Rebuilding a Class 73/0 into a generator car?

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NightStar

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GidDay All, I have a feasibility question regarding rebuilding a Class 73 into a generator car for the nightstar trains. The Nightstar would have overloaded the third rail system while being hauled by the Class 92 electric locomotives. So a class 73 power pack was to be constructed. My question is wether or not anyone would care to speculate along with me on how this might have been accomplished? Or rather should have been accomplished.

Now therein lies a long tale! The trains were due to be hauled by Class 92's on British soil but it was quite complicated. The Swansea / Plymouth Waterloo trains were due to have the wierd 37 + Gen Van + 37 formation into Waterloo to swap for the Class 92 forward to Dollands Moor. However, the 92 would have overloaded the third rail hauling the train and running the services on board, so a Class 73 generator vehicle was planned, which would go on the rear and drop off at Dollands Moor, to be replaced by a 2nd 92 to go through the tunnel to Calais Ville Yard. There, both 92's would be replaced by an SNCF 26xxx electric to Bruxelles where an SNCB 13xx electric would go forward to either Roosendaal or Aachen. Yet another change at Aachen would see the 103xxx work forward to Koln / Dortmund. But, the 13xx and 103xxx were not compatible with the stock services, so it was planned for a Dutch 18xx loco to work to Amsterdam and on the German ones, a 232xxx diesel from DB to act as assisting Gen loco (for which I spent a week in East Germany photographing and trialling the couplings!). Oh and at Rugby, the Manchester section was due to have a 90 and a 90 was also booked for the ecs from Glasgow central to Polmadie for servicing. We spent weeks at Helemmes depot, Lille, with a set of Nightstar coaches and various loco's being dragged in, to try out all the permutations (not the 90/92/37 - they were done at North Pole) and we spent many nights working overnight from Washwood Heath Sidings to the Lichfield line for testing during the night. We also did some testing at Aachen. The responsibility for how the loco's would work the train was mine and it was a nightmare operation and fortunately never taken on or it would have been a disaster, operationally... Oh for a loco capable of working the train throughout!
Dale / BasilDD


This article was published on www.UKTrainsim.com in the forums by a member who was in charge of the locomotives and how they would interact with the ENS cars. Sadly he passed away a couple of years ago so I cannot ask directly about this proposed conversion.

So I have come up with what I think is a total acceptable method of conversion:

Class 73 Generator Vehicle- Owner EPS (European Passenger Services). For use on the proposed Night star service when on third rail power supply.

Suggested locomotive for conversion should be a unit at the end of it's service life internally do to the extent of the conversion envisioned. Suggested locomotive be of hulk status. That is a unit that retains the cab controls, traction motors, and parts of the electrical system, third rail equipment, air/vacuum brake systems. The engine should be mainly without it's main engine and minor cannibalizing of parts. The unit should not be beyond being put back together. No structural damage or frame deterioration.

(The locomotive should still be able to operate under its own power, either diesel/electric when not in HEP power pack operation after conversion work is completed.)

Class 73 hulk converted as follows:

Fitting of main engine with the British equivalent of a EMD 645E 12 cylinder engine.

HP increased to 1850HP. For both diesel/electric operations.

Fitting of alternator and rectifier system.

Rebuilding of the electrical system for both locomotive use diesel/electric, as well as for supplying HEP to the Nightstar train. This refit should include provisions for operation as both a diesel, and a third rail electric locomotive, and provide HEP at the tune of several hundred KV to ENS cars.

Replacement of motor/generator/flywheel set with a modern small, yet powerful model of Motor/Generator/Flywheel system. Feasibility of using super/ultra capacitors and their charging/discharging controllers for bridging third rail gaps. Possibility of using a combination of caps/batteries as being developed in Australia, and by GE in the United States.

Using solenoids, relays, contactors to re-route main traction power to HEP plugs for use with ENS Nightstar sleeper stock.

Fitted with controls for allowing the throttle to independently control additional locomotives while the class 73 is operating as a HEP power pack.

Fitting of electronic wheel slip/traction control systems.

Fitting of ETS through train jumper cabling for MU operation with other units setup for ETS supply.

Fitting of multiple unit operation control.

Possibility of fitting electro dynamic/regenerative braking.

Feasibility of using super/ultra capacitors to store dynamic/Regenerative braking energy to be recycled when starting from a station stop or signal stop to save diesel/electro energy. The recycled energy also would give the advantage of being able to more quickly restart the train from mentioned stops. Any excess energy left over from charging the cap/battery systems or prolonged braking applications can also be fed back into the third rail and the traction current power systems for use by other trains in the district if the class 73 is operating as an electric locomotive. If operating as a diesel locomotive than excess power would after charging caps/batteries would have to be routed to resistive loads in the roof.

Retro fitting of AC traction motors and control systems for pure AC transmission and dynamic/regenerative braking ability. (Eliminates the restrictions a DC traction system creates for dynamic/regenerative braking systems). Down side is the need for variable frequency drive for controlling the AC traction systems. To save space this could be one inverter per truck. Or 6 inverters, one per traction motor. The last option allows for cutting out just the faulty traction motor but not the whole truck.

Essentially when done this class 73 will be updated to the standards that of a American EMD built diesel locomotive of similar vintage. Most similarly to that of a MP15AC like those operated by the Long Island Railroad, Which could operate as a HEP pack but not as a locomotive at the same time. The modernized class 73 will be slightly more powerful than a MP15AC do to the requirements of the Nightstar hotel HEP requirements.

When not in HEP or ETS power pack mode, this locomotive could be used as a shunter either in diesel or electric mode for shunting Nightstar cars or shunting requirements of the depot were this locomotive is to be stationed. The unit could also haul the Nightstar over the third rail district if a additional generator car is supplyed for the HEP demands.


This was drawn up the other night for my ficitional RY company. I understand do to the constraints of the loading gauge that some of what I propose is not possible.

Robert
 
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starrymarkb

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Why not convert a few more sleeper vehicles to generator cars (some were done ready), alternatively why not use HS1 instead of the classic lines? in the evening there are not going to be many high speed trains for the sleeper to get in the way of.
 
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GidDay All, I have a feasibility question regarding rebuilding a Class 73 into a generator car for the nightstar trains. The Nightstar would have overloaded the third rail system while being hauled by the Class 92 electric locomotives. So a class 73 power pack was to be constructed. My question is wether or not anyone would care to speculate along with me on how this might have been accomplished? Or rather should have been accomplished.

Now therein lies a long tale! The trains were due to be hauled by Class 92's on British soil but it was quite complicated. The Swansea / Plymouth Waterloo trains were due to have the wierd 37 + Gen Van + 37 formation into Waterloo to swap for the Class 92 forward to Dollands Moor. However, the 92 would have overloaded the third rail hauling the train and running the services on board, so a Class 73 generator vehicle was planned, which would go on the rear and drop off at Dollands Moor, to be replaced by a 2nd 92 to go through the tunnel to Calais Ville Yard. There, both 92's would be replaced by an SNCF 26xxx electric to Bruxelles where an SNCB 13xx electric would go forward to either Roosendaal or Aachen. Yet another change at Aachen would see the 103xxx work forward to Koln / Dortmund. But, the 13xx and 103xxx were not compatible with the stock services, so it was planned for a Dutch 18xx loco to work to Amsterdam and on the German ones, a 232xxx diesel from DB to act as assisting Gen loco (for which I spent a week in East Germany photographing and trialling the couplings!). Oh and at Rugby, the Manchester section was due to have a 90 and a 90 was also booked for the ecs from Glasgow central to Polmadie for servicing. We spent weeks at Helemmes depot, Lille, with a set of Nightstar coaches and various loco's being dragged in, to try out all the permutations (not the 90/92/37 - they were done at North Pole) and we spent many nights working overnight from Washwood Heath Sidings to the Lichfield line for testing during the night. We also did some testing at Aachen. The responsibility for how the loco's would work the train was mine and it was a nightmare operation and fortunately never taken on or it would have been a disaster, operationally... Oh for a loco capable of working the train throughout!
Dale / BasilDD


This article was published on www.UKTrainsim.com in the forums by a member who was in charge of the locomotives and how they would interact with the ENS cars. Sadly he passed away a couple of years ago so I cannot ask directly about this proposed conversion.

So I have come up with what I think is a total acceptable method of conversion:

Class 73 Generator Vehicle- Owner EPS (European Passenger Services). For use on the proposed Night star service when on third rail power supply.

Suggested locomotive for conversion should be a unit at the end of it's service life internally do to the extent of the conversion envisioned. Suggested locomotive be of hulk status. That is a unit that retains the cab controls, traction motors, and parts of the electrical system, third rail equipment, air/vacuum brake systems. The engine should be mainly without it's main engine and minor cannibalizing of parts. The unit should not be beyond being put back together. No structural damage or frame deterioration.

(The locomotive should still be able to operate under its own power, either diesel/electric when not in HEP power pack operation after conversion work is completed.)

Class 73 hulk converted as follows:

Fitting of main engine with the British equivalent of a EMD 645E 12 cylinder engine.

HP increased to 1850HP. For both diesel/electric operations.

Fitting of alternator and rectifier system.

Rebuilding of the electrical system for both locomotive use diesel/electric, as well as for supplying HEP to the Nightstar train. This refit should include provisions for operation as both a diesel, and a third rail electric locomotive, and provide HEP at the tune of several hundred KV to ENS cars.

Replacement of motor/generator/flywheel set with a modern small, yet powerful model of Motor/Generator/Flywheel system. Feasibility of using super/ultra capacitors and their charging/discharging controllers for bridging third rail gaps. Possibility of using a combination of caps/batteries as being developed in Australia, and by GE in the United States.

Using solenoids, relays, contactors to re-route main traction power to HEP plugs for use with ENS Nightstar sleeper stock.

Fitted with controls for allowing the throttle to independently control additional locomotives while the class 73 is operating as a HEP power pack.

Fitting of electronic wheel slip/traction control systems.

Fitting of ETS through train jumper cabling for MU operation with other units setup for ETS supply.

Fitting of multiple unit operation control.

Possibility of fitting electro dynamic/regenerative braking.

Feasibility of using super/ultra capacitors to store dynamic/Regenerative braking energy to be recycled when starting from a station stop or signal stop to save diesel/electro energy. The recycled energy also would give the advantage of being able to more quickly restart the train from mentioned stops. Any excess energy left over from charging the cap/battery systems or prolonged braking applications can also be fed back into the third rail and the traction current power systems for use by other trains in the district if the class 73 is operating as an electric locomotive. If operating as a diesel locomotive than excess power would after charging caps/batteries would have to be routed to resistive loads in the roof.

Retro fitting of AC traction motors and control systems for pure AC transmission and dynamic/regenerative braking ability. (Eliminates the restrictions a DC traction system creates for dynamic/regenerative braking systems). Down side is the need for variable frequency drive for controlling the AC traction systems. To save space this could be one inverter per truck. Or 6 inverters, one per traction motor. The last option allows for cutting out just the faulty traction motor but not the whole truck.

Essentially when done this class 73 will be updated to the standards that of a American EMD built diesel locomotive of similar vintage. Most similarly to that of a MP15AC like those operated by the Long Island Railroad, Which could operate as a HEP pack but not as a locomotive at the same time. The modernized class 73 will be slightly more powerful than a MP15AC do to the requirements of the Nightstar hotel HEP requirements.

When not in HEP or ETS power pack mode, this locomotive could be used as a shunter either in diesel or electric mode for shunting Nightstar cars or shunting requirements of the depot were this locomotive is to be stationed. The unit could also haul the Nightstar over the third rail district if a additional generator car is supplyed for the HEP demands.


This was drawn up the other night for my ficitional RY company. I understand do to the constraints of the loading gauge that some of what I propose is not possible.

Robert
Now, one shouldn't speak ill of the dead but I can assure you that the guy - I used to work with him - who was the author of that article was not in any way shape or form anything to do with the nightstar operation, regional Eurostars or locomotive development. The only time he went to Aaachen or Hellemes was under his own steam. He was an avid rail enthusiast who worked on the railway and was, to put it politely, a fantasist in his own universe.
One of the finest pieces of bu115h1t I ever saw him pull - and get away with - was persuading the people at Brush that he was in charge of the motive power section at Eurostar and blagged his way into the Falcon works at Loughborough to see the 92s being constructed.
R.I.P Dale.
Now, back to the Nightstar power supply. Easy, a generator van the size of a G.U.V. with a 1,200 hp V-8 driving an alternator. All the power that you need instantly on tap.
 
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NightStar

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Across the pond.
I have seen the class 73 mentioned before for this conversion. I would have thought converting a MK3 would have been easier as well? The class 73 is kinda tight in the engine room and cooling is indeed a real concern. A 6th Mk3 generator car would be much easier to convert and does make better since in the end.

As for Dale, I did not know that? Thank you for the insight though. I always thought he was involved in the whole process, and knew exactly what was going on involving Nightstar and its operations.

Robert
 
Joined
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Messages
696
I have seen the class 73 mentioned before for this conversion. I would have thought converting a MK3 would have been easier as well? The class 73 is kinda tight in the engine room and cooling is indeed a real concern. A 6th Mk3 generator car would be much easier to convert and does make better since in the end.

As for Dale, I did not know that? Thank you for the insight though. I always thought he was involved in the whole process, and knew exactly what was going on involving Nightstar and its operations.

Robert
Oh he knew what was going on - so did lots of us. He just made out he was in charge of it all. I could tell you so many tales but I'd rather let the big (and boy was he big!) man rest in peace.
 

NightStar

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Across the pond.
I would prefer to let Dale rest in peace as well! Barlow Boy, I take it you might have been in the circle of people who knew something about Nightstar? Would you be interested in sharing any information regarding the services? Stuff like Motive power in the different countries of operation, problems with the cars, the operational side the train: Stations calling, days of operation, fare prices, services offered aboard, etc? I am kinda keen on learning all I can about Nightstar. Nightstar has fast become my favorite British passenger train! :D


I find it interesting a power car like the 373, or the class 90 was not constructed for Nightstar duties? The class 90 or derivatives would have been more artistically pleasing than the boxy class 92. Why not a 90 derived loco shell over a 92.

There is nothing wrong with the class 92 ofcourse. However they are not streamlined like the 90 and 373 power cars.

Robert
 

NightStar

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Across the pond.
I would like to know about the locomotives that would have been used in the various countries where Nightstar would have ran? Was Dale correct about the motive power selection chosen for this ill-fated train?

The list of power I gathered from the above is as follows:

Class 92

Class 37 + Gen Van + Class 37

SNCF 26xxx electric- SNCF BB26000

SNCB 13xx electric- SNCB Class 13

German 103xxx- DB Class 103

Dutch 18xx- NS Class 1800

232xxx diesel from DB- DR Class 130

Class 90

SNCF B-B 36000 'Aystrit' locomotives.


The second thing I would really like to know has to do with the SNCB.

I remember reading somewhere on the web that SNCB was opposed to "Nightstar" because at the time they did not have any locomotive capable of pulling the train and supplying the HEP power? Was this complaint legit?

The reason I ask is the article went on to suggest that either a BR class 20 or class 31 be converted into a HEP sled for use on the SNCB. I gather that a class 20 while noisey would probably have been the likely chosen candidate do to the the small size of the locomotive and the power the generator could supply if routed to the 61 pin connectors.


Robert
 
Joined
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Messages
696
I would like to know about the locomotives that would have been used in the various countries where Nightstar would have ran? Was Dale correct about the motive power selection chosen for this ill-fated train?

The list of power I gathered from the above is as follows:

Class 92

Class 37 + Gen Van + Class 37

SNCF 26xxx electric- SNCF BB26000

SNCB 13xx electric- SNCB Class 13

German 103xxx- DB Class 103

Dutch 18xx- NS Class 1800

232xxx diesel from DB- DR Class 130

Class 90

SNCF B-B 36000 'Aystrit' locomotives.


The second thing I would really like to know has to do with the SNCB.

I remember reading somewhere on the web that SNCB was opposed to "Nightstar" because at the time they did not have any locomotive capable of pulling the train and supplying the HEP power? Was this complaint legit?

The reason I ask is the article went on to suggest that either a BR class 20 or class 31 be converted into a HEP sled for use on the SNCB. I gather that a class 20 while noisey would probably have been the likely chosen candidate do to the the small size of the locomotive and the power the generator could supply if routed to the 61 pin connectors.


Robert
The motive power list that you've stated there is correct in that the locomotive fleet's of the various countries were capable of the task.
The S.N.C.B.'s objection was not that they had locomotives with sufficient hauling power but that the power requitement of the stock would have been a drain on the system and the line breakers would have to be beefed up with appropriate costing which would be more than that generated by the operation. They didn't want to go down the generator van route because of costings and more dead weight. As I understood it the bottom line was that the S.C.N.C.B. management could see that it was a dead duck from the start. Even they managed to realise that there was hardly a market for (what would be hugely expensive) overnight rail travel from Bristol to Brussels or Cardiff to Cologne. It was the same for the regional Eurostar service. Glasgow to Paris.
Option 1:
Get on the train departing Glasgow at 06.15 and arrive Paris about 16.00 or
Option 2:
Catch an aeroplane from Glasgow airport at 14.00 and arrive at the same time.
No brainer.
But the mere proposal bought the regional M.P.'s votes when it came to passing the Channel Tunnel Rail bill through Parliament. But they didn't learn and now Eurostar are saddled with Ashford and Ebbsfleet which collectively have fewer passengers per week than Herne Hill does in a day.
 
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