West Australian Iron Ore

Privately owned mining railways in the north western region [ Pilbara] of Western Australia [WA], based on the towns of Port Headland and Dampier. The only place in Australia to operate locos with 31 ton axle loads on 137 lb/yd rail. The usual standard in Australia is up to 132 tonne on 6 axles for 22 tonne axle load. The main exception is the NSW 90 class, [General Motor GT46CW built in London, Ontario, Canada in 1994] which are 165 tonnes total mass thus 27.5 tonnes/ 270 kN axle load.

All Mining Rail lines are standard gauge

Mining Rail Lines in Western Australia

bullet Hamersley Iron; based at Dampier
bullet [Cliffs] Robe River Iron Associates; based at Cape Lambert
bullet Mt Newman Mining [BHP mining]; based at Port Headland
bullet Mt Goldworthy [BHP mining] based at Port Headland.

Together, these lines move 3 million tonnes a week with some of the longest / heaviest trains in the world using both front end and mid train locomotives.

S-2 BO-BO ALCO [M&S] 539 6 in line engine. Built by ALCO in April 1940 for Spokane, Portland and Seattle RR. 1000 HP Arrived Pilbara area for service with Hamersley Iron RR in 1965. #007 "Mabel". Preserved Dampier in the Pilbara region of Western Australia [WA].

C-415 BO-BO with ALCO 251 V-8 engine. Built ALCO USA 1966 as demonstrator unit. Toured USA railroads on sales trip. Arrived Hamersley Iron RR 1968 for heavy shunting. Preserved Dampier.

C-628 CO-CO Built ALCO USA 1965. 2750 HP. ALCO 251 V16 engine. Used by Hamersley Iron RR. 5 units. Out of service.

C-636 CO-CO Built AE Goodwin, Sydney with later units by COMENG, Sydney. Introduced 1968. Some later units are M-636 units. ALCO 251 V-16 engine. 3600 HP. Many used by Hamersley Iron RR, Mt. Newman Mining, Cliffs Robe River RR. Total 636 type about 100 units.

The present day motive power on the Pilbara railroads are all General Electric units.




Page last updated on 01/01/04

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