UGL Rail C44aci

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C44aci
250px
Australian Railroad Group AC4305 at North Dynon in September 2009
Specifications
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder UGL Rail, Broadmeadow
Model GE Transportation C44aci
Build date 2008-present
Total produced 128
UIC classification Co-Co
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in)
Length 22.0 m (72 ft 2 in)
Locomotive weight 140 tons (high)
138 tons (med)
134 tons (low)
Fuel type Diesel
Prime mover GE Transportation 7FDL-16
Alternator GE Transportation GMG192
Traction motors GE Transportation 5GEB30
Top speed 115 km/h (71 mph)
Power output 3,370 kW (4,520 hp)
Tractive effort 535 kN (120,000 lbf)
Career
Operator(s) Australian Railroad Group
Centennial Coal
Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia
Consolidated Rail Leasing
Pacific National
QR National
Xstrata
Number in class 128
Current owner Aurizon
Centennial Coal
Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia
Consolidated Rail Leasing
Pacific National
Xstrata
Disposition 128 in service

The C44aci is a model of Australian heavy duty diesel electric locomotive designed by UGL Rail and built at is Broadmeadow factory. It is operated by a number of rail freight operators. The design is based on the Pacific National NR class but with some modifications and upgraded features.

Design[edit]

The C44aci was designed by UGL Rail in response to a tender issued by Pacific National, who required a locomotive to match the performance of their existing 90 class units when hauling heavy coal traffic, while still having the ability to work high speed intermodal services, with the change between applications to be simple.[1]

The existing UGL Rail Cv40-9i (NR class) locomotive design was used as a base, but with alterations including:[2] 1

  • Higher horsepower prime mover
  • Smaller main alternator
  • Enlarged radiator size now overhangs the walkway at the number 2 end to cope with the more powerful engine
  • AC traction equipment allowing an increase in haulage capacity
  • Addition of inline refuelling fittings
  • Isolated cab for reduced noise and vibration
  • A new design of fabricated bogies
  • Increased use of modular construction
  • Revised transition curves in the underframe to reduce the probability of fatigue cracking
  • Various body and cab modifications

The NR class design had also been used as a basis for the AC traction QR National 5000 class introduced in 2005. This design did not meet the requirements for Pacific National due to the heavy axle load, acceptable on the heavily laid coal routes, but not on lines outside of the Hunter Valley.[2]

To reduce the weight, the level of fuel carried is altered: for intermodal applications the fuel level is 7,300 litres, for coal applications that permit higher axle loads the fuel level is increased to 13,500 litres, with an intermediate fuel level of 10,750 litres also available. These limits are enforced during refuelling by a float switch in the tank, the permitted level being set by a key switch with an indication displayed in the cab if the limits are breached.[2] The provision of inline refuelling permits the topping up of the tanks in transit from a separate tank wagon behind the locomotives.

The older GE Transportation FDL series engine was chosen instead of the newer GE Evolution Series engine used in the United States, due to the greater height not fitting in the restricted Australian loading gauge,[1] and there being no legal requirement to meet stringent Tier 2 emissions standards which drove adoption of the GEVO series elsewhere. The C44aci has one inverter per traction motor, this differs from competing Downer EDi Rail locomotives that have only one inverter per bogie. A further difference between the C44aci and the competing GT46C ACe is the lack of steering bogies to improve tracking properties and reduce the rate of wheel wear, instead fixed-frame pedestal-type bogies are used where all three axles are always held parallel.[1]

Simulation work showed that three C44aci locomotives could equal the performance of 90 class units in heavy mode, while in intermodal mode could outperform the older NR class units by 20% on services, with the same sectional running times and in some areas a slight reduction in fuel consumed due to the increased adhesion resulting from AC traction.[1] However the C44aci was outperformed by the comparable GT46C ACe locomotive produced by Downer EDi Rail in back-to-back trials performed by RailCorp on the steeply graded Cowan Bank.[3][4]

By operator[edit]

No 2 end of Pacific National 9307 at Taree in May 2013
Cab view of Pacific National 9307 in May 2013

Pacific National[edit]

The first of the Pacific National 92 class was officially launched at Port Waratah on 3 October 2008.[5] All 15 units entered service on coal trains in the Hunter Region and have yet to operate any other services.[6][7] In 2012 Pacific National took delivery of six 93 class C44aci locomotives optimised for intermodal freight transport between Melbourne and Brisbane.[8][9] On 17 January 2013, Pacific National placed an order for another two (later expanded to five) 93 class locomotives.[10]In 2014, Pacific National extended the order of the 93 class to 9319, which is currently being constructed. The 93s are used on intermodal freight trains between Melbourne and Brisbane, although occasionally, they haul The Overlander from Melbourne to Adelaide, supplementing the NRs' roster.

Aurizon[edit]

No 2 end of QR National 6001 at North Dynon in September 2009

In July 2008 QR National subsidiary Australian Railroad Group ordered eight locomotives, with options for 16 more units. Intended for use on their Western Australian standard gauge lines, they were delivered between August and September 2009.[11] These units feature updated electronic control and engine management systems, and had their entry to service delayed by weight issues, with steel body side doors being replaced with lighter aluminium substitutes.[12] Since entering service they have been used on the Koolyanobbing to Esperance iron ore service, in the full fuel load (139 tonnes) configuration.[12]

In January 2009 QR National ordered twelve 6000 class units for use on coal and intermodal haulage.[13][14] The first was delivered in October 2009.[15] These units were to be fitted with electronically controlled pneumatic braking equipment, for operation with similarly fitted container wagons.[12][16]

QR National subsequently ordered an additional 12 locomotives specifically to operate its intermodal trains. The first nine were delivered in 2012 as the 6020 class with the final three diverted to Australian Railroad Group as the ACC class.[17][18]

Xstrata Rail[edit]

In November 2009 Xstrata placed an order for 10 locomotives for their Hunter Valley coal operations.[19] This was followed by a further 20.[20] These are operated by Freightliner Australia.[21]

Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia[edit]

In 2011 Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia took delivery of six locomotives that were initially leased to Pacific National.[22][23][24] Another six were delivered in May and June 2013.[23]

Centennial Coal[edit]

In 2012 Centennial Coal took delivery of seven locomotives for their coal operations.[25][26] These are operated by Southern Shorthaul Railroad.

Genesee & Wyoming Australia[edit]

Between April and June 2012 Genesee & Wyoming Australia took delivery of nine locomotives for use on Adelaide to Darwin services.[27][28]

UGL Rail[edit]

UGL Rail had five units on the production line for Consolidated Rail Leasing before the order was cancelled. They were completed and retained by UGL as lease units. They will be leased to Mineral Resources Limited. The first two, numbered MRL001/002 have already been built. Their original name was going to be CRL but when the order was changed, it was changed to MRL.

Summary[edit]

Operator Class Number in class Road numbers Built Notes
Pacific National 92 15 9201-9215 2008-09 Principally used on Hunter Valley coal haulage, but on occasion, may be used on interstate freight services.
93 13 9301-9319 2012-13 Order extended in early 2014 to 9319.
Aurizon 6000 6 6001, 6003, 6004, 6006-6008 2009 Originally 12 units, 6 converted to ACA class for Australian Railroad Group
6020 9 6021-6029 2012
AC 8 AC4301–AC4308 2009 Ex Australian Railroad Group
ACA 6 ACA6002, ACA6005, ACA6009-ACA6012 2010 Ex Australian Railroad Group, converted from 6000 class
ACB 6 ACB4401-ACB4406 2011-12 Ex Australian Railroad Group, upgraded version of the AC class with a slightly higher power output
ACC 3 ACC6030-ACC6032 2013 Part of 6020 class order
Xstrata Coal XRN 30 XRN001-XRN030 2010-12 Owned by Xstrata, operated by Freightliner Australia.
Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia CF 12 CF4401-CF4412 2012-13 CF4412 painted in black and pink livery and nicknamed Black Caviar, after Australia's iconic racehorse. The other 11 members painted in CFCLA blue and grey livery.
Centennial Coal CEY 7 CEY001-CEY007 2012 Owned by Centennial Coal, operated by Southern Shorthaul Railroad. Painted in the SSR livery, but with green replacing back.
Genesee & Wyoming Australia GWU 9 GWU001-GWU009 2012
UGL Rail MRL 4 MRL001-MRL004 2013-2014 2 already constructed, the other two under construction. Originally ordered by Consolidated Rail Leasing and were to be named CRL. However, they have now been re-classed as MRL and will be transported to Western Australia for iron ore haulage.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Graham Haywood (December 2008). "Pacific National 92 class locomotives for coal and intermodal". Railway Technical Society of Australasia: NSW Chapter Newsletter. www.rtsa.com.au. Retrieved 2009-10-26. [dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Graham Haywood (August 2008). "Pacific National 92 class locomotives for coal and intermodal". Railway Technical Society of Australasia: SA Chapter Newsletter. www.rtsa.com.au. Retrieved 2009-10-26. [dead link]
  3. ^ "New SCT locomotives". Railpage Australia Forums (Locomotives and Rolling Stock). www.railpage.com.au. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  4. ^ "Downer EDI Rail’s GT46C ACe locomotive hailed ‘King of the Mountain’". AusRAIL. ausrail.blogspot.com. 17 July 2009. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  5. ^ Pacific National launches new Hunter Valley coal locomotives and wagons Pacific National 3 October 2008
  6. ^ Mark Carter (October 2008). "Loco boom for manufacturers". Rail Horizons. www.rtsa.com.au. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  7. ^ 92 Class Vicsig
  8. ^ Pacific National boasts new UGL locomotives Australian Transport News 10 September 2012
  9. ^ Six new locomotives workhorses for Pacific National Rail.co 12 September 2012
  10. ^ "UGL secures $170 million in new projects". UGL Limited. 17 January 2013. 
  11. ^ "Australian Rail Group has ordered eight 3.2MW diesel locomotives for use on Western Australian standard-gauge lines". International Railway Journal. findarticles.com. July 2008. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  12. ^ a b c "ARG AC class enter service". Motive Power: 34–35. October 2009. 
  13. ^ "QR signs $70 million-plus locomotive purchase from United Group". QR Corporate - Media Releases. www.corporate.qr.com.au. 18 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  14. ^ "United Group wins QR deal". International Railway Journal. findarticles.com. February 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  15. ^ "Wongm's Rail Gallery - QRN 6001 in Melbourne". wongm.railgeelong.com. 1 October 2009. Retrieved 2009-10-26. 
  16. ^ 6000 Class Vicsig
  17. ^ 6020 Class Vicsig
  18. ^ ACC Class Vicsig
  19. ^ UGL secures $108m in rail freight orders WA today 18 November 2009
  20. ^ XRN Class Vicsig
  21. ^ Freightliner and Xstrata sign Australian coal contract Railway Gazette International 25 September 2009
  22. ^ Australian thoroughbreds take to the rails Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia 4 February 2012
  23. ^ a b CF Class Vicsig
  24. ^ Loco boom for manufacturers Rail Horizons October 2008
  25. ^ New Centennial fleet doubles haulage capacity Rail.co 18 July 2012
  26. ^ CEY Class Vicsig
  27. ^ GWA boosts locomotive fleet RailExpress.com.au 21 June 2012
  28. ^ GWU class Vicsig

External links[edit]