Operational limits driving 42T axle loads on heavy haul turnouts

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (Fortescue) is the world’s fourth largest producer of iron ore, operating over 600 track kilometres (430 route kilometres) located in the Pilbara of Western Australia. Fortescue currently produces 170 million tons of iron ore each year and is supported by four mines, three train unloaders and five shipping berths in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The organisation solely owns and operates all four mines, rail and port infrastructure. One of the most important links within the Fortescue’s supply chain is the heavy haul railway infrastructure. The railway’s availability and reliability are essential to achieving Fortescue’s annual production targets and business objectives. To increase railway productivity, efficiency and utilisation, a higher axle load study was undertaken. Fortescue began to gradually transition to 40 tonne axle loads in January 2010 and in 2015 the axle loads were further increased to 42 tonnes with consists of 230 wagon trains pulled by a combination of locomotive types including SD90’s and SD70’s. Although higher axle loads produced significant operational advantages, the impact of 42TAL to asset life such as main line 1 in 20 SNX turnouts is not known or quantified. Fortescue requested voestalpine (VAE) to validate their product for 42TAL with the intention to set out suitable maintenance strategies to prolong asset life.

Media Info

  • Pagination: 8p. ; PDF
  • Monograph Title: AusRAIL PLUS 2019, Delivering growth; creating opportunity; embracing technology, 3-5 December 2019, Sydney, NSW, Australia

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01748317
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: ARRB Group Limited
  • Files: ATRI
  • Created Date: Aug 20 2020 2:10PM