This coach was a gift to the then Mt Newman Mining Company from AMAX Iron Ore Corporation who were a partner in the original joint venture to celebrate the first 100 million tonnes of iron ore railed from Newman in 1974 (they have since sold their part). The coach once belonged to the Burlington Northern railroad and was part of a railcar set called the General Pershing Zephyr which ran from St Louis to Kansas City and was the diner-parlour-observation car and was numbered 301. It was built by E.G. Budd in 1939. A plan of the car can be seen here.
BHP Billiton took the Sundowner coach out to Goldsworthy Siding for the 35th annual running of the Pilbara Black Rock Stakes wheel barrow race, from Goldsworthy to Port Hedland, which was run on Saturday 25th June, 2005. The Sundowner was stabled at Goldsworthy Siding passing track overnight to assist with the entertainment. Thus preventing crosses or meets at Goldsworthy whilst it was there.
5636 did the honours on Friday by taking it out to Goldsworthy, placing it in the passing track and was suppose to work back light engine. But due to engine problems on a loaded train, it ended up double heading the loaded back to Goldsworthy Junction long hood leading, very rare indeed!
And then on Saturday the 25th of June, 5648 headed out to retrieve the Sundowner, got all the way to Rubin Junction to turn (there is a triangle located there) only to find that Hedland Gang had one leg out of service. So it ended up leading the Sundowner back to Nelson Point yard long hood leading!
BHP ran a Sundowner special to commemorate 25 years of ALSTOM's signal and comms service contract on Friday 12th April, 2002. The train consist was 5634, Sundowner coach, 5653. The Sundowner carried BHP Rail and ALSTOM staff out to the 39 kilometre detector site. This site has Hot Wheel Detection (HWD), Hot Box Detection (HBD), Automatic Equipment Identification (AEI) and Wheel Impact Monitoring (WIM). All this information is relayed to repeater 1 located at the 55 kilometre mark (East Turner River), and relayed via radio back to Train Control at Nelson Point, Port Hedland.
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