BHP derails runaway train in Pilbara

Image: BHP.

A BHP iron ore train has derailed in the Pilbara region of Western Australia while attempting to deliver an iron ore shipment from Newman to Port Hedland.

BHP deliberately derailed the train following a runaway incident where the train took off while the driver had left the cabin to investigate an issue.

The train travelled 92km in 50 minutes before being derailed at Turner’s Siding, 120km south of its destination. No-one was injured in the incident.

BHP suffered a smaller derailment of 40 wagon cars last year and two derailments in 2015.

While the financial cost of the incident has not been finalised, a report by Perth Now yesterday quoted an anonymous “industry source” who suggested the clean up could cost BHP upwards of $55 million a day.

“If the main lines are damaged, I reckon this could be anywhere between a 3 to 8Mt disruption impacting anywhere between 15 and 45 ships,” the source told the publication.

The train was made up of four locomotives and 268 wagons filled with iron ore. BHP expects the recovery to take about a week.