Mount Newman Railway

February 27, 2013 by  

Mount Newman Railway, The Mount Newman railway, owned and operated by BHP Billiton, is a private rail network in the Pilbara region of Western Australia for the purpose of carrying iron ore. It is one of two railway lines the group operates in the Pilbara, the other being the Goldsworthy railway.

Additionally to the BHP Billiton network, there are also another two independent iron ore rail lines in the Pilbara. One is operated by the Rio Tinto Group, the Hamersley & Robe River railway, while the other, operated by the Fortescue Metals Group, is the Fortescue railway.

The Mount Newman railway runs for 426 kilometres, from Newman to Port Hedland and is one of Australia’s longest private railways. The line, alongside with its spur lines to Mount Whaleback, Orebodies 18, 23 and 25, Jimblebar, Yandi and Area C, services the iron ore mines at Newman. It has the longest and heaviest trains in the world. The railway line was officially opened on 22 January 1969 by Sir David Brand.

The rail journey from Newman to Port Hedland typically takes about eight hours for the ore trains which are up to 3.75 kilometres long. Each rail car carries up to 126 tonnes of ore and trains consist of up to 208 cars, leading to the trains pulling 26,000 tonnes of ore.

Unlike the Rio Tinto rail system, which is operated from Perth,

On 21 June 2001, the line broke the world record for the heaviest train when a train weighing 99,734 tons and formed of 682 wagons ran for 275 kilometres between Yandi and Port Hedland on the Mount Newman line. The train was 7.3 kilometres long, carried 82,000 tons of iron ore and was pulled by eight locomotives.

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