Saturday, 17 November, 2018

Runaway mining train travels 90km through Australian outback without driver

Mangled wreckage of BHP runaway train revealed in video footage WATCH: The mangled wreckage of BHP's runaway train which derailed in Western Australia
Ginger Lawrence | 08 November, 2018, 16:55

A huge runaway train laden with iron ore had to be derailed remotely after speeding through the Australian outback for nearly an hour.

The train began its getaway when the driver stepped off to inspect a wagon.

The BHP-operated train, which included four locomotives and 268 wagons of ore, travelled 92km with no one on board before it was stopped by being remotely derailed after 50 minutes.

However, it said, operations would be maintained and the use of reserves would mean there would be no interruption to supply.

BHP's WA rail operations are expected to resume in about a week. "We've got no reason why we have to change the contracts and agreements we have with existing customers", he said, following the company' annual general meeting in Adelaide.

But it took off without him, and a team of remote train operators in BHP's control room were forced to carry out an intentional derailment.

BHP said that more than 130 people were...

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In a statement, the company said "material logistics" to enable fix of the track were "well advanced", with more workers expected to be assigned as the work progressed.

BHP has suspended its train operations.

The miner is yet to indicate how much the derailment and subsequent disruption is expected to cost, although analysts have suggested it could run into the tens of millions of dollars.

Mining giant BHP, which owns the four-locomotive train, chose to derail before it reached the town of Port Hedland near its Western Australia Pilbara site, and flicked the points.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said damage to the train was substantial and it is estimated about 1.5km of track was damaged.

The ATSB is investigating the incident and expects its report will be complete in the second quarter of 2019.