• Pilbara GE rebuilds...

  • Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.
Discussion about railroad topics everywhere outside of North America.

Moderators: Komachi, David Benton

  by Komachi
 
G'day, mates!

There is an Austrailian gentleman posting on the HO and N forum in regards to a new layout he's building and it has rekindled my want to build a couple of Pilbara locomotives for my layout room. I started a thread on the old railroad.net in regards to the Pilbara cabs, but I'd also like to inquire about the rebuilds the GE licensed builders (Gonain and Conmeg, I believe) did of the ALCo. Century units.

From the photos I've seen, it appears that some, like the Hamersly Iron units, retained their ALCo. carbodies with little or no modification, other than the Pilbara cabs; and the Robe River units kept their carbodies, save for the cabs (again, Pilbara cabs) and a modified cooling systems (big pipes along the roof and big blowers near the radiators in rear). The BHP units, on the other hand, seem to have been given GE carbodies along with their GE prime movers as evidenced by their "winged" radiator sections on the back, like the CM40-8(M) units.

What was the extent of these rebuilds (carbody wise, I know they have new GE prime movers and generators, etc.), were they rebuilt from the frame up, or do the GE rebuilds retain a larger percentage of their ALCo. bits than just the frame, fuel tanks and trucks? The areas just behind the cabs (I forget, that's the air filters, right?) on the BHP units look like they could be from the ALCo./MLW bodies, but they also look like those off of a C30-7, so I can't say for sure.


Here are some pics for a better idea of what I'm talking about.

BHP CM40-8/CM40-8M
http://locopage.railpage.org.au/bhp/ph_cm408m.html

Robe River CE636R
http://locopage.railpage.org.au/private/rr_c636r.html

Robe River C-636/M-636/CM40-8M
http://locopage.railpage.org.au/private/rr_c636.html

Hamersley Iron CE636-R/ME636-R
http://locopage.railpage.org.au/private/hi_3040.html

Pilbara Rail (Merger of Robe River and Hamersley Iron) rebuilds
http://locopage.railpage.org.au/bhp/ph_c636.html


Appreciate any info. you guys have on these units.

  by Guest
 
For starters, A. Goninan was G.E.'s liscensee.
ComEng was MLW's.
The CM40-8M and CM36-7M rebuilds (BHP, Robe) were basically GE parts on a Century frame, albeit with numbers changes here and there. It looks to me as if on some units the fuel tanks was reversed, new handrails added on the sides, and chain braking on the C-636's were modified.

The CE-636Rs and ME-636R's are slightly updated M-636's. I don't know if the orignaly prime movers were retained or if new 251Fs were placed in. The radiator is the origninal design. The aftercooler, behind the cab, is a new design, and the rear of the hood is squared off. The battery boxes are new, hence the modified handrails. Robe had Comeng rebuild to xPC C-636s and CE-636Rs. There are exactly the same except on one side the aftercooler looks different and the radiator is a completly new design.
Don't bet that I'm exactly correct. After all, I'm a minor.
  by Komachi
 
"For starters, A. Goninan was G.E.'s liscensee. ComEng was MLW's."

Was not aware of that, thank you for clarifying that. Should have referenced my copy of Steinbrener's book (ALCo.: A Centennial Rememberance) before I wrote that, as A.E. Goodwin sold its interests to ComEng. It was after ComEng went under that Goninan did the work on the Pilbara units in about '89 or so.


"The CM40-8M and CM36-7M rebuilds (BHP, Robe) were basically GE parts on a Century frame, albeit with numbers changes here and there. It looks to me as if on some units the fuel tanks was reversed, new handrails added on the sides, and chain braking on the C-636's were modified.

"The CE-636Rs and ME-636R's are slightly updated M-636's. I don't know if the orignaly prime movers were retained or if new 251Fs were placed in. The radiator is the origninal design. The aftercooler, behind the cab, is a new design, and the rear of the hood is squared off. The battery boxes are new, hence the modified handrails. Robe had Comeng rebuild to xPC C-636s and CE-636Rs. There are exactly the same except on one side the aftercooler looks different and the radiator is a completly new design."

Yeah, like I said, couldn't tell if that aftercooler was an ALCo. or GE dash 7/8 design. On some of the units it looks like the same as on the ALCo./MLW units on the Cartier Qubec Mining units and some look like something off a dash 8 40C(W)/C40-8 locomotive.


"Don't bet that I'm exactly correct. After all, I'm a minor."

Regardless, your comments are appreciated. I hope you decide to join us here on the site and continue to share your knowlege/experience of railroading/railfanning with us.