UGL Rail/GE 5000 Class
With QRNational’s further ventures south of the Queensland Border, one of the main businesses it hopes to be a market leader in the Coal Haulage in the Hunter Valley. With this, the rag tag bunch of ex-SRA, ex-FA and ex-Westrail locos would be swamped by the projected amount of coal haulage. To compensate, a new class of loco was ordered.
United Goninan, Broadmeadow, NSW were awarded the contract in early 2004 to build a Heavy Haul Diesel-Electric locomotive powerful enough to work in pairs on 74 wagon coal trains in the Hunter Valley. The initial design consisted of a chassis and body very similar to the CV40-9i locomotive (aka NR Class) however to increase the tractive effort of the new locomotives they were ordered with Cast Bogies and AC Traction Equipment. With the package put together you are looking at one of the heaviest classes and most powerful of locomotives operating on Australia’s mainline – at 176 tonnes.
With the current success of this class, QRNational has placed an order for an additional 8x 5000 class locomotives.