Rail Infrastructure Corporation
Rail Services Australia
Freight Rail Quarries
State Rail Authority
Australian Rail Track Corporation
NSW NDFF BALLAST HOPPER – PROTOTYPE OVERVIEW
The first batch of NDFF ballast hoppers, numbered NDFF 02975 to NDFF 02989 were built by EPT’s Primbee NSW plant, with deliveries commencing in March 1991. The hoppers were constructed for the then State Rail Authority of NSW (SRA). Members of this batch of 15 hoppers were painted in the SRA deep indian red livery of the day, with a chrome yellow diagonal band and red/orange ‘L7’ logo on a white rectangular background.
The NDFF ballast hopper is 11.86m long, has a tare mass of 22.0t, and allowable gross mass of 74.0t. The NDFF hopper is 2.9m high, allowing loading underneath the Bombo Quarry bins, where height clearance is restricted.
Operationally, the NDFF hoppers are used to transfer ballast all over NSW. Ballast has been sourced from Bombo Quarry, Ardglen Quarry and Martins Creek Quarry, together from loading sidings at Talbragar (near Dubbo), Marulan, and Namoona (near Casino).
Additional orders for more NDFF hoppers were placed in the ensuing years following the delivery of the first batch.
The second order was for 30 additional NDFF hoppers, and this was placed in early 1993 with ABB/EPT. These hoppers were numbered NDFF 2201 to 2230 – delivery of this batch commenced in September 1993, and all were delivered by June 1994. The hoppers entered traffic painted in Freight Rail blue with a yellow diagonal stripe, and a ‘Freight Rail Quarries’ logo on a white rectangular background.
The third order for additional NDFF hoppers was placed with ABB/Adtranz, with 50 units built for the Railway Services Authority (RSA). This batch was numbered NDFF 2231 to 2280, with the last hopper delivered in April 1997. The hoppers entered service in the RSA green with white livery – they had a white diagonal band, which featured a red stripe on the right hand side. The wagons were fitted with the RSA Mk I logo, which had the letters ‘R.S.A’ in red, and a green circle and two parallel red lines.
A couple of wagons from the earlier batches were fitted with small RSA Mk I logos, but retained their original colours. NDFF 02981F in deep indian red and chrome yellow was one, and NDFF 2230W in blue and yellow another.
In July 1998, the Railway Services Authority was corporatised, and the name changed to Rail Services Australia. Together with this name change came a new RSA Mk II logo, which had ‘Rail Services Australia’in teal coloured lettering, and a teal and yellow coloured Wedge-Tailed Eagle symbol.
Many green and white hoppers from the third batch had the RSA Mk I logos replaced with the RSA Mk II logos. Examples include NDFF 2234M, 2237Q, 2239L, 2249T, 2253T, 2255Y, 2256A, 2258S, 2261J and 2280Q.
As some of the first and second batch wagons became covered with graffiti, they were repainted in the green and white livery, with an RSA Mk II logo. These wagons did not have the red diagonal stripe which was fitted to NDFF 2231 to 2280 when they entered traffic. Many of these wagons were hand painted, and examples include NDFF 02976T, 02978Y, 2984J, 02985S, 2208B, 2210G and 2219S.
A fourth batch of NDFF hoppers was built at RIC’s Goulburn Workshop. The order was originally for 25 hoppers,but this was extended to 50. The first wagon of the fourth batch, NDFF 3001W, entered service in August 2001, and was delivered in the RIC orange with silver livery – it featured a silver diagonal band on the side, with a ‘RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE CORPORATION’ logo on a white rectangular background. This batch was numbered from NDFF 3001 to 3050, and all 50 units entered service in the orange and silver livery.
Many members of the first, second and third batches of NDFF hoppers were sold to ARTC in January 2005, when ARTC commenced its lease over many rail corridors in NSW. Most remaining members of the earlier batches still in RailCorp ownership have progressively been repainted into the orange and silver livery.
In mid to late 2005, NDFF 2272D was repainted into an all-orange livery, without any logos.
NSW NDFF BALLAST HOPPER – PROTOTYPE PHOTOS
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