Wednesday 13 September 2023

Golden Hour at FMG.

Late in the afternoon of the 2nd of September 2023, during 'golden hour', we captured this empty train departing the Fortescue Metal Group Port Hedland port behind a pair of Wabtec AC44C6M rebuild units. The AC44C6M locomotive is an AC-traction 4,400-horsepower diesel-electric locomotive which have been rebuilt from General Electric 9-44CW (or Dash 9) locomotive models, including new cabs and an ES44ACi type radiator section. In FMG's case, their fleet of twenty-eight AC44C6M units heritage is all former BNSF/GECX lease units.

FMG's AC44C6M locomotive 109 serial number 50652 and rebuilt from BNSF 4798 with an original build date of June 1998 was delivered to Australia in the first tranche in July 2022, it is leading sister AC44C6M locomotive 120 with serial number 50631 and rebuilt from BNSF 4777 with an original build date of also of June 1998. The rebuilds retain their original serial numbers and build dates.

Trailing shot shows the left-hand side of AC44C6M locomotive 120 as the pair lead their empty train powering across the former Boodarie Access Road grade crossing at the 5 km curve.
All the AC44C6M rebuilds were completed by Wabtec at their Fort Worth, Texas plant and the three tranches of locomotives arrived in two deliveries, first in July 2022 (101-112) and the final in February 2023 (113-128). After a quarantine inspection they were road hauled to Thomas Yard for placing onto FMG rails.