Runaway BHP Train Under Investigation in Australia

Cornelia Mascio
Novembre 9, 2018

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

The train was made up of four locomotives and 268 wagons. "The driver alighted from the locomotive to inspect an issue with an ore vehicle", the Australian Transport Safety Bureau stated. It was eventually deliberately derailed, which was operated by a control center.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating a November 5 incident in Western Australia where a BHP train loaded with iron ore traveled about 55 miles with no personnel on board.

The driver of the BHP-operated train got out to inspect an issue with one of its 268 wagons early yesterday and it took off without him, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau says.

The ATSB said it expected to finish its investigation by the second quarter of 2019. It averaged about 68 miles per hour and traveled for some 50 minutes before it was derailed, according to Australia's ABC.

No one was injured in the incident.

There are more than 130 people working on the recovery, which is expected to increase as the track work ramps up.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said he had not been briefed on what happened but it would have been very concerning for everyone involved.

The interruption to the train line could be particularly costly for the mining company - given that it's the main way to deliver ore from its Pilbara mines to Port Hedland.

There was no indication of what had caused the train to move without its driver.

Analysts think iron ore prices could see a short-term bump as a result of this derailment, according to the news service.

BHP Billiton said it had suspended all its iron ore rail operations in Western Australia on Monday after the incident.

With the capesize market already plagued by lacklustre Chinese demand for coal and iron ore, the BHP outage has depressed the sentiment further, according to Banchero Costa's head of research Ralph Leszczynski.

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