New SCT locos from..........
Yes that is true Nevyn and examples of imports are the heavy stuff in WA, the eletrics in Queensland, this one now in South Australia and in the secondhand market, the Danish MZs. This trend is likely to continue unless the overseas manufacturers manage to foul-up in terms of underestimating Australian operating conditions which pretty tough in terms of wear and tear aspects. In terms of wagons, the trend also appears to be going in the same direction with overseas wagons being purchased, mainly from China. And there are now examples in the passenger rolling stock field as well. So, yes, there is a trend there and it will need to be watched if Australian rolling stock manufacturing is to survive at all.
Firstly, the shortage of detail about these locomotives leaves a big information gap.

It is worth recording that a few weeks ago the Sydney press reported comment from Chinese manufacturers about orders from Australia and the US. Particularly to the fact that both are difficult customers in that they insist on very high quality standards and crash resistance. That Australia & US insist on 35kmph impact without causing injury whereas the Chinese standard is 10kmph. Also the instance of reversible seating instead of fixed direction seating in most other parts of the world.

I note that there are already considerable outstanding orders with Chinese manufacturers for ore waggons and other rail equipment. The undervalued Chinese currency does not help local manufacturers either and probably contributes to their reluctance to expand manufacturing capacity.
It took a team of professionals to build the Titanic and a lone amateur to build the Ark
I thought Tasrail already order some similar to Kiwirail's Chinese loco?
All I know that these units have 4500hp UTI engines and a new type of fuel management system that comes with the UTI engines. The initial order is for six units but keep in mind that the SA ore project will expand so there could be more of these units coming after the initial six. Don't know much about the body and frame designs that are to be used but I would suspect that they would look simular to KiwiRail units especially given the time frame factor with the first unit to be delivered in 2011. Certainly not enough time to design a whole new unit from scratch. Other rolling stock sources are unknown at this point in time but leasing some and then obtaining more stock from China is the likely scenario. Also don't rule out containerised ore traffic as used in the Hunter Valley by one operator.
The issue surrounding the crash/speed/impact limits was highlighted during the currently in progress suburban rail contract. The seats issue was mentioned as well in China.
As per a Tasrail order? I don't know.
Oops. And that should read MTU engines not UTI. Sorry guys.
(19-Sep-2010, 09:33 PM)standard_gauge Wrote: I thought Tasrail already order some similar to Kiwirail's Chinese loco?

As far as I know that's only a rumour about what they might do...I haven't actually heard of an order being placed. I wouldn't rule out Tasrail kicking the tyres on the five stored 2100s down at Redbank just yet.

Mind you if EDI/Downer got their minds to it and put together the new 8-710 primemover in a DC Co-Co loco (or AC A1A-A1A) with a 15-16tonne axel load they probably would have already made the sale. I can't understand why a mid-sized loco hasn't been offered to the Australian market when Tasrail, QRN and El Zorro have been scrounging to operate units this size. Not every modern rail aplication requires 4500HP weighing 134tonnes...but I guess while the order books are full no one's looking at what else the Australian market could use.
Nickel Plate High Speed Service
A slight deviation from the topic of discussion here, but there is a similar issue with trams.

Bombardier have said they would reopen the factory at Dandenong in Victoria, but only if the size of the order was increased. Melbourne was to have 100 extra trams on order by now, but that has been reduced to 50, and still no contract signed. Realistically Melbourne has a need for around 200 trams, to replace aging and non DDA compliant rolling stock, and to make a dent on current peak loadings. Add to that Sydney will be needing extra trams soon for the extension to their light rail, and the Gold Coast project too in the coming years. Adelaide are also extending things in the next few years (different loading gauge) , so there certainly is a market.

One of the issues for Melbourne though is the need for local content. To get around that they include 10 years or so of maintenance and claim that as local content.
"How long will the next train be? Six cars would be my guess."
Yes Sulla, there is a large hole developing in the Australian lower horsepower catagory. I think, not sure, EDI/Downer has an arrangement with a US manufacturer in terms of supplying units within the lower HP range, keeping mind that locos such as the 48-class have gone well past their use-by date. Dedicated shunters are another opportunity for someone to fill although there are ample of overseas suppliers willing to fill that hole. Some of the European units are very good for that purpose in my view. We shall have to see what develops.
And for Chicken Fish.

Bombardier has plenty of experience with trams/light rail/tram-trains both in Europe as well as in the US. Don't forget there is an election in Victoria soon and there might well be an announcement in relation to extra trams. While 50 units may not be enough initially, the order numbers could be expanded over time. In case of local production, there are examples, mainly in the eastern parts of the EU, whereby local assembly is taking place with fewer than 50 units involved. On the other hand though, and I think it would be a silly move to make in Australia when manufacturing/assembly facilities and capacity are available, it takes about six months to get 'ready to roll' trams straight off a European production line.

There is an empty factory at Dandenong, which has produced 230 Z class, 70 A class, 132 B class, 70 KCR LRV's (Hong Kong) and 7 Variotrams (Sydney). The factory has also produced many hundreds of heavy rail vehicles. It was formally government owned, but through a series of sell offs, is now owned by Bombardier.

So the experience is there, the factory is there, tooling it up wouldn't be much of an issue, it just all comes down to money and the desire to build locally. Of course this wont happen, and we will once again get something not suited to Australian conditions, that needs to be heavily modified, and ends up costing a lot more than something done locally would have cost.

Even if the local place was only pumping out one tram a week, there would be four years worth of work if the full 200 that are needed right now were produced.

In terms of how long it takes to get a European built tram, the delay is more like three to five years, due to current production demand. This is why we have the ludicrous position of Adelaide now being stuck with narrow bodied trams, because they tacked their order onto the back of an order for Frankfurt in a rush to get trams as quickly as possible.

The is a demand in Australia for locally produced rollingstock, all that is needed is those who control such things, to not be so short sighted. Mind you, I doubt many of them have ever ridden on any kind of public transport.
"How long will the next train be? Six cars would be my guess."

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