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EVO-M rebuilds of Dash 9 Locomotives

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BDA
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Posted by BDA on Monday, February 28, 2022 6:07 AM

How does the tractive effort compare AC4400 to SD70 ACe ?

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Posted by M636C on Monday, February 28, 2022 4:03 AM

BDA

I hear that the first of these is almost ready to ship.

The radiator cab does extend a lot further back than an original Dash 9 .

 

I was at the AUSRAIL Conference today and found a guy on the Wabtech exhibtion stand who actually knew what was happening.

His description was that the FMG rebuilds were effectively an AC4400 as far as the back of the engine, but the radiator of the ES44ACi (the Pilbara area ES44AC units) was mounted in place of the Dash 9 radiator. These ES44ACi are built on the frame of an AC6000CW and have the same radiator as the domestic AC6000.

I say "domestic AC6000CW" because of course, BHP had AC6000CW units in the Pilbara, and these had much larger radiators than the AC6000CW units in the USA.

The difference is, of course, that the rebuilt Dash 9s do not have the air to air intercooler that is fitted just forward of the radiator that increases the size of the radiator area by about one third, and it is this that requires the AC6000CW frame.

In both the rebuilt AC44C6M and the ES44ACi the radiator projects over the rear walkway further than that radiator fitted in a domestic AC6000CW.

I was told that the name "EVO-M" was introduced by FMG and not by Wabtech. It referred to the use of an EVO radiator on an AC44C6M and was not related to the engine. The engine remains an FDL-16, but is a new engine.

Peter

BDA
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Posted by BDA on Sunday, February 27, 2022 1:30 AM

I hear that the first of these is almost ready to ship.

The radiator cab does extend a lot further back than an original Dash 9 .

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Posted by M636C on Thursday, February 10, 2022 3:40 PM

Backshop

I was asking you because you brought up Tier emission standards in a thread about Australian rebuilds.  I thought maybe you knew something that we didn't.

 

 
As far as I can tell, Australian authorities want new locomotives to meet Tier 3. The only locomotives that meet Tier 3 are the SD70ACe locomotives in the Pilbara and the derivative GT46C-ACe locomotives which use the same engine and radiators. It is possible that the ES44 DCi locomotives in the Pilbara meet Tier 3 but there might be technical problems meeting the standards with air to air intercooling in temperatures as high as 50 degrees C in summer. Wabtech have claimed that the EVO-12 powered locomotives on order for Pacific National will meet USA Tier 3 standards. This will be the first locomotive for the national network with GE or Wabtech equipment that will meet Tier 3, more than ten years after EMD equipped locomotives did so.
 
There have been comments from the Australian regulators that they are concerned that the fleet has not improved its average emissions over the last decade, paricularly that older locomotives have not improved their emission status when rebuilt (which includes a few 70 year old EMD locomotives still in main line use).
 
Locomotives for use in NSW particularly need to meet very stringent noise standards, much more stringent than those in the USA. Locomotives used in the Pilbara area in Western Australia (including FMG 101 to 104) do not have to meet these standards so it is easy to tell the difference. Of course with 10 000 tonne coal trains running through suburbs every 15 minutes, (and the same number of empties) you can understand why noise might be a problem.
 
Locomotive emissions will be a concern in those areas (as is coal dust blowing off the top of the hopper cars. The hoppers were designed with vey narrow tops to minimise dust, but it is thought that removable covers might be required soon.
 
The majority of locomotives in the Hunter Valley coal traffic are GE/Wabtech type all fitted with FDL-16 engines and more of these are being built, despite the introduction of a design with an EVO-12 for intermodal use.
 
Peter
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Posted by Backshop on Thursday, February 10, 2022 10:24 AM

I was asking you because you brought up Tier emission standards in a thread about Australian rebuilds.  I thought maybe you knew something that we didn't.

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Posted by Overmod on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 9:08 PM

Backshop
 
Overmod

According to this interesting (and readable!) talk, any substantial rebuild of the actual 7FDL engine after 2015 would have to be tier 4+, not just 'tier 3', for a passenger railroad (this would presumably include Amtrak operations, where I'd have expected to see the first 'tier 3' compliant engines).  (See p.39ff)

Would this apply to Australia?

Not unless the Australian Government accepted EPA tier information and applied it as domestic practice.  I do not know, and M636C would be a more reliable research source.

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Posted by Backshop on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 7:43 PM

Overmod

According to this interesting (and readable!) talk, any substantial rebuild of the actual 7FDL engine after 2015 would have to be tier 4+, not just 'tier 3', for a passenger railroad (this would presumably include Amtrak operations, where I'd have expected to see the first 'tier 3' compliant engines).  (See p.39ff) 

Would this apply to Australia?

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Posted by M636C on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 5:46 PM

BDA

From what I've seen mining companies in WA don't generally muck around .

It isn't too hard to work out that any mechanically sound V12/V16 marine diesel can be made to run efficiently. Contributing factors will be piston crown and cylinder head design closely followed by the fuel injection system .

All of these are easily upgradable and its not difficult to do so .

M , like NRs a CW44-9 can easily have all the evolution series electronics and similar or better injectors than NRs have . 

Cooling system , again not hard to understand . In something the size of a USDM Dash 9 you'd think more effective charge cooling (intercooling) would have significant benefits . As you said , Dash 9s cope easily in the Pilbara from an engine water jacket cooling perspective .

What they don't have is effective charge air cooling and the downsides would be emissions , and I'd say better fuel consumption . 

I'm pretty sure I remember reading that when the 70ACe went from Tier 2 to Tier 3 their horsepower went up and fuel consumption improved . Bingo .

Body doors , I counted 8 as well .

I can't speak for FMG but , they know the FDL well and have no doubt the spares and expereince to keep them reliable . 

I would not be at all surprised to see these Dash 9 to AC4400 converted units do as well if not better than the 70 ACes already there .

I've had plenty of hours in ADM and USDM Dash 9s and they always gave better fuel consumption than EMDs , thats going off fuel tank readings not manufacturers claims . An updated T2 or T3 FDL should be even better . 

I have been travelling and have only just got back on line.

I agree that the engine hoods on 102 and 104 are exactly the same as on a standard Dash 9. I was able to check a broadside photo of an FMG Dash 9 (on Toad Montgomery's Pilbara Railways website), and even the FMG logo is in the same place.

So the only EVO component visible is the radiator, which appears to be the same as that on the ES44DCi (which at the time they appeared was said to be an AC6000 radiator - The ES44DCi use AC6000 frames as well.) What is missing is the air to air intercooler, which is an indication that there isn't a standard EVO V-12 in use.

It is likely, as BDA indicates that this could improve the FDL fuel consumption. It might allow and FDL to meet Tier 2 emissions as well.

However, there are no actual emission standards for locomotives in Australia although there appears to be an intention to adopt USA Tier 3 standards, which recent EMD locomotive in Australia (and the ES44DCi and ES44ACi) already meet. Pacific National have ordered locomotives with EVO-12s to replace the Cv40-9i ("NR Class") which will meet Tier 3 regulations.

FMG is a special case. They are currently testing locomotives on alternative fuels to reduce carbon emissions  and it is possible that 101 to 104 will be used with alternative fuels.

However, a significant reduction in fuel consumption would of course reduce carbon emissions, and that alone might be the reason for the new radiators.

We can just wait and see, I guess.

Peter

 

BDA
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Posted by BDA on Wednesday, February 9, 2022 4:17 AM

From what I've seen mining companies in WA don't generally muck around .

It isn't too hard to work out that any mechanically sound V12/V16 marine diesel can be made to run efficiently. Contributing factors will be piston crown and cylinder head design closely followed by the fuel injection system .

All of these are easily upgradable and its not difficult to do so .

M , like NRs a CW44-9 can easily have all the evolution series electronics and similar or better injectors than NRs have . 

Cooling system , again not hard to understand . In something the size of a USDM Dash 9 you'd think more effective charge cooling (intercooling) would have significant benefits . As you said , Dash 9s cope easily in the Pilbara from an engine water jacket cooling perspective .

What they don't have is effective charge air cooling and the downsides would be emissions , and I'd say better fuel consumption . 

I'm pretty sure I remember reading that when the 70ACe went from Tier 2 to Tier 3 their horsepower went up and fuel consumption improved . Bingo .

Body doors , I counted 8 as well .

I can't speak for FMG but , they know the FDL well and have no doubt the spares and expereince to keep them reliable . 

I would not be at all surprised to see these Dash 9 to AC4400 converted units do as well if not better than the 70 ACes already there .

I've had plenty of hours in ADM and USDM Dash 9s and they always gave better fuel consumption than EMDs , thats going off fuel tank readings not manufacturers claims . An updated T2 or T3 FDL should be even better . 

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 11:03 AM

According to this interesting (and readable!) talk, any substantial rebuild of the actual 7FDL engine after 2015 would have to be tier 4+, not just 'tier 3', for a passenger railroad (this would presumably include Amtrak operations, where I'd have expected to see the first 'tier 3' compliant engines).  (See p.39ff)

https://northeastdiesel.org/pdf/freight/NERRClub.pdf

(And yes, Ann or anyone like her could probably learn from Bryan Jones, in 20 minutes or less, all the technical details about modern locomotives she'd have needed...)

This in my opinion is at least one reason why we aren't seeing any discussions of repowering the existing Genesis engines with either 12- or 16-cylinder GEVOs.

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Posted by Bryan Jones on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 7:54 AM

Bryan here. Yep, I saw the photos before sending my message out to Loconotes. I'm 99.9% sure that these units are still powered by 16 cylinder FDL prime movers. The first clue is the exhaust stack, which is the same style as used by the FDL and completely different than that of the GEVO12 prime mover. Second clue is the "engine cab" aka hood section over the prime mover; it is still the same height as that of an FDL powered unit, while a GEVO uses an engine cab which is several inches taller. Likewise there are still 8 access doors for the engine.

The real difference is the cooling system. While the existing standard cooling system in a DASH 9 may have been sufficient to provide proper cooling in the hot environment, there would surely have had to be significant upgrades to the cooling system to allow an FDL powered unit to meet a higher emissions level such as Tier 2 or Tier 3. I can't see any other reason for such an upgrade like this to be made. If my assumption is correct then these FMG units would be the first FDL powered units capable of meeting or exceeding Tier 2.

Bryan Jones


Leo_Ames

It appears he's seen the photos. But ultimately I'm just passing along what he said a few hours ago and can't speak for him. Here's his Loconotes message in full.

"Very interesting. These units are still FDL powered but have a cooling system which appears to be a lower capacity variation of the high capacity cooling that is found on the Rio Tinto ES44ACi and ES44DCi fleets. It’ll be interesting to find out what emissions levels these units are certified as, seems quite possible they could be the first FDL powered units certified for Tier 2 or Tier 3."

Bryan posts here, so hopefully he'll chime in today and clarify. 

 

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 5:18 AM

BDA

Yes the word on the street is that they retain the 7FDL V16 .

 

Looking at this photo:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/149169525@N05/51868452368/in/photostream/

There are only seven hood doors. Is that enough for an FDL16?

Looking more closely, there does not appear to be the standard air to air intercooler. There may be a more compact air to air unit or a water cooled intercooler. The latter is consistent with an FDL, but presumably marine EVOs have water intercoolers. Given the absence of the big intercooler, it is possible that the radiator is the same as an ES44ACi.

I believe FDMs (Marine equivalent of the FDL) were offered with tier 2 certification. But I feel sure if a locomotive could be fitted with an FDL certified to Tier 2, GE would have offered it in the USA domestic market some years ago.

Maybe EVO-M indicates a marine EVO, with water intercooler?

Peter

BDA
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Posted by BDA on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 4:06 AM

Yes the word on the street is that they retain the 7FDL V16 .

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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 3:24 AM

It appears he's seen the photos. But ultimately I'm just passing along what he said a few hours ago and can't speak for him. Here's his Loconotes message in full.

"Very interesting. These units are still FDL powered but have a cooling system which appears to be a lower capacity variation of the high capacity cooling that is found on the Rio Tinto ES44ACi and ES44DCi fleets. It’ll be interesting to find out what emissions levels these units are certified as, seems quite possible they could be the first FDL powered units certified for Tier 2 or Tier 3."

Bryan posts here, so hopefully he'll chime in today and clarify. 

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 2:30 AM

Leo_Ames

Bryan Jones on Loconotes said these are still FDL powered.

 
When he said that had he seen the photos?
The third photo showing the engine hood appears a bit short to fit a 16 cylinder engine, and there would be no need for the huge radiators. Dash 9s work well in the Pilbara with standard radiators (as did Dash 8s).
 
Why would they call an FDL equipped unit "EVO-M"?
 
These would apear to be the first DC to AC rebuilds where the type of engine was changed.
 
Peter
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Posted by Leo_Ames on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 12:43 AM

Bryan Jones on Loconotes said these are still FDL powered.

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EVO-M rebuilds of Dash 9 Locomotives
Posted by M636C on Tuesday, February 8, 2022 12:01 AM

Fortescue have had GE rebuild some used Dash 9 locomotives. As well as the substitution of AC traction equipment for DC, the FDL-16 engine has been replaced by (presumably) a Tier 3 EVO-12 engine. Four locomotives, numbers 101-104 have been rebuilt.

The cooling system is, as expected, completely new and appears to be larger than that on US domestic EVO locomotives, but not as big as the cooling group on the ES44DCi and ES44ACi locomotives supplied to Rio Tinto and Roy Hill. The radiator projects beyond the end of the hood, and the radiator grilles are similar to those on the ES44DCi, including grilles on the rear hood end.

I understand that most DC to AC conversions received new engines, but to date these were FDL-16 type.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/149169525@N05/51867405687/in/photostream/

(not my photo)

Peter

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