Freight loco driver questions

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richieb1971

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Curious as to how Railway haulage companies that work freight distribute their drivers when they have a fleet of locos built 50 years apart.

Take freightliner, they have -

66's, 70's, 86's and 90's.


DRS have 37's, 47's, 57's, 66's and 68's

DBS have 60's, 66's and 67's and 90's.

Colas have 37's, 56's, 60's, 66's and 70's.

So my question is if your fleet consists of locos built from 1960's to 2016 will a driver have to learn a test on how to drive all of them? Or just a few of them?

I am sure with the amount of builders, ages of the locos and their differing specialities that a driver will have to learn more than one loco. I am sure they don't have universal controls right?

Thanks for any feedback.
 
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trainmania100

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Fixing problems would be different between a class 56 and a 70 as a 70is more computerised so maybe some training there
 

ExRes

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Curious as to how Railway haulage companies that work freight distribute their drivers when they have a fleet of locos built 50 years apart.

Take freightliner, they have -

66's, 70's, 86's and 90's.


DRS have 37's, 47's, 57's, 66's and 68's

DBS have 60's, 66's and 67's and 90's.

Colas have 37's, 56's, 60's, 66's and 70's.

So my question is if your fleet consists of locos built from 1960's to 2016 will a driver have to learn a test on how to drive all of them? Or just a few of them?

I am sure with the amount of builders, ages of the locos and their differing specialities that a driver will have to learn more than one loco. I am sure they don't have universal controls right?

Thanks for any feedback.

All drivers have to be competent on every type of traction that they drive, ergo, a Colas driver will pass out on 37s, 47s, 56s, 60s, 66s & 70s if they are required to work on each type, although for example, and I have no idea where and how Colas drivers are based, they are only required to drive say 37s, 60s & 70s, then they would only be trained as required

Traction training on all types would be great of course, but if you were only to see a 70 once a year then a refresher would be required
 

GB

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Curious as to how Railway haulage companies that work freight distribute their drivers when they have a fleet of locos built 50 years apart.

Take freightliner, they have -

66's, 70's, 86's and 90's.


DRS have 37's, 47's, 57's, 66's and 68's

DBS have 60's, 66's and 67's and 90's.

Colas have 37's, 56's, 60's, 66's and 70's.

So my question is if your fleet consists of locos built from 1960's to 2016 will a driver have to learn a test on how to drive all of them? Or just a few of them?

I am sure with the amount of builders, ages of the locos and their differing specialities that a driver will have to learn more than one loco. I am sure they don't have universal controls right?

Thanks for any feedback.

A freight company may have many types of loco as you suggest but a driver will only sign they type that is needed for his depot and yes, you have to sign the types individually.

At GB we have 66's, 73's, 92's, 20's, 08's, 09's, and a couple of 47's knocking about but at my depot the drivers only sign 66's as that is all we have in this area.

Some drivers may have traction knowledge on different locos from working in a previous company but they may or may not keep up the knowledge at the companies discretion.
 

richieb1971

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Thanks for the answers to those questions.


I've noticed in the past 5 years that British traction that is 20's, 47's, 37's don't normally pull a lot of tonnage. Only the 60's seem capable of daily long hauls with a long rake behind them. Is there a regulation for this? Or is it up to the operator how long the rake can be for a particular class?
 

najaB

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Thanks for the answers to those questions.


I've noticed in the past 5 years that British traction that is 20's, 47's, 37's don't normally pull a lot of tonnage. Only the 60's seem capable of daily long hauls with a long rake behind them. Is there a regulation for this? Or is it up to the operator how long the rake can be for a particular class?
As per Wikipedia:

Class 20
Tractive effort Maximum: 42,000 lbf (186.8 kN)

Class 47
Tractive effort Maximum: 55,000 lbf (245 kN) to 60,000 lbf (267 kN)

Class 37
Tractive effort Maximum: 55,500 lbf (247 kN)

Class 60
Tractive effort Maximum: 106,500 lbf (474 kN)[1]

Class 60's are simply able to pull almost twice as much as the rest.
 

richieb1971

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Thanks for the figures.

I was wondering why those locos are not pulling those loads today. DRS for example will nearly always put old British traction on the Nuclear flasks. They will almost always do driver training in a 57. Caroline always seems to be hauled by old British stock.

They you look at the long hauled trains and you have 66's on them.

So there must be some kind scare mongering that the old stock won't cope up with heavy loads anymore.
 

30907

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Thanks for the figures.

I was wondering why those locos are not pulling those loads today. DRS for example will nearly always put old British traction on the Nuclear flasks. They will almost always do driver training in a 57. Caroline always seems to be hauled by old British stock.

They you look at the long hauled trains and you have 66's on them.

So there must be some kind scare mongering that the old stock won't cope up with heavy loads anymore.

Don't understand your question. Which locos aren't pulling which loads?

Seems to me obvious that you don't waste a high powered 60 or 66 on a lightweight flask train if a pair of 20s can do the job. Whereas a pair of 20s wouldn't keep to class 66 timings on a seriously heavy freight. That's always been the case on the rail network.
 

richieb1971

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Perhaps I should have been more clear.

My question was related to the reliability of the older fleet when pulling longer trains. But keeping timings is obviously a very important aspect of it all. Even though freight generally can run very late no matter whats on it.
 

Ash Bridge

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Don't forget that GB Railfreight? were hiring in class 47's to work sand and gypsum trains not so long back, these weren't such lightweight jobs, is this still the case btw?
 

richieb1971

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They only do a small part of the entire journey though. So it underlines what I am trying to say.
 

najaB

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They only do a small part of the entire journey though. So it underlines what I am trying to say.
Which seems to be that, rather than using one newer, high-powered loco to haul heavy trains, FOCs should use pairs or trios of older, less-capable locos and would do if not for an unspoken conspiracy against them?
 

DarloRich

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Thanks for the figures.

I was wondering why those locos are not pulling those loads today. DRS for example will nearly always put old British traction on the Nuclear flasks. They will almost always do driver training in a 57. Caroline always seems to be hauled by old British stock.

They you look at the long hauled trains and you have 66's on them.

So there must be some kind scare mongering that the old stock won't cope up with heavy loads anymore.

DRS put the 20's and 37's on the flasks as they are go anywhere locos (good route availability) and they double them up for safety. You don't want a flask train broken down somewhere.....

I assume Caroline is hauled by something fitted with the right equipment to allow the loco to be driven from the front of the saloon. You also want a loco with go anywhere ability for an asset like that.

not sure about this "scaremongering"

Perhaps I should have been more clear.

My question was related to the reliability of the older fleet when pulling longer trains. But keeping timings is obviously a very important aspect of it all. Even though freight generally can run very late no matter whats on it.

no they cant! Tesco might complain about late delivery spoiling goods
 
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furnessvale

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Even though freight generally can run very late no matter whats on it.

That may have been the case in the bad old days under BR. Fortunately, freight is treated differently now and accorded the priority a train with possibly £1m+ of goods on board deserves.

I can only hope that ideas to combine track and (passenger) operator under one control come to nothing.
 

Phil.

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As per Wikipedia:

Class 20
Tractive effort Maximum: 42,000 lbf (186.8 kN)

Class 47
Tractive effort Maximum: 55,000 lbf (245 kN) to 60,000 lbf (267 kN)

Class 37
Tractive effort Maximum: 55,500 lbf (247 kN)

Class 60
Tractive effort Maximum: 106,500 lbf (474 kN)[1]

Class 60's are simply able to pull almost twice as much as the rest.

It's not just tractive effort which is, in effect, is a measurement of torque that determines pulling power. Going on your Wikepedia reference a 37 has 500 lb more tractive effort than a 47. A 47 at 2,580 hp is able to shift a bigger load than a 37 at 1,750 hp.
Looking back further a 52 (2,700hp) had 72,600lb of tractive effort against a 55's (3,300hp) 55,000 lb. The 52 was a slogger, the 55 was a racehorse.
Tractive effort is not a good reflection of pulling power, a Gresley A3 Pacific had a tractive effort (in it's final double chimney days) of 33,000lb compared with a class 20's 42,00lb.
Timings for a class 20 on ten coaches to Edinburgh with four stops anyone?
 

najaB

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It's not just tractive effort which is, in effect, is a measurement of torque that determines pulling power.
Oh, I know that. But given the magnitude of the difference it's a good quick way to demonstrate why a Class 60 is better suited to a two-thousand ton aggregates train than a class 20.

The level of detail in the OP's question doesn't require a nuanced answer. :)
 
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richieb1971

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I don't hide the fact that I am a railway enthusiast. But over the last few years I've noticed that British heritage locos tend to be used more for "small" work. There are exceptions here and there. Sometimes a 56 will pull a huge amount of tonnage, 60's pretty much do it day in day out. But stuff like 37's, 57's (surprisingly) and 20's don't do the kind of pulling they did in the 80's.

Just watch a Peak forest video from the 80's with 2 37's.. the tonnage was incredible.
 

Ash Bridge

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I don't know if you have seen this months Railway Magazine, but if you haven't then this may cheer you up a little.

It quotes UK Rail Leasing based at Leicester have outlined plans to re-engine a class 56 a and bring it up to the spec of a 66, they plan to spent around £1.6m on this work stating that it approximates to roughly 60% of the cost of a new class 68 or 70, they say it is not possible to fit a tier 3B emission engine to either a 66, 68 or 70 but reckon it is possible to do so in a 56, and finally they say this could also be extended to a class 58, although I wouldn't get too excited yet about that happening ;)

It's interesting though that these older locos appear to be more adaptable than the more recent stuff?
 

richieb1971

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I don't know if you have seen this months Railway Magazine, but if you haven't then this may cheer you up a little.

It quotes UK Rail Leasing based at Leicester have outlined plans to re-engine a class 56 a and bring it up to the spec of a 66, they plan to spent around £1.6m on this work stating that it approximates to roughly 60% of the cost of a new class 68 or 70, they say it is not possible to fit a tier 3B emission engine to either a 66, 68 or 70 but reckon it is possible to do so in a 56, and finally they say this could also be extended to a class 58, although I wouldn't get too excited yet about that happening ;)

It's interesting though that these older locos appear to be more adaptable than the more recent stuff?


Well if thats true the shells of the older locos will suddenly become gold dust. Thats if the demand for freight picks up. It also sounds like UKRL definitely have the kind of mechanical credentials to start something a bit bigger than small enterprise that they are now.
 

Ash Bridge

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Well if thats true the shells of the older locos will suddenly become gold dust. Thats if the demand for freight picks up. It also sounds like UKRL definitely have the kind of mechanical credentials to start something a bit bigger than small enterprise that they are now.

Will watch this with interest, we've already got super sixties, is the super 56 about to follow?
 

Emblematic

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Well, unless they've come up with yet another way of circumventing the regs. then the final batch of class 68s must comply with 3B, as they were ordered well after the cut off date and the numbers take them over the 27 they could build in the transition period. There's also an order in for more class 70s, due for delivery in 2017. Vossloh have stated that 3B compliance would be a relatively minor change (as have GE Powerhaul.)
So sounds like the owner of a collection of idle 56s may be overstating the case for re-powering somewhat. Does that 60% cost also include a modern traction package, which you would need to be competitive with current designs? (And if so, really what's left of the original 56?)
 

furnessvale

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Well, unless they've come up with yet another way of circumventing the regs. then the final batch of class 68s must comply with 3B, as they were ordered well after the cut off date and the numbers take them over the 27 they could build in the transition period. There's also an order in for more class 70s, due for delivery in 2017. Vossloh have stated that 3B compliance would be a relatively minor change (as have GE Powerhaul.)

That is very encouraging.

I hold no brief for "dirty" rail diesels being somehow exempt from the real world, but I am worried that the UK loading gauge will serious compromise the ability to meet new regs, possibly forcing losses to road which would be very counterproductive.

Your comments re GE and Vossloh are most welcome.
 

richieb1971

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If the modifications are simple for the 68's and 70's it sounds like they did 90% of their homework when designing them.

It would be interesting to see how much cost this legislation is putting on the locos.
 

Emblematic

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If the modifications are simple for the 68's and 70's it sounds like they did 90% of their homework when designing them.

It would be interesting to see how much cost this legislation is putting on the locos.

I can't imagine the costs are significant once amortized into the lease; as similar emissions standards now apply to most applications the engine development costs are spread fairly wide. And you're right, Vossloh and GE will have looked to produce designs they could keep in production for a decade or more, not just a short run leading up to EU 3B.
EMD got nearly two decades out of the 66, with an engine whose basic design dates back to the 30s (albeit with substantial development!)
Unfortunately for them, it became clear a two-stroke diesel was never going to meet EU 3B /EPA Tier 4, so they are temporarily out of the EU and North American markets until they get their new 4-stroke US locomotive established. Then we may well see them back in Europe with another incarnation of the class 59/66 lineage, either with their own engine or something from the parent Caterpillar stable.
 
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