Version 1 - This version will feature EL51 just after it entered traffic in 1990 in the AN green and yellow livery, complete with ‘Bob Brown’ nameplates.
Version 2 - This version will feature EL53 & EL64 in the AN green and yellow livery as they appeared shortly after entering traffic.
Version 3 - EL55 will be modelled as it appeared in the early days of CFCLA ownership – AN green and yellow livery, white characters on the numberboards with black backgrounds, grille over the exhaust opening, dummy multiple unit (MU) receptacle added at the A End above the anti-climber, modified grille over the A End whistles
Version 4 - EL58 received a complete repaint into the Freight Australia green and yellow livery in mid-2002. EL58 in this livery has worked extensively over the standard gauge network in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland, for a wide variety of rail operators.
The model of this version includes white characters on the numberboards with black backgrounds, grille over the exhaust opening, and modified grille over the A End whistles.
Freight Australia Hybrid
Version 5 - In 2001, EL61, then on hire to Freight Australia (FA) from CFCLA, had its AN green and yellow livery modified by FA at Dynon through painting out the ‘AN’ logos and applying ‘Freight Australia’ lettering to the sides and yellow wings to the nose. This involved repainting the nose of the unit, together with most of the yellow on the ‘AN’ side panels with FA green, which is darker than the original AN green.
This model represents this version of EL61, and includes white characters on the numberboards with black backgrounds, grille over the exhaust opening, dummy multiple unit (MU) receptacle added at the A End above the anti-climber, and modified grille over the A End whistles.
Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia
Version 6 - CFCLA purchased the remaining 13 members of the EL Class from AN in 1999. Six locomotives were then painted by Great Northern Rail at its Islington Workshop into the very attractive CFCLA blue, yellow and silver livery – these are the six units which will be modelled, and each of the units is named after a famous racehorse that has competed in Australia.
These locomotives have worked extensively over the standard gauge network in Australia, and have been used by Freight Australia(FA), Australian Railroad Group (ARG), Interail, QR National, Lachlan Valley Rail Freight (LVRF), Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR), Austrac, Patrick PortLink, and Silverton.
These models will have black characters on the numberboards with white backgrounds, racehorse name transfers, grille over the exhaust opening, modified grille over the A End whistles, and flat bar over various side grilles to delineate the change of color from blue to silver.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN EL CLASS LOCOMOTIVE – PROTOTYPE OVERVIEW
The delivery of the fourteen EL Class locomotives was a departure from the norm for their owners, Australia National (AN), which had purchased GM/EMD products for near on 20 years. These locomotives revolutionized high speed passenger and freight working on the standard gauge network west of Adelaide, to Kalgoorlie and Alice Springs.
EL51 was delivered to AN in July 1990, whilst the last of the 14-strong class, EL64, was delivered in October 1990. The units were painted in the standard AN green and yellow livery of the era. The locomotives were built by A Goninan & Co at its Broadmeadow manufacturing facility in Newcastle.
On Wednesday 8 August 1990, class leader EL51 was named ‘Bob Brown’ after the then Federal Minister for Land Transport, and large nameplates bearing his name were affixed to each cab side.
On Thursday 1 February 1996, EL63 was involved in a level crossing accident at Calomba, near Mallala, north of Adelaide. The unit was derailed, and received extensive damage to the front of the locomotive. In October of 1996, the unit returned to traffic, and was painted in a modified version of the AN green and yellow livery, in that these colours extended all of the way to the top of the front of the locomotive – all other class members were painted grey in this area.
EL59 is the only member of the class to be written off and scrapped to date. Whilst in AN ownership, it was destroyed in February 1997 when as a result of a head-on collision just east of Mt Christie crossing loop in outback South Australia, it rolled onto its side and caught fire.
After the sale of AN to Australia Southern Railroad (ASR) in 1997, and the non-inclusion of the EL Class units in this sale, they spent a period in storage before the remaining 13 units of the class were purchased by Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia (CFCLA) between November 1998 and March 1999, as financial encumbrances expired.
Once in CFCLA ownership, the units were overhauled by Goninan at Bassendean in Western Australia, before re-entering service. This work included refurbishing the 12 cylinder GE 7FDL engines, upgrading the Dash-8 computer technology, and reducing the gearing ratio from 90:22 to 93:19. This latter modification reduced the maximum allowable speed from 140km/h to 125km/h, but as a trade off maximum continuous tractive effort was raised by 19%, making the units more suitable for freight working. All remaining class members with the exception of EL60 were regeared – this locomotive will be regeared when it is overhauled in 2006.
On 1 September 1999, EL57 emerged from Great Northern’s Islington Workshop freshly repainted in CFCLA’s attractive new corporate livery of silver, blue and yellow. The return to service of this unit was launched under the ‘Australian Horsepower’ banner, with EL57 receiving the name ‘Gunsynd’. To date, in CFCLA ownership, all but EL55 and EL58 have been named after famous racehorses that have competed in Australia.
The racehorse names applied to the various class members are as follows:
EL51 Might & Power EL52 Light Fingers
EL53 Northerly EL54 Bonecrusher
EL56 Doriemus EL57 Gunsynd
EL60 Octagonal EL61 Ethereal
EL62 Archer EL63 Saintly
EL64 Super Impose
Members of the EL Class fleet in CFCLA ownership have been hired by almost every standard gauge rail operator at some time – Freight Australia, QR National, Interail, Lachlan Valley Rail Freight, ATN Access, Patrick PortLink, Southern Shorthaul Railroad, Austrac, Silverton, South Spur and ARG. They have worked on grain trains with Freight Australia in Western Victoria, all over NSW except on Class 4 and 5 branch lines, and are seen daily plying the rails between Melbourne and Brisbane on QR’s intermodal services.
Throughout their entire life, the ELs have proven to be extremely reliable, cost effective, fuel efficient locomotives.
The EL Class units have been painted in the following liveries over the years:
In late 2001 and early 2002, whilst under lease to Freight Australia, the AN green and yellow liveries on EL51 & EL61 were modified, by painting the front of the locomotive dark green and applying the yellow Freight Australia wings, together with painting out the AN yellow logo panel on each side with dark green, and applying the ‘FREIGHT AUSTRALIA’ logo to each side.
In June 2002, EL58 emerged from Bradken Rail’s Braemar facility, repainted in the full Freight Australia dark green and yellow livery.
EL55 is the sole remaining class member in the AN green and yellow livery.
In terms of external modifications to the EL fleet during their life, there have been very few. When units were painted into the CFCLA livery, small lengths of flat bar were placed on the side grilles at the point where the silver changes to blue. A wide aperture mesh grille has been placed over the exhaust of each class member, and the grille/bars to protect the whistle opening in the front cowcatcher can also vary from unit to unit. A number of units that were on hire to Freight Australia had a dummy multiple unit receptacle placed on the front of the locomotive, generally on the driver’s side above the anti-climber.
SOUTH AUSTRALIAN EL CLASS LOCOMOTIVE – PROTOTYPE PHOTOS
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