View Full Version : To Mark Woody

04-17-2011, 03:15 PM
Hello Mark,

Youíre obviously Australian and an ex-engineer so I got a couple of questions for you that I hope you can answer.
I also hope that the issue isnít misplaced here in the forum and that Ė given that has to do with railroading, yeah not quite the US one Ė is welcomed and that I wonít be right away reminded that Iíd better have used the private messaging in addressing this issue. :o

You see, I began to be interested in Australian coal/iron ore hauling and one particular unit and operator caught my eye.
I love those Alco 636s that Robe River Iron Railways operated back in the Ď70s and up to the Ď80s (correction needed) and is a shame that not too many high-resolution quality pictures are to be found on the net with them (all there is right away accessible I think Iíve got already).

And here are my questions for you:
They are listed as M636s. Iíve read that at first some 2nd Ė 3d hand US units were imported by Robe. Those are recognizable mostly after their original trucks featuring those springs while the Ms lacks them.
1.Were the Robe units all Ms?
2. Were they built 100% in Australia? Or were they just loco-modified to better fit the Australian needs?
3. If they were listed as M636s, are we talkiní about Canadian manufactured M636s, the MLW? Or M was/is used by Australian modified/built units too? Iím not sure but it could be that, given ALCOs demise in í69 (?) and that Robe got their Alcos in the 70s, that they were Canadian MLW M636s?
3. Whatís the main reason of installing those massive pipes on either side of the long hood that leads to the main top-ventilation? They look awesome! Are those for increase cooling?
4. Whatís the main reason for re-shaping some M636s in those peculiar looking forward-unhooded cab (http://pilbararailways.com.au/robe/robe031.html) and re-designated CR636R models? Is this a purely Australian feature?

I hope Iím not bothering you too much with these Qs and that you have the answers.
If any of you guys can contribute in lighting up these things for me, you are most welcomed. :-)