Runaway mining train travels 90 kms sans driver

Runaway mining train travels 90 kms sans driver

Runaway mining train travels 90 kms sans driver

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

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.

It was deliberately derailed at a set of points, operated by a control centre, about 119km from Port Hedland.

A runaway train took off without its driver then travelled 57 miles at speeds of over 62mph before being deliberately derailed, according to Australia's Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). The ATSB has launched an investigation into Monday's incident.

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While no one was injured in the incident, BHP said in a statement on Wednesday the damaged was likely to cause significant delays for the mining company.

"We are working with the appropriate authorities to investigate the situation".

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

The train was traveling on BHP's rail line from Newman to Port Hedland in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

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Industry specialists were confused about why the train would have run away down the tracks. "There would have been a procedure in place to make sure the train didn't move off".

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

Despite that, BHP have said there is enough iron ore stockpiles Port Hedland for their operations to continue around Western Australia.

The company earlier this week warned its stockpiles of iron ore - a key steelmaking ingredient - were insufficient to cover the anticipated period of disruption, and BHP would need to liaise with its customers on its contractual commitments.

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The Rio Tinto company says it completed its first delivery of iron ore using an autonomous train in July.

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