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Does irish rail want any new locomotives?

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Just wondering,is Irish rail planning any new locomotives for the future?They have not had any new locos( not including DMUs and EMUs) since the 1990s. i know money is a big problem,And DMUs are more economical. but the money situation is getting better and the 201s are 20 years old now which is giving them another 15-20 years 30 at best.And if there are to be new locos,what would they look like?

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Just wondering,is Irish rail planning any new locomotives for the future?They have not had any new locos( not including DMUs and EMUs) since the 1990s. i know money is a big problem,And DMUs are more economical. but the money situation is getting better and the 201s are 20 years old now which is giving them another 15-20 years 30 at best.And if there are to be new locos,what would they look like?

 

Why would they buy new locos until existing ones need to be replaced and plenty are lying out of use in Inchicore?

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Judging by the state of the 201's in storage they ll need a near total rebuild if they are to come back into service. Theres also 2 that are totally banjaxed one with fire damage and the other with remnants of its engine the rest was ejected a few years back.

 

I'd say a few could be nailed back together using parts from the others currently in story, a half dozen good ones out of a dozen demics. EMD parts easy to get too. But since the work aint there they'll just continue to sit in the weeds I guess?

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I think IE policy of railcar only is a dead -end. They have so little flexibility to respond to demand changes in the current stock configuration. What we are seeing in some places increased frequency to replace longer trains and in others , massive overcrowding at peak times. All in all , a very bad way to run a railway.

 

I dont think any other country has an exclusive railcar only policy like ireland. The 071 class has really only a few years left and the 201s are so unsuited to general duties , given the improvements in passenger numbers again, IE could easily have refurbed mkIIIs and put them behind a select number of 201s etc.

 

Furthermore freight movements will dwindle to a halt as locos die and rolling stock become unusable.

 

The patient has undergone so much surgery its dying on the hospital bed.

 

I cant actually really bear to look at the state of the network these days, Its being dismembered piece by piece, massive loss of track flexibility , no possibility of restoration of freight, locked into one type of passenger stock.

 

dear dear me

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It is terrible but we must stay in the possitive.i believe we need something like the 071s ,maybe a bit smaller.Powerful enough for express duties but not huge and pointless.Kind of defies my signiture but in my opinion thats what we need.Also some new coaches.RIP mrk3s:((

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IR only have half their loco fleet in service. The 201s are not even at half life, yet many lay rotting in sidings. Locos not needed for PAX traffic anymore, only the small bit of freight and permanent way maintenance. The 201 capital programme was an extraordinary waste of tax payers money given they were put out to pasture prematurely. I vaguely remember reading somewhere the 201s are over weight for many parts of the network and were hard on the track work. There is a good economic logic to railcars, savings in reduced manpower, turnaround time, reduced fleet maintenance costs, and less track work to be maintained, etc. But I think they might have been better phased in later when the Mk3s and 201s were near end of life in 15 years time. You don't see sophisticated economies retiring stock early until its earned every penny possible from capital investment. Another way of look at it is perhaps IE should have introduced ICRs back in 1996 and skipped the 201s before the Mk3 fleet got too big.

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Hi Noel what you say about the 201s is true. they are overweight and have a track busting axle load. This,combined with Irelands confusing railcar programme made them virtually useless ( par the Dublin -Cork )I think IE believed that,with the huge amount of money in peoples pockets in the 90s-2000s they would need these engines for pulling new longer loads. 10 to 12 car sets was what they thought would be the norm.Now they are after figuring out this many commuters would never happen and have"eased off the throttle"The 22000 class was the answer

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Just as a matter of interest, how many of the 071's have been refurbished in the recent programme?? (IE Grey Livery)

 

Currently the 071s that have been rebuilt and overhauled and painted into the new slate livery are:

071

076 (finished sice last June and has not left Inchicore yet)

077

078

084

085

087 (It's been painted for a while but still yet to leave Inchicore, last time it was in service was 2011)

088

 

All these locos have had full cab rebuilds, improving sound proofing and less vibrations and the drivers are reported as being very happy with the improvements. The first 071 through the program and released back inot traffic was 077 almost 2 years ago now.

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Irish Rail, and CIE before it, went through phases of both Railcar and loco hauled trains. In the past during CIE days, railcars underwent many changes during the life span, to make them more suitable for operation. However, they were never totally successful, and CIE eventually returned to a mainly loco hauled operation. In today's era of efficiency and cost effectiveness, I can see why it makes commercial sense to operate railcars. Unfortunately, from the enthusiasts point of view, they make the scene very boring. We are lucky to still have some locos on the network, and I can't see that situation changing. In fact, the proposed upturn in freight will lead to a demand for additional locos, so hopefully, we will see the remaining 071s refurbished and some of the mothballed 201s returned to traffic. I am lucky to work by the Cork line, and hear the roar of 071s passing with freight trains. That's a sound that I will never grow tired of hearing.

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Hi Noel what you say about the 201s is true. they are overweight and have a track busting axle load. This,combined with Irelands confusing railcar programme made them virtually useless ( par the Dublin -Cork )I think IE believed that,with the huge amount of money in peoples pockets in the 90s-2000s they would need these engines for pulling new longer loads. 10 to 12 car sets was what they thought would be the norm.Now they are after figuring out this many commuters would never happen and have"eased off the throttle"The 22000 class was the answer

Yes the weight was a problem and not long after there introduction there was talk by John mc Carthy C.M.E at Inchicore about a upgrade to self steering bogies .

But the engines where not reliable. lots of trouble .it was talk that the inheritance of the 201 fleet numbers from the x C Class put a curse on them. there where problems with bogie cracks

EMD (now Cat) Moved into Inchicore at the time .They had there own port cabin outside diesel 1 .

The Head end power on the Belfast enterprise was a disaster something that has killed a few . Via rail Canada on rebuilding there f40 put an independent generator set at the back end .

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I remember the 201s arriving and it was exciting times the first new traction since 76 and the first 100 mph capable DE locos to arrive in Ireland. The strategic planning was a bit lacking in that the 30 odd fleet never achieved its potential in terms of haulage diagrams. I remember seeing them being used on very short rakes of ballast wagons around Clara in the late nineties and that was superpower being under utilized. Down here in Wicklow they used to cruise up the banks with the Ammonia and Ferts as if they were just ticking over. A fine looking machine and hopefully if the freight scene picks up more of them will see duty. As regards Irish Rail buying new locos - just my opinion, but I couldn't see that anytime soon as there are is a big loco pool here in the context of the small network and very limited flows. Hopefully Foynes Port will expand and reinstate that rail link as a starting point as we need a freight revival and the received wisdom might suggest that this is starting to happen.

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Junctionmad says he can't think of another country so railcar oriented.

 

Well, I live in one. If you ignore the HSTs, which are a fixed formation train, you've only got the East Coast, the Norwich services in East Anglia, the ATW Holyhead trains and a few one-off temporary services.

 

There IS however, one British Railway which understands that above 5/6 vehicles that a loco and coaches is cheaper to run and that's the award winning, customer-loved Chiltern Railways. Which happen to be German owned!!!!

 

In fairness to Dick Fearn and his managers who bought the Rotems, I have found them a delight to travel in and an example of what a DMU should be. But, as others have said - it makes Ireland a very boring place railway-wise.

 

Just as well there's lots of steam!!!!!

 

Leslie

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For a small island and the network that is in existence I could never understand the need for such a heavy loco like the 201. I would go for a modern version of DB's 290 diesels. A small, compact bo-bo locomotive that would give maximum flexibility across slower single lines, and can double head where horsepower is needed. The 290 Class replacement is the Voith

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voith_Gravita

And parking looks and gauge aside, it seems to be designed as a flexible loco that can be used for shunting, freight, departmental and regional passenger train. Regional in European terms being the equivalent to most of IEs intercity routes.

Pie in the sky opinion but fun to ponder. The 141s/181s/121s more than proved their worth, so think a lighter bo-bo set up would be the natural choice!

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You still need a powerful and heavy loco for the limited freight that we do have. Last year 084 struggled with an IWT liner out of Northwall, it made a few attempts and 071 was even used as a banking loco to get the train to North Strand. 084 finally failed outside Heuston and had to be replaced. Late last year 201s were struggling hauling liners out of Northwall too with poor rail conditions. These are 600-700 ton freight trains and 110ton 3,200hp locos are having a hard time.

 

Lighter bo-bo locos would be no good for these jobs. Also once you go bo-bo your axle load goes up, just look at the new Class 68s in the UK. We could do with locos like that here but they would need to be co-co configuration but the 68 design does not allow for it.

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You still need a powerful and heavy loco for the limited freight that we do have. Last year 084 struggled with an IWT liner out of Northwall, it made a few attempts and 071 was even used as a banking loco to get the train to North Strand. 084 finally failed outside Heuston and had to be replaced. Late last year 201s were struggling hauling liners out of Northwall too with poor rail conditions. These are 600-700 ton freight trains and 110ton 3,200hp locos are having a hard time.

 

Lighter bo-bo locos would be no good for these jobs. Also once you go bo-bo your axle load goes up, just look at the new Class 68s in the UK. We could do with locos like that here but they would need to be co-co configuration but the 68 design does not allow for it.

 

The traction problems are more to do with CIE/IEs aversion to fitting diesels with sanding gear or a modern traction control system ( like EMD Super Series wheel slip control or GEs Brightstar) than anything else. Internationally locos similar power & weight to the 071s & 201s haul far heavier trains to IE.

 

A lot of the problems with both the 071s & 201s were due to high speed running on light poorly maintained track endemic on the Irish railway system in the 80s & 90s. Both classes had problems with stress cracking of bogies, the yaw dampers were a retrofit on the 071s, crankshaft failure common on early 701 engines and long since rectified.

 

Its difficult to see IE having a need for new freight locos even with a major railfreight revival. The biggest challenge would be in preparing a business case for modern high capacity rolling stock and the infrastructure that will provide a positive return on investment.

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