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Pacific National adds five new generation locomotives to coal haulage fleet

World Coal,

Five new generation locomotives have arrived for use with Pacific National – a division of Asciano Ltd. The 88 Class locomotives – commissioned, designed and built in China – will be used across Pacific National’s Queensland coal operations.

Chinese firm CSR Qishuyan purpose-built the locomotives to meet operational requirements of the Queensland heavy haul rail market.

Key features of the 88 Class locomotive include:

  • MTU turbocharged diesel engine with fuel saving features and EU Stage IIIA emissions compliance.
  • ABB traction alternator and AC traction control system including self-load and dynamic brake.
  • ABB solid state auxiliary power supplies.
  • Voith cooling system.
  • Knorr Bremmse (NYAB) electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) brake and distributed power (WDP).
  • Faiveley electrically driven air compressors.
  • Selectron locomotive control system.
  • CSR steering bogie.
  • Simico Queensland Train Radio and PN PACE-R communications equipment.
  • Wabtec event recorder and forward facing video recording.
  • Wabtec on-board waste treatment system.

To ensure the new locomotives meet the functional requirements of Australian operations, Pacific National employees in Gracemere, Queensland were consulted on the cabin design.

“The procurement model for the new 88 class locomotive has achieved a cost effective solution that will help drive a more efficient haulage operation for Pacific National in Queensland now and into the future,” said Paul Griffin, general manager, Queensland, Pacific National.

“In addition to supporting our ongoing cost and efficiency goals and being a key part of our current fleet modernisation program, the new locomotives offer the potential for a more efficient haulage operation and broader service offering for all our customers in Queensland,” Griffin continued.

The five new locomotives left Shanghai in February and arrived in Gladstone Port, Queensland at the beginning of March 2014. The locomotives have successfully cleared customs and quarantine and have gained interim registration from Queensland track owners.

In a press release, Pacific National confirmed that all of the locomotives have been relocated to the company’s maintenance facilities and are currently undergoing a rigorous test programme to assure their performance, reliability and safety.

The locomotives are set to pay a pivotal role in hauling coal from Queensland’s 50 operating coal mines across the sate to power plants, storage facilities and export terminals. According to the Department of Transport and Main Roads, coal exports totalled 180.2 million t between 2012 – 2013.

Coal is transported across the state by Pacific National and Aurizon Ltd from the mines via the Newlands, Goonyella, Blackwater, Moura and West Moreton rail systems to the four coal exporting ports in Queensland at Abbot Point, Hay Point, Gladstone, and Brisbane. The black stuff is also transported by rail to power plants at Stanwell and Gladstone, as well as various industrial users.

Coal transport infrastructure in Queensland is currently undergoing expansion, as the state expects to export over 300 million tpa of coal by 2022. 

Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson

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