BHP Billiton Iron Ore once ran Australia's highest horsepower locomotives in the form of the General Electric AC6000CW model.
Incorporating a GE-Deutz design 6000 horsepower 7HDL16 prime mover with a displacement of 175 litres and AC traction via six inverters to steerable bogies.
These units far out performed the older 4000 horsepower Dash 8 locomotives, and this was the only place that these 6000 hp units could be found outside the USA.
All eight locos reused the names originally applied to the Dash 7 fleet which the AC6000 replaced and were:
6070 - 51062 - Port Hedland
6071 - 51063 - Chichester
6072 - 51064 - Hesta
6073 - 51065 - Fortescue
6074 - 51066 - Kalgan
6075 - 51067 - Newman
6076 - 51068 - Mt Goldsworthy
6077 - 51069 - Nimingarra
Livery, serial number and build info for each unit can be found here BHP Power Roster Page.
6076 was the first AC6000 to be repainted in the new bubble scheme in September 2003.
6075 was repainted in October 2007, 6073 in March 2008 and 6070 in June 2008. The rest of the fleet wore the BHP blue livery until scrapped.
All these units were re-engined during overhaul from 2006 onwards with the new 6250 hp GEVO-16 prime mover.
This was carried out to trial the engine prior to GE producing 6250 hp Evolution Series ES59ACi units for China in 2008.
Following a derailment at Turner Siding in late May 2011 class leader 6070 was written off due to a twisted frame and scrapped on site.
By August 2013 the units were being stored or confined to yard pilot duties, by 1st September 2013 all were out of service and stored with 6076 being the final unit in service on the mainline.
In October 2014 the remaining seven units along with the remaining SD40 units were scrapped at Sell & Parker's yard in Wedgefield, WA.
Images covering some of this can be found here.
Technical information of the AC6000CW units:
|Built||Jan / Feb 1999|
|Length||76 ft / 23.165 m|
|Height||15 ft 2 in / 4.623 m|
|Mass||436,600 lbs / 198 tonnes|
|Engine||GE 7HDL-16A / GEVO-16|
|Traction motors||GE 5GEB13|
|Power||4476 kW / 6000 HP|
|Tractive effort||Starting: 200,000 ft/lbs / 890 kN|
|Continuous: 166,000 ft/lbs / 738 kN @ 19.2kph|