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Bowen Rail GT46CU-ACe Gen III

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BDA
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Posted by BDA on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 4:17 AM

West is not the same as north south .

Its about 629 Km Sydney Yard to Parks via Cootamundra . Melbourne Brisbane is further .

Yes we attach extra units Sydney Parks (either way) and they are generally smaller Fuel capacity units . How often do you see a TT LDP 93 west of Parks , they aren't going too far without in line fueling . It makes no sense to to detach an NR and keep the shorter range units . I'd say if you've seen an NR detached at Goobang East its because the consist was all NRs . 

ANs are a bit different . They were short changed with the Power Glide AR11 Alternator , like USD 60 series were , and the 16 710 is limited to keep the AR11 alive . So with a bit over 3800 Hp output they are a bit more frugal than the 4400 Hp ACs .

 

 

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Posted by M636C on Tuesday, September 20, 2022 11:59 PM

BDA,

The process you describe of using a locomotive on the steeper grades only is not confined to any particular class. Perth Sydney trains often have a third or fourth locomotive added at Parkes before they turn south to Cootamundra. I understand these locomotives are generally called "East Coast Bankers". (bank is a term for a grade, and helper locomotives are called "bankers" or "bank engines".)

The AT46C locomotives, known as AN class, are often used on this service. These are the only locomotives on the national system with 16-710G3 engines but without sound mufflers. As a result you can tell before the train comes into sight if the AN class is working. I've seen examples where on 4PS6, for example an AN is powered up around Gunning for the long 1 in 66 to Cullerin. Since an AN has more than enough fuel to run from Parkes to the Chullora SFT, the fact that is only turned on for the major grades is an indication that the procedure is for fuel saving and not related to fuel capacity. Often an NR is used that way, only being turned on for the steep grade. Unlike the AN, you would have to watch the stack to see if it was working. The PS trains are often used to transfer NR class dead from Parkes to Chullora.

On the other hand, I saw SCT's 3MB9 yesterday, with SCT 002 and SCT001. It ran through with both GT46C ACe units running on a light train with only 24 platforms. Of course they use in-line fuelling with a single 20 foot tank container connected to the two locomotives. They can run Melbourne Brisbane with no problem, never exceeding 134 tonnes per unit, and only losing 1/3 the capacity of one 3TEU wagon. But where it really counts, Melbourne to Perth, SCT run through with in line fuelling (while PN trains refuel in Port Augusta and again at Cook and maybe Parkeston), all while never exceeding 134 tonnes per unit. SCT can refuel in Adelaide, where trains from Melbourne can be double stacked and those to Melbourne reduced to single stack.

Peter

BDA
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Posted by BDA on Monday, September 19, 2022 4:43 PM

Intermodal uses both LDP and some TTs , just like Northern coal uses some 93s .

Back to the above , was side tracked by another BM .

What usually happens is MB/BM trains get 3 NRs or occassionally two and a 93 or GT46ACe . The smaller effective fuel capacity TT or LDP or 93 is offline to Taree or somewhere north of Hawksbury River . Then it goes back on line for the steeper grades between there and the last 1:40 just south of Junee . After that its arguably extra HP for speed but not essential . The real problem is where you have an NR and two small fuel capacity units . Obviously one could go offline but the other is going to burn too much of its limited usable capacity . Also train performance suffers when fuel saving (vs running dry) takes priority over on time running .

This is why I keep telling you M that for true long distance operations the PR/EDI units don't cut it . They are actually better in a way than the C44ACi's because 10,000 litres of fuel goes further than 7200 . Long term we hope the axle loads for locomotives can increase because the C44ACi still has the big tank . Not much you can do with the smaller tank GT46ACe .  

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Posted by M636C on Saturday, September 17, 2022 7:01 PM

BDA

Sorry if this is a little OT but is does relate to mass and fuel tank capacity that gets served up to us in Australia .

Firstly I'm not sure what usable fuel tank capacity these Bowen PR units have .

Just recently one of our interstate Brisbane Melbourne (BM) trains was run run across three states and had fuel range issues .

Interestingly it had one of each classes NR/93/ TT(GT46C ACe) . Not surprisingly it was never going to make it with all three running . The NR.

 

Sorry gotta run back later .

 

 

The fuel capacity was not included with the data provided to me. I think the capacity may be 10 000 litres, simply because that was the fuel capacity in the standard gauge GT46C Ace, and the new locomotives were developed from the standard gauge version. I may ask Progress Rail....

However, the GT42CU AC has 9000 litres, for a 3000 HP locomotive, on a weight of 120 tonnes. So I think the 4300 HP 138 tonne locomotive would need more than that for operation on the same network.

Wouldn't the GT46C ACe on a BM service be an LDP rather than a TT? The TTs are almost exclusively on coal traffic, while the LDPs have spent most of their life on intermodal and steel product traffic? They are basically the same, but no LDP units carry additional ballast.

Peter

BDA
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Posted by BDA on Saturday, September 17, 2022 2:12 PM

Sorry if this is a little OT but is does relate to mass and fuel tank capacity that gets served up to us in Australia .

Firstly I'm not sure what usable fuel tank capacity these Bowen PR units have .

Just recently one of our interstate Brisbane Melbourne (BM) trains was run run across three states and had fuel range issues .

Interestingly it had one of each classes NR/93/ TT(GT46C ACe) . Not surprisingly it was never going to make it with all three running . The NR.

 

Sorry gotta run back later .

 

BDA
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Posted by BDA on Sunday, September 4, 2022 9:00 AM

Just so people in the US know .

In Australia drivers are known as exactly that , often the term mainline tacked on for those than run all over their employers system . 

When I say designed by engineers I mean mechanical and electrical engineers .

This may sound biased but it isn't . Most , but not all , drivers who've spent many hours in them would have the NRs cab style and amenities on everything - given a choice . I hear this all the time about GT46 ACes . Quite a few drivers I worked with on USD spec units said the same thing .

I didn't mind the US cabs though I did prefer desktop style in the C44-9s and SD90Macs . Strange in a cab that was that big to be hemmed in next the AAR control stand in a SD70ACe . Also these are different in that most of the CBs are on the back wall of the cab . NR based units have them above the windscreens or on a panel behind the drivers seat , they also have an island control stand and the better ones have all the common switches - like gen field head and ditch lights wiper washers step lights - right next to you .

Also note that most Australian built locomotives are left hand drive where USD units are right hand drive .

GT46ACes have switches all over the place in no logical order . C44ACi (93 class) started to go this way but were were told no we want them as much like an NR as possible .

Same as the hot plate/microwave debacle . Drivers preference over manufacturers . 

The original C43ACi 92 class doesn't fit into the above category because what started out as an AC NR replacement ended up as a coal division unit . They don't do the longer distance interstate runs .   

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, September 4, 2022 2:18 AM

I thought I might address some points in BDA's last posting:

It seems that in this day and age it's virtually impossible to make a 4000/4400 Hp AC traction Diesel electric locomotive with a provisioned mass of 132-134 metric tonnes and give it a 12,500 litre usable fuel tank .

Not just AC traction units. The Cv40-9i as first built with GE 793 motors weighed 134 tonnes, 132 imperial tons. Sadly the GE 793 (apparently based on the GE 731 used in switchers) didn't work as intended, and was replaced by the slightly heavier GE 793A1, which worked well, but weighed a little more, so the Cv40-9i now weighed somewhere between 135 and 136 tonnes. On paper this was accounted for by limiting the fuel load of the "NR class" to 11500 litres, at least in theory. I have been told that this limit was never applied, just nobody mentioned to the ARTC that the locomotives now weighed more. I think only the earliest locomotives got the original 793 motor. I recall seeing NR 1 stopped at Yass Junction for some days with traction motor problems early in its life. But in fact, the Cv40-9i is not within the 134 tonne limit when fully fuelled. This means the actual fuel difference between the Cv40-9i and the GT46C ACe is only 1500 litres at 134 tonnes.

Microwave Ovens . US domestic units have a lot more space in the cabs than ours do . In ours you put a microwave in with its associated roll cage in and lose a sizeable chunk of space on the co drivers side . Pain in the butt .

I have only been in the cab of the very first C44ACi, PN's 9201, when it was on display at Port Waratah in (I think) October 2008. this had the strange dual control arrangement where a belt pack remote control unit was fitted to a special rack behind the second crewman's position, along with automatic and independent brake valves for running long hood first. This was eventually removed, I believe. But the microwave oven was behind the driver's postion. There was no hotplate then in 9201.

Now , Peter , I assume you have not spent 8-12 hours on a regular basis in any locomotive - let alone do it for 30 odd years . If you had you'd realise that two adults wanting to eat and drink decent food/drink takes up space .

 Between 1975 and the end of 1978 I spent 8-12 hours twice a week on iron ore trains between Port Hedland and Newman and return. Sometimes in the early days I made a return trip, only leaving the locomotives during train loading for a shower and a meal at the conveniently close mining camp. I recall that they would grill you a steak at any time of night, a big help if you were going straight back. I later made similar trips on the Hamersley line, but they provided converted box car to ride in. At this time there were no refrigerators or microwave ovens on the locomotives. There were hotplates, but each man had to take a full size steel food cooler (known as an Esky, from the "Eskimo" brand). These were provided, full by the company but you still had to get them into the cab yourself. The vertical steps on Alco and Montreal 636 locomotives were no help. I recall that you had to use paper towels as coasters for cups of coffee because you weren't to leave any marks such as cup rings on any surface in the cab.

Fuel tank . I would always have the larger capacity fuel tank even if I could not fill it due to weight constraints . Standards can change over time and one day the rail access providers will come to realise that the sky won't fall in if the axle loads go up by 1 tonne

While that hasn't happened yet, ARTC have given permission for leased standard C44ACi units to be fuelled up to 10000 lites, so around 135 tonnes when in use from Melbourne to Brisbane by SCT. SCT's Bromelton depot is some distance south of Brisbane, which might help. These units are not fitted for in line fuelling as are the GT46C ACe units. But of course, 135 tonnes is no more than a Cv40-9i with 12500 litres...

But at 139 tonnes, the C44ACi can carry 13500 litres.

But not all main lines yet have 60kg/m (120lb/yd) rail yet. As I write, the NSW main south (Sydney-Melbourne) is closed for rerailing. One of the locations is Gunning, where I recall noting some 100 lb/yd rail dated 1931 at the very location the ceremonial one millionth concrete sleeper (tie) was laid some years ago. When the heavier rail is laid throughout, 140 tonne locomotives might be permitted to run at 115km/h....

Peter

 

 

 

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Saturday, September 3, 2022 9:41 PM
 

Thanks for posting that info BDA. Questions for you. It sounds as if you prefer operating North American heavy haul loco's. If my assumptiuon is right. Do other engineers in Australia who have operated on the Pilbara and on the national network feel the same? Or is it just few and far between?

 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by SD70Dude on Saturday, September 3, 2022 2:15 PM

BDA

The personal reason why people with a choice don't like GT46ACes is that everything you touch on them is an ergonomic nowhere .It starts at the ladders and hand rails and ends with the totally nonsensical switch layout . Really stupid searching all over the panels looking for common use switches that even a dim fool would have grouped together.

Our SD70M-2s and SD70ACes aren't much better.  The headlight switches and other buttons (bell, horn sequencer, alerter reset) are just kinda slapped on and different units in the same series might have them in a different order. 

Do your GT46s also have half the breakers hidden in a room behind the cab, and the battery knife switch in the generator compartment? 

Our screens do face the engineer, but my main complaint about them is that they don't dim enough and make a lot of glare at night (most of our GEs also have this problem). 

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

BDA
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Posted by BDA on Saturday, September 3, 2022 9:42 AM

You must be uninformed Peter .

Yes I have had C44ACis as lead units though not for a while . At various times I've had a steer of most varietys of the NR based things , NR 92 93 CF44 QL . And for comparison , USD CW 44-9 .

The issue with GT46ACe and C44ACi is the same , not enough internal fuel/range .

Either on any sort of load will not make Melbourne out of Brisbane , and are even more useless across the trans Australian railway . I suspect they won't make Adelaide out of Sydney either .

It seems that in this day and age it's virtually impossible to make a 4000/4400 Hp AC traction Diesel electric locomotive with a provisioned mass of 132-134 metric tonnes and give it a 12,500 litre usable fuel tank .

At the end of the day it doesn't matter what the ACs can do which the DCs can't . What does matter is that an AC traction unit out fuel is worse than useless because then it becomes extra dead mass to tow around .

Microwave Ovens . US domestic units have a lot more space in the cabs than ours do . In ours you put a microwave in with its associated roll cage in and lose a sizeable chunk of space on the co drivers side . Pain in the butt .

Fridge . Now because the US style safety cab has an access well through the front of the cab there is adequate space to park a decent sized fridge in the conductors side of that well/passage . In Australian "Road Switcher" style locomotives the cab access is through the back wall leadling into a vestibule with external doors both sides . You can fit a quite reasonably sized fridge in USD cabs . You can do the same with an NR . For some strange reason EDI and UGL baulked at fitting anything better than a not very glamerous bar fridge in GT46ACes and C43/44 ACis . 

Now , Peter , I assume you have not spent 8-12 hours on a regular basis in any locomotive - let alone do it for 30 odd years . If you had you'd realise that two adults wanting to eat and drink decent food/drink takes up space . At times we are taking these things to places where nothing is immediately available when we get there . Not surprisingly a bar sized fridge is useless . 

I get it that other operators have GT46ACes so the crews have to put up with what ever they are given cab wise . Same if they have C43/44ACis .

No one other than National Rail and what it became operates CV40-9i's (NR class) so thay are unique . And now because those who operate NRs insisted that they have the same cab/crew amenities the 93 class C44ACi is also unique amongst C43/44ACis . They (93s) should all have the larger fridge and the hot plate . It took a lot of ear bending to get UGL to fit the hot plate with its unique dash mouldings into the C44s but they did .

Fuel tank . I would always have the larger capacity fuel tank even if I could not fill it due to weight constraints . Standards can change over time and one day the rail access providers will come to realise that the sky won't fall in if the axle loads go up by 1 tonne . 

GT46ACEs are going to look pretty stupid when this is the case but that fuel tank is just too small . Those extra lumps of steel , tonnage transferable , isn't going to do SFA for their lack of fuel range . Diesel fuel is always going to be a better form of ballast ...

The personal reason why people with a choice don't like GT46ACes is that everything you touch on them is an ergonomic nowhere .It starts at the ladders and hand rails and ends with the totally nonsensical switch layout . Really stupid searching all over the panels looking for common use switches that even a dim fool would have grouped together . And the screens . Moronically aimed at your belly . Would've been really easy to aim them at your face so that every stray beam of light didn't make them difficult to read . 

This is really basic stuff , it is very easy to see that these were designed by engineers who were never going to operate them even on a semi regular basis . NR/93 classes by comparison shows what happens when standards are set by the people who are going to work with and spend considerable periods of their lives in the things .

 

 

 

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Posted by Overmod on Sunday, August 28, 2022 6:31 AM

Is that 18:1 the engine compression ratio?  If so, I'd suspect part of Tier 3 final compliance would involve a lower compression ratio if SCR is not employed, and to me a lower compression ratio would involve higher fuel consumption to make peak rated power, but no perceivable steady-state power difference at a particular governed notch.

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, August 28, 2022 4:52 AM

BDA

It would be interesting to see them actually do 53% under real world conditions .

I've had USD 70ACes on their knees giving a bit better than their maximum rated KNs .

I've not had GT46ACes leading locally , mostly they are slave units on interstate trains . Firstly because the small fuel tank means shorter range , and secondly the cabs are not up to long range standards . 

A bit OT but some of these GT46ACes must not be Tier 3 because at least some have ,

"Fitted With 18:1 Tier 2 Pa's" on the side of the crank case . Would this mean the max power is down compared to a Tier 3 16 710 ?

This loco had recently been rebuilt by the look of it .

 

 

BDA works, or has worked for, the only division of the only operator that does not use GT46C ACe units as lead locomotives (Pacific National Intermodal). They don't even use the UGL C44ACi units as lead (which I understand is because, although the cabs are almost identical with the C40-9i units that are favoured, the C44ACi units have a microwave oven instead of a hotplate for preparing meals).

Pacific National's Bulk division use the GT46C ACe units as lead all the time, and they have 40 units compared to Intermodal's nine. SCT, the first operator, have always used their 15 units as lead, as did One Rail, who have 13 units. SSR have two which usually lead trains.

As I mentioned above, except possibly for the latest C44ACi units with "Flexicurve" bogies, the GT46C ACe units with 10000 litres have the biggest fuel capacity of any AC unit allowed on main lines at 115km/h. SCT's units are fitted for "in line fuelling" to top up from a tank container on the leading vehicle, as do One Rail's GWA class locomotives.

I think that the earliest GT46C ACe units may have only met Tier 2. However, I think Tier 0 is the only standard proposed for use in Australia. A unit exchange Tier 2 engine may have been available for an exchange, but Tier 2 would be acceptable for any future units, although there may be some PR value in using Tier 3 with current interest in CO2 reduction.

Peter

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Posted by M636C on Sunday, August 28, 2022 4:33 AM

timz

Continuous TE on the standard gauge units is 53% of the weight on drivers? That must be a record.

 

These GT46C ACe units have a very good anti-slip system and early trials on a 2.5% grade proved that they could haul the rated load in simulated rain conditions. The competing UGL/General Electric locomotives failed the test and GE had to change the programming of their control and anti-slip systems. The UGL C44ACi units have GEB 30 traction motors that are less capable than those on the GT46C ACe units. The C44ACi units with modified control settings can meet the test conditions, but they are limited to 7400 litres of fuel to meet the 134 tonnnes Limit for main line operation at 115km/h, compared to 10000 litres on the GT46C ACe. The latest C44ACi units have a new bogie design which reduces the mass by 2 tonnes per locomotive, so these should be able to carry more than 9500 litres of fuel at the 134 tonnes limit.

The New South Wales State Rail Authority only started purchasing locomotives of 3000HP or more in the early 1980s after EMD introduced their "super series" wheel slip system using radar doppler speed measurement and the GT46C ACe units have a development of this system. This is due to the many steep grades on the system, most of which are still there today.

Peter

BDA
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Posted by BDA on Saturday, August 27, 2022 7:21 PM

It would be interesting to see them actually do 53% under real world conditions .

I've had USD 70ACes on their knees giving a bit better than their maximum rated KNs .

I've not had GT46ACes leading locally , mostly they are slave units on interstate trains . Firstly because the small fuel tank means shorter range , and secondly the cabs are not up to long range standards . 

A bit OT but some of these GT46ACes must not be Tier 3 because at least some have ,

"Fitted With 18:1 Tier 2 Pa's" on the side of the crank case . Would this mean the max power is down compared to a Tier 3 16 710 ?

This loco had recently been rebuilt by the look of it .

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Saturday, August 27, 2022 9:59 AM

timz

Continuous TE on the standard gauge units is 53% of the weight on drivers? That must be a record.

 
That is one of the advantages mentioned for AC traction motors.
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Posted by timz on Friday, August 26, 2022 6:17 PM

Continuous TE on the standard gauge units is 53% of the weight on drivers? That must be a record.

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Posted by M636C on Friday, August 26, 2022 5:42 PM

timz

Just curious -- is that 430 kN continuous TE? 

Yes.

The quoted figure is 430kN at 23 km/h

The starting tractive effort is 600kN.

I use a standard compact tabulation, and it is not easy to squeeze in the continuous speed and starting tractive effort figures.

By comparison, the standard gauge Gt46C-ACe has a continuous tractive effort of 700kN but it uses the 1TB2622 motors from the SD70MAC. Apart from some units ballasted to 139 tonnes in coal traffic, the standard gauge locomotives weigh only 134 tonnes (=132 imperial tons and a 22 ton axleload) and are 22m over couplers. A lot of trouble went into getting them that light, with 10 000 litres of fuel.

Peter

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Posted by timz on Friday, August 26, 2022 10:28 AM

Just curious -- is that 430 kN continuous TE?

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Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Friday, August 26, 2022 9:33 AM
 

Thanks Peter for the informative article. Also thank you for the correction on the Imperial 2,240lbs ton. I forgot it uses the long ton as opposed to our short US ton. Even more important for conversion to metric so we can have a standard measurement for weight.

 
 
Rahhhhhhhhh!!!!
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Posted by M636C on Thursday, August 25, 2022 9:23 PM

I have written an article to appear in the September issue of Railway Digest magazine on these locomotives. I was fortunate to get active assistance from Progress Rail in preparing the article. The basic dimensions are:

Type      GT46CU ACe gen III        Wheel Arrangement           Co'Co'
Engine         EMD 710G3C-T3        Length                                23.7 m
Cylinders                          V-16    Width                                   2.8 m
Power                        3200 kW     Height                                  3.9 m
Alternator    EMD TA-17/CA9         Weight                                  138 t
Motors                    EMD 2916      Axle Load                         229 kN
Builder                Progress Rail      Tractive Effort                   430 kN
Introduced                        2022    Maximum Speed              80 km/h
Number Built                        18    Gauge                            1067 mm
The bogie is a new design designed for radial steering without linkages.

There are ten units delivered to Bowen Rail with four more on order and another four delivered to One Rail (formerly Genessee and Wyoming Australia) so those are the same orange colour but with black stripes.

The previous narrow gauge locomotive, the GT42CU-AC used a truss inside the hood side to stiffen a fairly shallow underframe. The GT46CU-ACe has a much deeper underframe (as do the standard gauge GT46C-ACe units). The new units appear to have a standard EMD radial dynamic brake unit rather than the more compact designs on some previous Australian units including the GT42CU-AC and the GT46C-ACe.

Progress Rail provided the following comment:

 

  • When we initially developed the narrow gauge version of the GT46 we called it Gen III. At the time we expected it to basically have the same hardware above the underframe as the Gen II locomotive, but packaged to fit into the narrow gauge outline.  As we developed the design however, there were some changes from the standard gauge loco that we needed to make due to the tighter space constraints. Three examples are:
  • High voltage cabinet with individual axle control.  We had the choice of redesigning the standard gauge GT46C-ACe cabinet into a shorter but longer cabinet or slightly modify an existing cabinet design we had from another international project.  We chose the latter option, and it just so happened that this cabinet utilized Individual Axle Control.
  • Engine centrifugal oil filtration system.  This is a Caterpillar product used worldwide on Caterpillar equipment.  The advantage is reduced space - we no longer need the large oil filter housing.
  • Electric drive compressor.  This gave more flexibility in locating the compressor and negated the need mount it low in the underframe to align with the engine
 Peter
 
(Incidentally, 138 tonnes is 135.8 imperial tons, 151.8 US tons)
BDA
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Posted by BDA on Thursday, August 25, 2022 4:14 PM

These were an effort to get a 16 710 and the associated horsepower to the rail in a narrow gauge locomotive .

To do this within their loading gauge the unit has to be longer than that of locomotives on our national standard gauge .

They obviously won't pull what a USDM SD70ACe can because they don't weigh 185 odd metric tonnes like the units here in the Pilbara .  

Length weight and 16 rather than 12 cylinders would be the major differences .  

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Bowen Rail GT46CU-ACe Gen III
Posted by SD60MAC9500 on Thursday, August 25, 2022 9:38 AM
 

Bowen Rail which operates coal trains in Queensland, Australia started taking delivery of Progress Rail units back in September of last year. They are designated GT46CU-ACe Gen 3. The units are 1067mm Gauge and appear to be the Aussie version of the SD70ACe. Outfitted as a Co-Co loco and weighing in at 138 tonnes (151.8 US tons).

Peter may be lurking around here. Perhaps he or anyone else can provide more details. I'm curious as to what the differences are compared to prior generations of the GT46. These are interesting locos and the cab looks to be an improvement compared to previous Aussie road units. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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