TRAIN PAIN: Bespoke parts get XPT off-track
A FAULTY pin that has sidelined the Grafton to Sydney XPT service was first found on a locomotive in January 2018.
However, the centre-pin design for the locomotive is so specialised it took the NSW Government more than a year to find a supplier.
Authorities have discovered three more faulty pins on XPT locomotives since, with the Grafton to Sydney service replaced by road coaches.
The government came under fire last week, with Labor claiming that the government had known about a maintenance problem in the XPT fleet for some time.
Under questioning, Minister for Regional Transport and Roads Paul Toole revealed the first cracked pin was found in January last year.
Labor attacked over the issue, accusing the government of neglect of the network in allowing a wait of more than a year for replacement pins.
However, a Sydney Trains spokesperson said that such was the specialist design of the pins, that it had taken a year to find a supplier who could provide replacements of the required quality.
"Cracks in the centre pin of a diesel locomotive were identified in January 2018, with the locomotive removed from service," the spokeswoman said.
"As the pin is a bespoke design with high-quality requirements, Sydney Trains was required to go out to tender.
"Due to the specialised design, it took more than a year to find a supplier who could manufacture the pins to the necessary standards.
"Sydney Trains awarded a contract to Bradken Limited in April 2019 to manufacture centre pin castings for the XPT fleet."
The first of two 38 centre pins have been delivered to Sydney Trains and installed to replace the pins in the locomotive before it returns to service.
"The remaining centre pins will be delivered from early November, and will be progressively installed to replace the centre pins on the entire XPT fleet over the coming months as a matter of caution," the spokeswoman said.
The cracks found in the remaining XPT locomotives came as part of the regular inspection of the XPT fleet every 42 days, the spokesperson said.