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Author Topic: WA - freight rail  (Read 638 times)

Offline ozbob

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WA - freight rail
« on: April 20, 2018, 02:14:01 AM »
https://twitter.com/Robert_Dow/status/987000475743535104
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2018, 02:15:42 AM »
The West Australian --> Co-operative Bulk Handling grain train arrival in Kwinana, Perth, sets record with 9000 tonnes

Quote
We all know what it's like to be held up at a train crossing when you’re late, but imagine what it’s like to be stuck when this train arrives.

This Co-operative Bulk Handling grain train from the Wheatbelt pulled into Kwinana yesterday, carrying a record-breaking 9000 tonnes of wheat.

It had 120 wagons and was 1.8 kilometres kilometres long.

That’s the same as 11 football fields.

It’s the longest and largest grain train operated in Australia.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2018, 05:23:44 PM »
Brisbanetimes --> Regulator's tick for autonomous trains goes to Rio

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The rise of machines that have been described as “the world’s largest and longest robots” - trains used to carry iron ore in the Pilbara - has stepped up a gear, with Rio Tinto getting approval for its autonomous trains from the rail safety regulator.

Rio made the announcement on Friday, adding that its $US940 million AutoHaul project was on track to be completed by the end of this calendar year.

“Rio Tinto will take a phased approach to deploying autonomous trains across the network in the lead-up to full commissioning. Once commissioned, the network will be the world’s first heavy haul, long distance autonomous rail operation, unlocking significant safety and productivity benefits for the business,” Rio Tinto said in a statement to the ASX.

The vast trains consist of two or three powerful locomotives, along with 240 ore cars. When loaded each car holds about 118 tonnes of ore, meaning that a single train can transport about 28,320 tonnes of ore from mine to port.

A small-scale ramp-up of Rio’s AutoHaul will occur over coming weeks, with one to two trains a day running in fully autonomous mode without a driver.

Rio Tinto says the new system will improve rail circuit capacity because of the reduced need for driver changeovers.

The miner believes that its autonomous train system will be able to slash the amount of driving train drivers need to do by light vehicles to driver changeover points by about 1.5 million kilometres a year.

The miner also believes that an autonomous train system delivers safety improvements by reducing risk at level crossings, and by the introduction of automated responses to alarms, speed restrictions and asset protection devices.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2018, 01:51:01 AM by ozbob »
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #3 on: November 06, 2018, 01:52:08 AM »
WA Today --> BHP sends runaway iron ore train off the rails after 92km trip across Pilbara

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BHP has deliberately sent a driverless runaway train off the rails after it carried 268 wagons for 92km across the Pilbara outback.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said the driver had left the train — which had no passengers on board but was loaded with ore — about 4.40am on Monday to inspect a wagon when it started to move.

In an effort to stop the runaway train, the company deliberately derailed it about 120km from BHP's Port Hedland mine operations.

The ATSB is sending officers to the Pilbara to investigate after the train, loaded with ore from BHP's Newman mine site, suffered significant damage in the derailment.

"The driver of a loaded ore train consisting of four locomotives and 268 wagons stopped at the 211km point," an ATSB website incident report read.

"The driver alighted from the locomotive to inspect an issue with a wagon. While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train commenced to runaway."

The train travelled 92km until it was deliberately derailed by a control centre 119km from Port Headland about 5.05am, the ATSB site reported.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #4 on: November 06, 2018, 06:22:18 AM »
https://twitter.com/7NewsPerth/status/1059346953912238081
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #5 on: November 06, 2018, 05:05:40 PM »
https://twitter.com/9NewsPerth/status/1059691019019513856
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Offline red dragin

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #6 on: November 06, 2018, 05:42:53 PM »
Oops.

Offline ozbob

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2018, 01:35:02 AM »
The West Australian --> BHP train derailment: mining giant could lose $55 million a day



Quote
BHP’s forced de-railing of a runaway, fully-laden iron ore train could end up costing the mining giant hundreds of millions of dollars in lost production revenue, repairs and replacements.

An industry source, who worked as a senior executive connected to the Pilbara iron ore sector for several years, predicted the company could lose 3-8 million tonnes of production depending upon how long its rail operations were offline.

BHP said 1.5km of track had been destroyed in the derailment and it would draw on stockpiles of ore at Port Hedland to maintain shipping rates while its rail activities were suspended.

The company estimated it would take a week to clear the track and resume rail operations.

The interruption will be particularly costly if the company’s port stockpiles run out before it can resume railing ore from its Pilbara mines to Port Hedland.

BHP could lose as much as $55 million in revenue for every day it could not ship ore to its Asian customers.

“They’ll be throwing everything they can at this to get the line back up and running as quickly as possible,” the source said.

“In February 2017, when they had their 48 car derailment, it took circa four days to get one line up, and a further three days to get the second line back up.

“They only had circa four days of buffer stockpiles in port, so they got the one line up just in time before it really started to impact exports.

“Still, that event lost them over three million tonnes over a period of two weeks, through operating just one line, fully depleting their port stockpiles.

“If the main lines are damaged, I reckon this could be anywhere between a 3 to 8Mt disruption impacting anywhere between 15 and 45 ships.”

Analysts noted the incident also could have a more lasting effect on loading and train speeds even after the track was repaired.

BHP has not yet revealed what affect, if any, the incident could have on its full-year production estimate of 273-283 million tonnes.

The derailment has also raised questions about the safety of its rail network and how such an incident could have happened.

Industry sources have expressed bewilderment, suggesting several safety systems should have kicked in to stop the train including a so-called “dead man’s switch” that must be pressed at regular intervals by the driver to keep the train operating.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau, the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator and BHP are investigating.

The ATSB report, which will examine the cause and may make recommendations on safety, is expected in the second quarter of next year while the ONRSR will investigate potential breaches of the Rail Safety National Law.

Premier Mark McGowan described the incident as “very concerning” but said he would let the investigation run its course.

“I’m sure there will be a full review undertaken by BHP and I’ll consult about what role the state might have in that,” he said.

“The State Government will want to know what happened and why it happened and what measures will be put in place to prevent it from happening again.”

The Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union said the incident showed the risks involved in rail transport, especially where trains were being designed to operate without drivers.

The union’s mining and energy WA secretary Greg Busson said it was a relief the driver was safe and no-one was injured in the “potentially calamitous” situation.

“It is fortunate there were no other trains in the area and that the incident didn’t occur closer to the town of Port Hedland, where there could have been tragic consequences,” he said.

Mr Busson said it was a reminder that automation should be approached with caution.

“Until all system issues are ironed out, we should not be moving to driverless trains – the risks are too great,” he said.

However it is understood the train would have been able to be slowed and stopped under the AutoHaul system being introduced by rival Rio Tinto.

Rio delivered its first iron ore to port using a driverless train in July and expects to have the system fully operational across its Pilbara operations by the end of the year.

BHP trains operate without a driver only during controlled car dumping operations at Port Hedland.

Shares in BHP were up 44¢, or 1.33 per cent, to $33.55 at the close.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2018, 02:04:05 AM »
The West Australian --> BHP’s runaway train wreckage in the Pilbara cleared but questions remain after derailment

Quote
BHP says it has cleared all wreckage from a runaway train derailment in the Pilbara and is set to resume rail haulage early next week.

A spokeswoman said late yesterday morning the wreckage from the crash site had been cleared from the tracks and the company was confident it would be in a position to resume rail operations early next week.

Speculation is still swirling about how the 268-car train was able to career driverless for 50 minutes at an average speed of 110km/h before it was deliberately derailed about 120km south of Port Hedland early on Monday.

The driver had stopped about 210km from the port and got off to inspect a wagon but the train started to move with no one aboard.

Industry sources have expressed bewilderment at the incident, suggesting several safety systems should have stopped the train, including a “dead man’s switch” that must be pressed at regular intervals by the driver to keep the train operating.

One source suggested the train might have been in “park” instead of “drive” mode when it began rolling without the driver, which would mean the dead man’s switch would not be operational.

WestBusiness understands a possible failure of the train’s LiDAR (light detection and ranging) technology is another line of inquiry for investigators.

LiDAR, which is the same technology used in driverless cars, is a machine vision system which senses surroundings, detects obstacles and avoids them.

BHP continued with the line yesterday that it “cannot speculate on the outcome of the investigation” but said it was working with appropriate authorities.

BHP, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and the Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator are investigating.

“Our focus remains on the safe recovery of our operations,” the BHP spokeswoman said.

Chief executive Andrew Mackenzie told the mining giant’s annual shareholders meeting in Adelaide on Thursday that he knew a lot more about the incident than he could reveal.

Premier Mark McGowan and the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union have expressed safety concerns about the incident.

WestBusiness understands the company could be losing between $55-$80 million in revenue for every day it is not shipping iron ore from Port Hedland.

BHP could also face fines if it is found to have breached the Rail Safety National Law.

The company revealed on Wednesday that its ore stockpiles at Port Hedland would run out before it could resume rail operations.

However, Mr Mackenzie insisted the company would meet all its commitments to customers.
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Offline ozbob

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Re: WA - freight rail
« Reply #9 on: November 12, 2018, 10:35:28 AM »
WA Today --> BHP iron ore train services recommence in WA as a second train derails

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A second iron ore train has derailed in WA's outback within a week.

Mineral Resources Limited and Arc Infrastructure have confirmed that about 30 empty iron ore wagons derailed south of Norseman on Sunday morning, following the deliberate derailment of a runaway BHP train in the state's north earlier in the week.

The MRL locomotive was travelling from Esperance to an iron ore mine in Koolyanobbing around 7.30am when the derailment occurred.

No one was injured, however damage was caused to the wagons and a section of the Noresman to Esperance track.

A statement provided by MRL to Fairfax read, initial investigations the derailment indicated that "all safe train operating procedures were followed at all times".

"A detailed investigation has commenced to confirm the cause of derailment but, at this stage, it appears that localised heavy rains and flash flooding washed out some ballast from under a small section of the track," it read.

"The focus now is on safely clearing the site and rebuilding the damaged section of the track."

As the incident occurred, BHP's iron ore rail services were getting back up and running after one of the multibillion-dollar mining company's train was deliberately derailed on route to Port Hedland.

The runaway BHP train, consisting of four locomotives and 268 wagons filled with iron ore, has caused headaches ever since last week's derailment.

On Sunday, a BHP spokeswoman said the service was now back on track.

"The wreckage from the site was cleared from the tracks on Friday and track repair work is progressing well," she said.

"Rail operations recommenced last night with additional controls in place to ensure safe operations.”

A regulatory investigation is ongoing, and controls on board the trains have been risk assessed.

The investigation will attempt to understand what happened after the driver left the train to inspect an issue with an ore car.

While the driver was off the train, it began moving. Every safety mechanism on the train failed as it hurtled driverless through the Pilbara desert.

Over 50 minutes, it travelled 92 kilometres at an average speed of 110km/h.

Finally, at 5.30am, BHP's remote operations centre in Perth deliberately derailed it near Turner’s Siding, an isolated section of the track 120km south of Port Hedland.
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