If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

Diesel Loco Operating Costs

Discussion in 'Diesel & Electric Traction' started by johnofwessex, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    3,033
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Now if I came in to some money and ended up the lucky owner of a small main line diesel - say a class 33 or 25 and wanted to run it, how much of the cost of owning be fixed, and how much is mileage related?

    I can understand that for example fuel & lubricant use is related to running also some mechanical wear - tyres brake blocks etc but what about the rest?
     
  2. Personally I'd be much more concerned first about the costs and practicalities of ensuring that it is kept under cover, in the dry, a ready supply of spares and having the necessary engineering expertise and labour to hand to ensure that it doesn't just sit there rotting before even the first thought about running costs.

    As many have found out before, and many more will no doubt do in the future, small or not, main line diesel locomotives are technically complex beasts which have a nasty habit of sitting down if one part doesn't work and of rusting solid and then crumbling to dust if they do not have large amounts of labour and money thrown at them on an ongoing basis. The phrase 'sprinting to stand still' springs to mind.

    I have always had a small fantasy about owning a Class 73. But in that fantasy is enough eality to know that it would never be anything other than stuffed and mounted!
     
  3. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2013
    Messages:
    2,058
    Likes Received:
    1,232
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    Stratford-upon-Avon or in a brake KD to BH
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Repairs and refurbishment of body will be a big fixed cost as will insurance. Axles will need NDT on a regular basis probably annually Motor / generator flashovers are not uncommon and need to be budgeted for

    Dont forget the old adage "how do you end up with a small fortune owning a loco - start with a big one"
     
    Romsey likes this.
  4. 5944

    5944 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2006
    Messages:
    4,995
    Likes Received:
    1,755
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Train Maintainer for GTR at Hornsey
    Location:
    Letchworth
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Air tanks need periodic certification as well. Don't forget modern diesel is full of additives - I know Martin Walker had lots of problems with the fuel on 55022, so the tanks needed regular cleaning.
     
  5. Eightpot

    Eightpot Well-Known Member Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,364
    Likes Received:
    1,087
    Location:
    Aylesbury
    The dreaded Diesel Bug, perchance?
     
  6. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,255
    Likes Received:
    1,490
    Occupation:
    Ex a lot of things.
    Location:
    Near where the 3 Ridings meet
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Once you have your Diesel loco all set up nice.
    Now stick a number of tonnes of added steelwork on board and get it to vibrate at a high rate, add in Hydraulic systems working at 2 - 3000psi and more air systems along with a computer package.
    Then get the whole thing moving only to stop it at every sleeper while the rams try and bury themselves in the ground.
    While it is doing this the whole machine is trying to shake itself to bits.
    Mr Pirtek and his trusty staff need to be on your speed dial for hose repairs that will happen at 02.30 in the morning miles from anywhere.
    And that Hydraulic oil you just lost from a burst pipe will cost you about £1K per 45 gallon barrel.
    As well as needing to mop up any spillage before it gets into a watercourse.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=73&v=RVZDCzYuAko
     
  7. Fred Kerr

    Fred Kerr Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    6,278
    Likes Received:
    2,943
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Freelance photo - journalist
    Location:
    Southport
    Martin's problem lay with the bio-fuel where diesel was "diluted" with chemical to reduce emissions - but at the expense of "gunge" that increased maintenance requirements.
     
  8. johnofwessex

    johnofwessex Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2015
    Messages:
    4,819
    Likes Received:
    3,033
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Thorn in my managers side
    Location:
    72
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    How do costs compare with steam?
     
  9. Victor

    Victor Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    11,712
    Likes Received:
    4,718
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    DEWSBURY West Yorkshire
    If I'd won £57million on the Euro Lottery I'd commission a new build Deltic. :D
     
  10. RalphW

    RalphW Part of the furniture Staff Member Administrator Friend

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2005
    Messages:
    30,277
    Likes Received:
    5,042
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired-ish, Part time rail tour steward.
    Location:
    Northwich
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Would that be enough???
     
  11. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,055
    Likes Received:
    1,075
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Carriage & Wagon
    Location:
    Sheringham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    In my experience, in the main they are costing less than steam. However, rather paradoxically funding is also often less, so they are equally hard (if not harder) to fund as appeals etc generate far less than steam schemes have. Before anyone jumps in with examples of very expensive diesel repairs, I fully accept there are several examples that do not support the above, but I'm talking more generally. There are a lot of preserved diesels out there that haven't yet suffered major generator failures etc, so (in railway terms) they have given a good few miles for relatively modest cost.

    However I feel things will be different in the future. As diesels get older and spares manufacture (as opposed to swapping with second hand spare units) becomes more prevalent, I feel the playing field will level out and the two types (steam/diesel) will possibly end up costing around the same, which will be a problem for diesel as they are generally less popular!

    In the 1970's/1980's preservation used up the residual life of it's of steam engines and benefitted from cheap overhauls. Diesels have been the same in the 1990's/2000's but time is running out I fear!

    Sent from my HTC U Play using Tapatalk
     
  12. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Messages:
    9,021
    Likes Received:
    4,247
    Occupation:
    Layabout
    Location:
    Your nightmares
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Isn't D182 out of service with a dead generator?
     
  13. The Saggin' Dragon

    The Saggin' Dragon Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2006
    Messages:
    14,820
    Likes Received:
    5,080
    Location:
    1012 / 60158
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Only a mainline requirement.
     
  14. Victor

    Victor Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    11,712
    Likes Received:
    4,718
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    DEWSBURY West Yorkshire

    Just dreaming................I wonder what a Class 55 would have been like with a couple of 'screaming Valentas' dropped in to replace the Napiers.:eek::eek:
     
  15. The Green Howards

    The Green Howards Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2016
    Messages:
    9,021
    Likes Received:
    4,247
    Occupation:
    Layabout
    Location:
    Your nightmares
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    I don't think there'd have been the room for two Valentas. By which time you'd have just got a very noisy 40! :)
     
  16. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,511
    Likes Received:
    3,323
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    31A
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Noisy as hell! I do believe though that there was a plan for a Napier powered HST... :eek:
     
  17. Reading General

    Reading General Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 18, 2011
    Messages:
    6,081
    Likes Received:
    2,207
    pointless I'd say. The worst of both worlds, a ruined Deltic and nowhere near as good as a class 43 (either version...)
     
  18. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2014
    Messages:
    7,511
    Likes Received:
    3,323
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    31A
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    image.jpeg with apologies to @Landshrew for using his photo, but this happened today, God bless Jeremy Hosking, a bloke with deep pockets and even deeper arms! Very grateful for blokes like him!
     
  19. Victor

    Victor Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    11,712
    Likes Received:
    4,718
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    DEWSBURY West Yorkshire
    [​IMG] Just dreaming.
     
  20. Victor

    Victor Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2006
    Messages:
    11,712
    Likes Received:
    4,718
    Occupation:
    Retired
    Location:
    DEWSBURY West Yorkshire
    There's been a lot of effort put into that to turn it out looking like that. Top marks to whoever has done it.
     
    The Saggin' Dragon and Matt37401 like this.

Share This Page