SPOORNET’S locomotive upgrading programme includes equipping Class 8E shunting locos with cab air-conditioning.

Two prototypes units were developed by Booyco Engineering, which will supply 17 sets of equipment by the end of the year, and a total of 88 over the next four years. According to Booyco Managing Director Jeremy Pougnet, the presence of overhead electrification restricted the locations where the equipment could be mounted. ’This completely ruled out roof-mounting the systems and, as cabs have not been designed to accommodate air-conditioning units, other options had to be explored’.

An existing cubicle in the cab has been used, but a hole had to be cut through the cab wall. ’This is a unique approach and has resulted in optimum use of the available space’, said Pougnet. ’The fact that we have been able to design a system that can be easily retrofitted into an existing space was obviously a major advantage.’

Spoornet undertook extensive testing to determine how much surplus power the motor and alternator set had available to drive the equipment. Booyco Engineering carried out a heat load analysis to determine the cooling capacity required by the air-conditioning system and, from this, was able to estimate the power absorbed. ’These extensive tests confirmed that power available was sufficient to drive air-conditioning units of this capacity’.

Booyco Engineering, South Africa