Wednesday 28 June 2023

RailFirst EL class delivered to Rio Tinto's Paperbark Siding.

On Sunday the 25th of June 2023 the RailFirst EL class locomotives EL 51 'Might and Power' and EL 64 'Super Impose' completed their road journey from Parkeston (Kalgoorlie) to the Rio Tinto's Koodaideri (Gudai-Darri) mine railway line via Auski (Munjina) Roadhouse and were placed on Rio rails at the backtrack spur at Paperbark Siding, approx. 300 kilometres south of Port Hedland.

EL 51 'Might and Power' is the class leader, while and EL 64 'Super Impose' is the final member of the fourteen GE model C30-8 locomotives built by Goninan NSW between July 1990 and October 1991 for the then Federal Government operator Australian National.

EL 51 with serial number 8013-07/90-103 was delivered in July 1990 and originally named 'Bob Brown', after the Australian Labor politician who was the Minister for Land Transport at the time of delivery.

EL 64 with serial number 8013-07/90-116 was delivered in October 1991.

The EL class were transferred to National Rail upon start up in 1994 of the new national carrier and later, following delivery of new locomotives were subsequently returned to Australian National and then stored by 1997. In 1998 they were sold to CFCLA and rebuilt by Goninan and entered CFCLA lease service. CFCLA is now known as RailFirst, or Rail First Asset Management.

The locos and some ballast hoppers, along with some Brimble Rail track machines are expected to be at Rio for up to twelve months at this stage. The initial works are remediating the recently competed Koodaideri line.

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