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Downer Rail

Downer Rail adds an on-board CCTV driver aid system by BLUi to their latest locomotives.

Following the completion of the last locomotive build of ten locomotives at Cardiff by Downer Rail, five locomotives remained unsold until recently.

Southern Shorthaul Railroad (SSR) is one of the smaller mainline operators on the East Coast, for many years operating ballast and perway support trains for ARTC and RailCorp, but also venturing into coal haulage for Centennial Coal. SSR has agreed to purchase two of these five locomotives and it is intended these two locomotives will support a long-term contract to haul domestic grain into Enfield, Sydney for milling. The locomotives will be required to operate as single units to any of 50 nominated grain silos throughout NSW, anywhere from Moree down to the Riverina.

It was the job of the Cardiff Production team, lead by Team Lead Matt Glover, to repaint and prepare locomotives SSR101 and SSR102 for service following their period of storage. Matt's team was assisted by Senior Service Engineer Andrew Hawk, to finalize the testing and track trials of these smart-looking locomotives, as well as the additional customer requested modifications.

One of the features of these locomotives is the rear facing CCTV camera and monitor.

The CCTV system is a driver aid designed to assist the driver when the locomotive is running long-end leading; This feature was well received by the drivers. Andrew approached the team at BLUi for recommendation on the cameras required for this task, as well as a recording and monitoring solution.

Working with Andrew Hawke at Downer, Bozidar Jovanovic from BLUi gained an understanding of the requirements and then recommended and supplied a surveillance system that features Honeywell dome cameras that are suitable for this application.

The Honeywell cameras are both weather and vandal resistant and feature excellent wide dynamic range (WDR) imaging technology - a feature that greatly assists in obtaining usable, clear video in the camera-challenging high contrast scenes involving bright glare and dark shadows that are created as the locomotives travel in service.

An interesting fact is that SSR also operate the oldest, and now the newest, Downer built locomotives. The oldest operational mainline diesel locomotive on the register GM10 entered service in June 1952 and has operated trains across the Nullabor for over three decades. By contrast SSR102 was the very last GT46C-ACe locomotives built by Downer and contains the latest locomotive technology from EMD such as IntelliTrain, Smart Consist and AESS as well as the on-board CCTV system for monitoring and driver assistance by BLUi. These two locomotives represent over 62 years of locomotive technology and development by Downer in its various forms in Australia. 

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