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Comalco Siding

Comalco runs a railway between Lorim Point and Andoom on the West Coast of Cape York, in the Far North of Queensland.
The town is Weipa, and the product is Bauxite, the base of Aluminium.
The length of line is 20 kilometres. Lorim Point is the car dumper (unloader) and stockpile / port end, and Andoom is the remote mine located to the north of Lorim Point.
Train length is usually 30 plus waggons, running 24 hours a day, 5 days a week.

The following photos were taken in 1995, and show:

  • R 1001 Clyde EMD model GT26C built 1972 serial 72-752 weight 148t engine 16-645E3 generator AR10A4 traction motors D77 and rated power 2460kW/3300hp.
  • R 1003 EMD model NW2 built 1946 serial 4114, in service 1976, purchased from Canadian National n 1975.
  • R 1004 Clyde EMD model JT42C built 1990 serial 90-1277 weight 132t engine 12-710G3 generator AR11-WBA-CA5 traction motors D87ETR and rated power 2460kW/3300hp.

R 1001 has been sold and moved to Victoria and in operation there as L 277 hauling grain trains after having some work done at CFCLAs Goulburn facility.
R 1002 was sold to Westrail in August 1994, which reclassified it as Lw 276 (Westrail 'L' class) with the 'w' signifying no dynamic brake, although it never wore the 'w'. This unit only had one control stand and was setup for No.2 end leading. It was to go on and become LZ 3120 having been retrofitted with dynamic brake and reduced weight operating with ARG / QR National.
R 1003 started life with Canadian National as 7943, built in November 1946 with serial #4114, It was sold to Comalco as 1-003 on December 5 1975, it was later renumbered to R 1003 and then scrapped in 2000.
R 1004 having been bought off BHP Iron Ore after they took over Goldsworthy Mining Limited and proceeded to obtain C36-7M and CM40-8M ALCo to GE rebuilds and new GE CM39-8 units rather than EMD units and was so deemed not suitable to their requirements being an orphan class.
This unit while looking like a V/Line N class is more like the AN DL class and has a 3300hp 710G3A prime-mover and was numbered GML 10 under Goldsworthy Mining ownership and was locally known as 'Cinderella', renumbered GML 20 for a short while following the BHP takeover of Goldsworthy.
It again carries its' GML 10 number under ownership of Qube Logistics and is in operation in Victoria and NSW wearing the 'QUBE' yellow and grey livery.

Locomotives now in use hauling bauxite from Andoom to Lorim Point are numbered R 1005 and R 1006 and are model JT42C, along the same lines as R 1004 or NSW 82 class.

For a look at Comalco operations back in the early '80s, check out David Head's Weipa Gallery.

Click for larger image.
R1001 fuel point R1001 fuel point
R 1001 Mission River R 1001 departs Lorim Point
R1004 leaving Lorim Point R1004 Lorim Point Depot
R 1004 Mission River R 1004 Builders plate R 1003 Ore car 19 Ore car 102 Ballast car R 4003 Rail Grinder Speno grinder
The below are from our Toad's Scans and Pilbara Railways Digital Showcase gallery.
Weipa Interstate Gallery 210

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Weipa bauxite mining railway on Cape York in Far North Queensland. Lorim Point dump station and railway workshops, locos R 1001 and 1003, waggons track machines and rail grinder.

Weipa Interstate Gallery 211

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Weipa bauxite mining town on Cape York in Far North Queensland. Lorim Point port loading facilities, ship loaders, East Weipa Mine Centre trucks.

Weipa Interstate Gallery 212

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Weipa bauxite mining railway on Cape York in Far North Queensland. Train operations with locos R 1001 and 1004.

Weipa Interstate Gallery 213

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Weipa bauxite mining railway on Cape York in Far North Queensland. Lorim Point dump station and railway workshops, locos R 1001, 1003 and 1004, waggons track machine and rail grinder.

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