Friday 7 June 2024

Dual MU Sockets.

I received a comment on one of the earlier posts about the dual MU sockets on the Roy Hill ES44ACi units asking what the story was with them.

Well, the Roy Hill units have dual MU sockets and dual dummy sockets, very much like both Rio Tinto's ES44DCi and ES44ACi locomotives all have the dual MU and dual dummy sockets whilst the Rio Tinto / Hamersley Iron 9-44CW units have dual MU and only a single dummy socket.

I can only think this reduces the need to reach across a coupling to plug in or disconnect the MU.

Roy Hill ES44ACi unit RHA 1012, serial number 62584, built November 2014 at Erie, Pennsylvania USA, shows the dual sockets and dummy sockets during its delivery.

If you know more, please feel free to leave a comment, thank you, Pilbara Railways.

Wednesday 5 June 2024

A quick arvo on the 4th of June at FMG.

A bit over an hour was spent at my usual hack spot for FMG, between the 5 km curve and the entrance to their port yard, on the afternoon of June 4, 2024 and four trains were observed with a fifth, an empty departing as I was arriving, which happens to me a lot!

This was the first time out for some months due to a number of issues, the car went to Perth to have the roof replaced and some other rust repairs, this was deemed cheaper than a replacement vehicle. I also managed to damage my primary everyday lens, the Canon 28-300 L, and broke the GPS unit on my camera setup. The Canon 5DIII body seems to have survived coming off the car at 60 km/h on Ballast Road at Hampton, Kalgoorlie, but I have noticed some strange exposures when using my other lenes, so a new camera may have to be planned for, testing is continuing. I have only just ordered a new replacement 28-300 mm L series Canon lens, and it seems these may have also now been discontinued by Canon...

However, I digress, back to the rail action, so, four trains were seen in a couple of hours out, two empty departures from the port and two loaded arrivals, one with a quad loco combination which is usually the bank engines being returned for servicing.

Port yard pilot locomotive was aging GE 9-44CW unit 004 shunting the compressor cars from the empty tracks to the rear of the loaded rakes.

The first empty train was SD70ACe-P6 units 729 leading SD70ACe/LCi unit 717 in the standard locomotive pairing that is in use on FMG with 119 waggon pairs for 238 waggons which departed the port at 1529 hrs.

Then at 1538 hrs a loaded train rolled under the Great Northern Highway overpass and into the Port behind the pairing of SD70ACe/LCi unit 713 leading the class leader of the AC44C6M rebuild model locomotives 101. This train also had 119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons.

A second loaded followed the first some twenty minutes later at 1608 hrs but this time it had quad locomotive power on the front. This is usually due to mine bank engines being returned to town for servicing requirements and happens on a regular basis.

AC44C6M locomotive 111 led SD70ACe/LCi unit 704 with AC44C6M pair 114 and 103 rounding out the quaddie with yet again 119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons. It is nice to see FMG sticking to consistent train lengths as in the past I have counted quite a variance in the number of waggon pairs per service.

The final train for the afternoon was an empty departing at 1634 hrs behind AC44C6M unit 117 leading SD70ACe/LCi locomotive 706 and the now standard 
119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons.


Monday 8 January 2024

Ten SD70ACe's and only one 9-44CW seen in a few hours. Pt 2.

Further to the earlier post, on the 27th of December 2023 an arvo out near FMG saw three empty trains all with a pair of SD70ACe variants and two loaded trains with another pair of SD70ACe units and one with an aging 9-44CW leading, and yep, another SD70ACe.

The second queued empty behind 704 and 713 from the below post was sitting at the 27-kilometre post headed up by SD70ACe-P6 unit 727 with serial number 20188761-006, build date of 11/2019 and SD70ACe/LCi unit 703 with serial number 20118611-003, built back in 8/2012.

The FMG SD70ACe-P6 units were an extension of a Norfolk Southern build #20186662 road numbers #1215 to 1224 from November 2018.

The first loaded train appeared at 1648 hrs behind SD70ACe/LCI pair 719 serial number 20118693-011 built back in August 2012 and was the final unit from the second order of SD70 units and class leader 701 "T155 - Glen Davies" with serial number 20118611-001, also from August 2012.

Two hundred and forty loaded waggons in one hundred and twenty pairs are behind 719 and 701 as they head for the dumpers at Port Hedland seen here passing between the two empty trains. 1648 hrs on the 27th December 2023.

Friday 5 January 2024

Well, been a bit slack here, did spend a week in Kalgoorlie in October but then just been working, working, working as I progress the fit out of the train room.

Anyway, got out the other arvo and saw a few empty FMG trains queued on the west track from the end of the port duplication near the 30km, back to the 20 km.

The interesting thing was they were all operated by the SD70ACe variants that FMG operate.

704 with serial number 20118611-004 and 713 with serial number 20118693-005 both from the first and second orders respectively hold the west mainline with ~240 empty waggons.1630 hrs 27th of December 2023.