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BHP Iron Ore Road

C36-7M or Dash 7 Siding

Dash 8 siding AC6000 siding SD40 siding SD70ACe siding Rollingstock siding

BHP Iron Ore operated a small fleet of eight C36-7M or GE Dash 7 locomotives, all rebuilt from Australian manufactured ALCo C636 units.
This was the first time in the world that an ALCo C636 had been rebuilt into an GE C36-7. They also received a completly new 'Pilbara' cab and were rebuilt by Goninan at their Welshpool factory in Perth, Western Australia. They were all delivered in Mount Newman Mining orange and white with the black swan emblem.
Once BHP took over Mt Newman Mining, these units were quickly repainted into the new blue BHP livery.
Here is a status table of the locomotives involved:

ModelNumberRebuilderBuilders / SerialDateLiveryNameLiveryDateSerialBuilderNumberModel
C36-7M5506Goninan WA4839-01/87-0711987BHP BlueNimingarra - Scrapped MNM Orange1968G-6012-4AE Goodwin5455C636
C36-7M5507Goninan WA4839-03/87-0721987BHP BlueMount Goldsworthy - To Pilbara Iron 5051 MNM Orange1969G-6035-2AE Goodwin5461C636
C36-7M5508Goninan WA4839-04/87-0731987BHP BlueFortescue - To Pilbara Iron 5052 MNM Orange1970G-6041-2AE Goodwin5466C636
C36-7M5509Goninan WA4839-05/87-0741987BHP BlueChichester - Scrapped MNM Orange1968G-6012-1AE Goodwin5452C636
C36-7M5510Goninan WA4839-07/87-0751987BHP BlueNewman - To AK WA MNM Orange1969G-6027-2AE Goodwin5458C636
C36-7M5511Goninan WA4839-08/87-0761987BHP BluePort Hedland - Scrapped MNM Orange1970G-6035-4AE Goodwin5463C636
C36-7M5512Goninan WA4839-01/88-0771988BHP BlueHesta - Scrapped MNM Orange1970G-6041-1AE Goodwin5465C636
C36-7M5513Goninan WA4839-02/88-0781988BHP BlueKalgan - To UG WA MNM Orange1968G-6012-2AE Goodwin5453C636

These units after being proved on the mainline to Newman and Yandi were eventually displaced from the mainline as more units were rebuilt into more powerful CM40-8M locomotives to end up operating smaller consists of a sinlge C36-7M and 75 waggons on the original Goldsworthy Mining Railway running from the Finucane Island port and unloader to the mines at both Yarrie and Nimingarra.

Of note are locos 5510, having had Dash 8 radiators fitted following collision damage in 1993 and 5511, being the first unit withdrawn following an engine failure in 1998.

The reminder of units were withdrawn from service altogether in 1999 once the eight new AC6000 units had entered service and been accepted. Goninan ended up with four of these units, possibly as a trade in for the AC6000 units and they were held onto as 'insurance' locos during the proving period of the 6000hp AC's. The four units retained by BHP were sold for scrap, while the Goninan units went to Perth where two were overhauled and leased to Rio Tinto (Pilbara Rail).
The names plates from the C36-7M locos were fitted to the AC6000 locomotives once they were proved and the C36-7M units retired.

Locomotives 5507 and 5508 where rebuilt once again in 2003 by United Goninan at Bassendean, Perth for hire to Pilbara Rail (Hamersley Iron) at their Dampier Seven Mile operations as shunt engines and received the road numbers 5051 (Bill) and 5052 (Ben) along with the striking Pilbara Rail livery.
Unit 5509 was subsequently cut down in September 2003 and then sent to United Goninan's Broadmeadow NSW facility for use as an engine test bed.
To see the Dash 7 loco details on Locopage click C36-7M Class.
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Photos of C36-7M model units working their last few months and then stored in the Flashbutt yard, Bing, South Hedland.
The line-up of the units from the southern end was 5508, 5509, 5507, 5513, 5511, 5512, 5510, 5506 and orange ALCo M636 5499.
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Photos of CM40-8M units displacing the C36-7M.

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C36-7M Scrapping

Images of 5509 and 5508 being stripped to allow road haulage to Perth. The fuel tanks, ploughs and engine hoods are removed outside. They are then towed into the Overhaul Shop where the engine and bogies are removed and the lifeless shell placed on a heavy haul trailer. The bogies and prime mover are placed on a road train trailer each and follow their body to Perth. When the photos were taken 5507 was being lifted onto a trailer. Now 5509 has followed. The units appear to be leaving at about one per week.
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