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Following the derailment of a fully loaded BHP iron ore train in West Australia AAP reported the miner does not have sufficent iron ore stockpiled at Port Hedland cover scheduled shipments. The train was deliberately derailed with rail operations  now suspended.

BHP Runaway Train Crash

Image: BHP Train Crash Source: ABC News 

On Monday the 3 km long BHP operated train took off early on Monday after the driver stepped off to inspect one of its 268 wagons.on BHP's  Newman to Port Hedland line for about 50 minutes. The train was deliberately derailed by remote control at a centre more than 1500km away in Perth. Nobody was injured in the incident.

"We cannot speculate on the outcome of the investigation however we are working with the appropriate authorities and our focus remains on the safe recovery of our operations,"  BHP said in a statement.

Based on the distance travelled, the runaway train reached an average speed of about 110 kilometres per hour. Rail Safety Consulting Australia owner Phillip Barker said it was unclear what had happened to make the train take off, but suggested it may have involved the configuration or isolation of the brake system.

BHP Iron Ore Train

Back in July the much heralded driverless AutoHaul Iron Ore Trains have made their first delivery since Rio Tinto was approved for autonomous delivery back in May at a cost of $940 million. The 280 km trip carrying 28,000 metric tons was completed.

To get the railway operational around 1.5km of track repairs are needed with a time line of around one week to partially complete. BHP says it will liaise with customers about its contractual commitments given the stockpile will not cover the entire period of disruption.

According to Reuters, one of BHP's customers, a steel producer in China has not yet received any notice from the miner. An official, who declined to be named, told the newswire "We have a long-term contract with BHP and we haven't received a notification so far."

Source : AAP, ABC

From a Sunburnt Country

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