Saturday 29 June 2024

In the early evening of June 20, 2024, I managed to catch this empty Rio Tinto iron ore train heading south at the double bridges located south of Galah at the 85.4 km. This train is in AutoHaul on account the blue lights on the cab roof are on.

The train is powered by General Electric ES44ACi model locomotive 9107 leading a pair of sister GE DC type ES44DCi model locomotives 8139 and 8141 with 120 pairs of waggons for 240 in total for ~5000 tonnes at 1800 hrs on June 20, 2024.

Location of video is here: video location or copy and paste:

Friday 28 June 2024

J Car at Wickham entry statement

Rio Tinto has very recently plinthed Nippon Sharyo ore waggon 001 at the Wickham town entry statement, joining ex NSWGR 40 class 9401 which was used during the construction of the railway and after that in operations.

Ore waggon 001 was built by Nippon Sharyo of Japan in 1971 as the leader of a batch of 285 waggons with 100-ton capacity ordered by Cliffs Robe River Iron Associates. The order was subsequently increased to 325 waggon.

These 'J cars' as these waggons were known that ran on the Robe River 'J trains' or 'Robe Valley' to Mesa J and Deepdale have now all been recently retired and have been being scrapped. The original Car Dumper One at Cape Lambert has also been decommissioned. And the Robe Valley line is now operated by a standard Rio Tinto train of three locomotives and 240 waggon which is banked from either Mesa A [Warramboo] or Deepdale / Mesa J to the siding at Maitland.

These images were captured on June 19, 2024.

Wednesday 26 June 2024

Finucane Island, June 18, 2024.

With a couple of visitors in town from the Eastern States and one from the USA we had a quick peek at a loaded waiting to enter the dumpers at Finucane Island and a empty departed for Boodarie Yard around 1300 hrs on Tuesday, June 18, 2024.

Above: BHP's SD70ACe locomotive 4356 serial number 20078915-012 from a 2008 delivery leads 4433 'Achiever' serial number 20128866-002 from a 2013 delivery with 135 waggons waiting its turn through the dumpers at Finucane Island. The bridge in the distance is for the Roy Hill conveyor to their shiploader.

Above: BHP's SD70ACe locomotive 4325 'Jimblebar' with serial number 20066862-038 and delivered in March 2008 started life as part of an order for BNSF and was going to be numbered BNSF 9167, however BHP purchased ten of these 'standard US domestic' model SD70ACe units and after a while of being relegated to trailing only, they were all converted to BHP specs for lead operations. Following 4325 is 4456 'Jim Foran' with serial number 20138907-007 from 2014 and 135 waggons destined to form another empty train back to the mines. In the right background is Utah Point which is the common user facility for the smaller miners such as Min Res and Atlas.

Saturday 22 June 2024

Rio Tinto's Galah collision wrecks.

Around 0023 hours on Monday May 13, 2024, three Rio Tinto EVO ES44DCi locomotives ran into the rear of a disabled train just north of the crossovers located at Galah on the Dampier to Tom Price mainline, near the 82 km location.

Here are a couple of images of the locomotives stored, minus bogies and engine hoods whilst they await recovery, and by the looks of it, potential scrapping.

From the left, 8183, 8175 and 8188

8118 with serial number 
59110 is from the second order of these units, with a build date of 04/2008 and is the highest numbered ES44DCi in the plain Rio Tinto silver livery, all the following DCi units being in the 'tiger stripe' red livery.

8118 serial number 59110 from the second order

8175 with serial number 
60773 is from the ninth order of GE ES44DCi units with a build date of 01/2021 and wears the Rio 'tiger stripes'.

8175 serial number 60773 from the ninth order

8183 with serial number 
60781 is also from the ninth order of ES44DCi locomotives with a 02/2021 build date and also wears the Rio 'tiger stripe' livery.

8183 serial number 60781 from the ninth order

Friday 7 June 2024

Dual MU Sockets.

I received a comment on one of the earlier posts about the dual MU sockets on the Roy Hill ES44ACi units asking what the story was with them.

Well, the Roy Hill units have dual MU sockets and dual dummy sockets, very much like both Rio Tinto's ES44DCi and ES44ACi locomotives all have the dual MU and dual dummy sockets whilst the Rio Tinto / Hamersley Iron 9-44CW units have dual MU and only a single dummy socket.

I can only think this reduces the need to reach across a coupling to plug in or disconnect the MU.

Roy Hill ES44ACi unit RHA 1012, serial number 62584, built November 2014 at Erie, Pennsylvania USA, shows the dual sockets and dummy sockets during its delivery.

If you know more, please feel free to leave a comment, thank you, Pilbara Railways.

Wednesday 5 June 2024

A quick arvo on the 4th of June at FMG.

A bit over an hour was spent at my usual hack spot for FMG, between the 5 km curve and the entrance to their port yard, on the afternoon of June 4, 2024 and four trains were observed with a fifth, an empty departing as I was arriving, which happens to me a lot!

This was the first time out for some months due to a number of issues, the car went to Perth to have the roof replaced and some other rust repairs, this was deemed cheaper than a replacement vehicle. I also managed to damage my primary everyday lens, the Canon 28-300 L, and broke the GPS unit on my camera setup. The Canon 5DIII body seems to have survived coming off the car at 60 km/h on Ballast Road at Hampton, Kalgoorlie, but I have noticed some strange exposures when using my other lenes, so a new camera may have to be planned for, testing is continuing. I have only just ordered a new replacement 28-300 mm L series Canon lens, and it seems these may have also now been discontinued by Canon...

However, I digress, back to the rail action, so, four trains were seen in a couple of hours out, two empty departures from the port and two loaded arrivals, one with a quad loco combination which is usually the bank engines being returned for servicing.

Port yard pilot locomotive was aging GE 9-44CW unit 004 shunting the compressor cars from the empty tracks to the rear of the loaded rakes.

The first empty train was SD70ACe-P6 units 729 leading SD70ACe/LCi unit 717 in the standard locomotive pairing that is in use on FMG with 119 waggon pairs for 238 waggons which departed the port at 1529 hrs.

Then at 1538 hrs a loaded train rolled under the Great Northern Highway overpass and into the Port behind the pairing of SD70ACe/LCi unit 713 leading the class leader of the AC44C6M rebuild model locomotives 101. This train also had 119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons.

A second loaded followed the first some twenty minutes later at 1608 hrs but this time it had quad locomotive power on the front. This is usually due to mine bank engines being returned to town for servicing requirements and happens on a regular basis.

AC44C6M locomotive 111 led SD70ACe/LCi unit 704 with AC44C6M pair 114 and 103 rounding out the quaddie with yet again 119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons. It is nice to see FMG sticking to consistent train lengths as in the past I have counted quite a variance in the number of waggon pairs per service.

The final train for the afternoon was an empty departing at 1634 hrs behind AC44C6M unit 117 leading SD70ACe/LCi locomotive 706 and the now standard 
119 waggon pairs for 238 empty waggons.