were to go into coal traffic and five were to go to intermodal. This was confirmed at the time by the senior engineer at Spotswood.

The 92 class, or at least 9201, was set up with a miniature control desk which was said to be arranged to have a belt pack remote control unit fitted into the desk for use when operating long hood first. In theory it could be removed to operate the unit remotely.

So that sounds to me as if intermodal had some say in the layout of the 92 class cab, even if intermodal's drivers didn't.

Comparing photos of NR and 92 cabs, apart from the different displays and radios, they look much the same. If the array of switches on the back of the control stand aren't the same, there isn't a good reason for them to be different. The Microwave might use up leg room if they were used long hood leading.

But the 92 class were built four years ago and PN has been noticeable as not having bought any more since then, so if other customers had different ideas, UGL would have set things up to suit the people actually buying the locomotives. Even if PN's layout was really good, you wouldn't force it on other customers, remembering that PN didn't actually order the first six 93 class but just picked them up when the original purchaser pulled out.

The biggest customer is QRN with (I'm told) 48 C44ACi and 19 C44ACHi, followed by Xstrata with 30 C44ACi.

It should be no surprise that space is a premium for control electronics. It is pretty amazing that the C44ACi equipment was fitted into the same space as a Dash 9 anyway, given that the US domestic locomotive has all the inverters outside the hood on the left side.

M636C
  Shacks Ghanzel

Location: Sir Big Lens of the Distant Upper Hunter
The 92 class, or at least 9201, was set up with a miniature control desk which was said to be arranged to have a belt pack remote control unit fitted into the desk for use when operating long hood first. In theory it could be removed to operate the unit remotely.
"M636C"

Are you sure it is not the "Jog" controller you are thinking about ?
This is something only the UGL maintainers have.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The 92 class, or at least 9201, was set up with a miniature control desk which was said to be arranged to have a belt pack remote control unit fitted into the desk for use when operating long hood first. In theory it could be removed to operate the unit remotely.
"M636C"

Are you sure it is not the "Jog" controller you are thinking about ?
This is something only the UGL maintainers have.
"Shacks"


It is some years ago now but I think the description I gave was that used in early PN internal information releases.
By the time I saw 9201 (October 2008) that idea had been abandoned. I think that 9201 was too heavy and demand for coal locomotives was building up.

M636C
  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gold Coast QLD
M, where did you come up with the 48 figure for QRN's C44ACis? So far they own 6x so you're finding 42x somewhere....(unless you consider the C40aci, C43aci and C44ACi to be the same locomotive? even so that's still 18x short)
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
M yes the original intent was for some to go to Intermodal and the intended numbers kept changing . In the end PN management decided that increasing the coal divisions capacity had greater priority .
The "console" you speak of was the stillborn RCS or remote control pack for people to move engines and rakes around from on the ground . The idea looks good on paper but in the real world ...

Intermodal had cab reps involved with UGL just as coal did but when it became obvious all 92s were going to coal our people bowed out . Wasn't going to concern us so why waste resources to no end .
M I don't see how or why Intermodal management would have much input into loco cab equipment because generally they've had zip locomotive involvement at the operators level .
Had there been as much involvement as you seem to think 92s would have had the basics there to fit the equipment Intermodal has in NRs or equal . The fact that they don't means they were never going to as long as coal division had the final say . If you think I'm wrong reef the fridge out of a 92 and show us how a larger one fits without mods . Then look for something to bolt the extra mirrors onto . I don't know if UGL ever actually fitted the extra wiring for the second driving position controls .
Is the wiring there for the extra vigo buttons and it goes on and on .

There are reasons why we have cab reps and some of them have been through all this three times with NRs 92s and 93s . Gonads had to change many things in the first NR cabs because what they though was ok was not acceptable . They were told straight out that the locomotive would not be accepted until it met National Rails cabs standards - period . This was thrashed out when the first couple were being assembled and fitted std to the rest .

Now , Intermodal would not accept 92s as they are and while the first 6 93s may have started life as a repainted CF they aren't going to stay that way . The idea is to change six prebuilt units to a different standard so that future 93s will be the real deal as they come off the production line . That is why they are going through two stages of retrofit and I gather stage two is when UGL starts making  unique bits that will be native to a 93 class .
Of course its difficult to alter something prebuilt , management doesn't have a problem with us wanting things as we've had them in the past and in fact they wanted extras like Freight Miser and thats probably not something QRN CFCLA GWA Hunter Bulk or even UGL had in mind .
Intermodal is short of motive power and knows that other divisions are claiming the older EMDs as their needs increase . Intermodal badly needs these 93s out working and earning revenue and thats why they are being rushed into service . Even with the next three the divison will almost certainly be wanting more but having to wait for capacity at Gonads and getting budget aproval .

I'm sorry if you think I'm being blunt M but pictures don't tell the complete story . For you to really know you'd have to crawl all over an NR and go some distance in one - and then do the same in a 93 class . Don't take this the wrong way but to know for sure you have to walk the walk and that probably isn't an option at this stage .



 



  GT46C-ACe Assistant Commissioner

Location: Gold Coast QLD
The "console" you speak of was the stillborn RCS or remote control pack for people to move engines and rakes around from on the ground . The idea looks good on paper but in the real world ...
"BDA"


Care to explain why you believe RCS to be a bad idea? Seems to work fine in the US....
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
The theory behind RCS is that you can save on labor costs by doubling up roles of an individal on the ground . Sort of two people doing the complete shunt instead of three - meaning no operator in the locos cab .
Rules dictate the shunts must be preceeded and all other shunting activity in a manned yard must cease . In practise this takes a lot longer than having a human on the engine and staff in the right places to supervise the shunts , operate points , detach and secure wagons and attach to others .
A terminal operator usually doesn't have all a drivers qualifications and can't do things on the terminals fringes because he/she wouldn't have the safeworking quals etc . A TO can't get on an engine and go drag a train in backwards . A TO can't go out and relieve the crew on a late running train . A TO can't go pilot a foreign crew for example around routes they don't normally run ie in Sydney the East Hills line .
Terminal operations have to cover everything and its not economic to risk major delays to trains because no one was around to cover the unexpected . 
This is not just a question of hanging the RCS slave off the front of an 81 class and connecting the air hoses and MU cable . You want to be pretty sure the electronics and reception are 300% reliable otherwise things can get ugly with little or no notice .
You can't have instances where it goes crazy and operators are tempted to get on the front of a moving locomotive and trying to pull the jumper cable out to stop it . Not that I ever saw anything like that by the way .
RCS has been seen to work in small flat yards in NZ moving around 4 or 5 wagons . Most of our rakes are not short or light and we have some reasonably steep grades in our yard . There is often a lot of activity going on in many parts of our terminal and it needs adequate staffing levels as well as all the controls such as lockout proceedures to keep the trains arriving shunting and departing .
In the local case RCS tied everything up in knots and caused too many major delays to the trains and customers don't like that .
It was a case of looking good on paper but not being workable in the 3D world .
Just picture one of Hunter Bulks 10+000t coal trains wandering around Pt Waratah with the slave box up on the front of the lead 90 or whatever . How good would it feel if you were a couple of hundred meters ahead of it wearing the operators gadget and it wouldn't stop when you needed it to . How secure would other people feel with trains like that moving around the terminal in its current form ? All the box knows is that it has four hoses and an MU cable attached to it , not whats swinging off the drawbar at the other end .
Imagine an operator making their case to the regulators if it all went bad and someone was hurt or killed .
Suddenly the cost saving of one person doesn't look that economic does it ?

Not necessarily the opinions of anyone else .
  M636C Minister for Railways



BDA,

I was trying to indicate that it was intermodal who wanted the remote control docking station as a long hood control station.

This was made clear to me at Port Waratah, where they said they didn't need the little stub of desk on the right hand side.


They use remote control at G&W Whyalla, where the driver gets down and throws the points for the locomotives to run around their train on arrival before pushing back to the unloading bins. There didn't seem to be any problems, and it took a while before I realised that there was nobody on the locomotives.


You don't even have to have a portable remote control unit for a train to move without a driver. At Nelson Point I was looking at the second rake of a BHP Billiton train moving up to stop next to the leading rake. I noticed that the lead unit of the second rake still had the covers over the front cab windows and thought "how does the driver see out?" The quick answer was that he was still in the former lead unit on the adjacent track, driving using Locotrol.  That was 10 000 tonnes and it stopped just where it was supposed to.

M636C
  BDA Chief Commissioner

Location: Sydney
M there was an area in management that was interested in RCS but it didn't involve locotrol and the gear it did try was not without its issues . Yes you are correct in that there was a push for a remote to slot into a "shell" in the no 2 driving position of 92 classes but it didn't eventuate because firstly (I believe) coal had little interest in it and secondly the 92s were intended to stay in the Hunter on coal trains .
The thing was that at the time 92s were in the building phase PN seemed to be watching its finances very closely and only investing in areas that generated significant revenue . Now someone from the Hunter would know but I think Hunter Bulk was also investing in several extra rakes and taking on new coal contracts and needed to increase its fleets capacity . Intermodal had to soldier on with the NR fleet and varying numbers of BLs DLs ANs and the occasional 81 and G class . We used to use these on MB/BM trains and only have them on line between Junee and Taree . The double consist Indians when they ran via Lithgow mostly had DLs as an online banker and were mainly used between Parks and Sydney Terminal .
I think there were many reasons why the 92 class cabs ended up as they are and why they ended up as a coal road engine .
Its enough to say that Intermodal wants different things in a go anywhere do anything locomotives cab and thats why in final form the 93s will be different . As you said 9301-6 went down the line intending to be I think CF44s but plans changed and Intermodal said yes I'm wanting . Had they been an individual order like the next three will be you could say they would have been a Premier from the start rather than a Belmont that came up in the world .
It is unfortunate that a CF44 is not the exact spec Intermodal wants but these first 93s were the way to get extra motive power quickly and sort out the details later .

All that aside it looks like these C44ACis are going to have a larger apetite than NRs generally do and thats on loads that are well within what NRs can haul . Some of this is probably because the C44s put out about 10% more hosepower than Cv40s and we can make NRs reasonably efficient with fuel saving methods - like using the notch limiting software .
ATM two 93s will climb the 1:40s with ~ 2000 tonnes at about 45-47 km/h and thats not running through the dips/creeks at line speed because of track speed restrictions . I dont think I've seen more than about 240 od Kn on the loadmetre and in the dry they don't seem to slip at all . Obviously the time will come when the load increases to say 3000 tonnes and then we'll see what these units can do especially in the wet . Rumors say that other late C44ACis can do much better than 1500T on 1:40 grades , my record is 2000T up Demondrille with a single NR powering (1300a at 13 km/h) and I think it was a little over 2300 up Gunning with one going . This is a little different to the 1300T ruleing NR load so an AC unit should be able to do significantly better . Cowan Bank is the usual test location but Illawarra Mountain or Rhonda Valley will tell the real story . 
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
9302 and 9301 out of Melbourne tonight.  Looks like they are now on regular revenue services between Melbourne and Brisbane.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/Railpage/7772732946/

Regards
Brian

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