Thursday, 19 April 2012

Modernising Trojan Locos

Modernising Trojans
Four locomotives were built by Corus, Northern Engineering Services between 2008 and 2011. The first “Trojan” locomotive, No.920, was supplied in October 2009, followed by No.921 in February and No.922 in May 2010. The fourth locomotive No. 923 remained at Scunthorpe under construction.

Inherent problems
From new, it was reported that these locomotives were found to have numerous inherent design issues which made them unsuitable for the original planned duties due to unreliability, poor accessibility, maintainability and poor cab ergonomics.   Following a number of discussions between Tata Steel & Hunslet, No.923 was delivered to Hunslet’s manufacturing works in April 2011 and Hunslet were tasked by Tata Steel Port Talbot to carry out a fault evaluation of the locomotive and propose recommendations for improvement.

Cab and controls
A new, ergonomically designed cab/driving arrangement was installed with a fore-and-aft driving position that improves the drivers visibility, comfort and accessibility. New heating and insulation was installed, and the whole cab refinished to a higher standard.

The electrical control system was completely replaced with a Hunslet-proven IQAN-based electronic system to provide a locomotive that is safe, reliable and easy to operate. The IQAN controls all functions allowing programming to suit site conditions

Finishing touches
The whole locomotive was then repainted in Tata Steel livery, giving it a much smarter appearance.

On completion, the locomotive was static tested in Hunslet’s works at Barton under Needwood, prior to undergoing dynamic testing at Chasewater Railway. It then began commissioning and field trials on 16 April 2012 at its designated site of Port Talbot.
Hunslet are now hard at work on two more Trojan locomotives, No’s 921 and 922, which should be completed in June and July 2012. The fourth locomotive is expected to arrive at Barton under Needwood in July and should be ready for service by September.  All four of Tata Steel’s smart new Trojan locos will then be fit to do what was originally intended, be the backbone of the locomotive fleet at Tata Steel Port Talbot.