BHP Iron Ore Road

C36-7M or Dash 7 Siding

Dash 8 AC6000 SD40 SD70ACe Rolling Stock
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 then new blue BHP livery.
Here is a status table of the locomotives involved:

ModelNumberRebuilderBuilders / SerialDateLiveryNameLiveryDateSerialBuilderNumberModel
C36-7M5506Goninan WA4839-01/87-0711987BHP Blue**Mt Goldsworthy - To AK WA MNM Orange1968G-6012-4AE Goodwin5455C636
C36-7M5507Goninan WA4839-03/87-0721987BHP Blue**Nimingarra - To Pilbara Rail 5051 MNM Orange1969G-6035-2AE Goodwin5461C636
C36-7M5508Goninan WA4839-04/87-0731987BHP BlueFortescue - To Pilbara Rail 5052 MNM Orange1970G-6041-2AE Goodwin5466C636
C36-7M5509Goninan WA4839-05/87-0741987BHP BlueChichester - To UG WA then NSW 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 - To AK WA MNM Orange1970G-6035-4AE Goodwin5463C636
C36-7M5512Goninan WA4839-01/88-0771988BHP BlueHesta - To AK WA MNM Orange1970G-6041-1AE Goodwin5465C636
C36-7M5513Goninan WA4839-02/88-0781988BHP BlueKalgan - To UG WA MNM Orange1968G-6012-2AE Goodwin5453C636

**Note: Units 5506 and 5507 carried several names, in 1991 the two original names were transposed following repainting, then other changes took place. When delivered 5506 carried Mt Whaleback and 5507 carried Ethel Creek. Then 5506 emerged in BHP livery carrying Ethel Creek, then later was changed to Mt Goldsworthy and 5640 then carried Ethel Creek. 5507 once wearing BHP livery carried Mt Whaleback, then Corunna Downs and finally Nimingarra. 5643 went onto carry Mt Whaleback while 5639 carried Corunna Downs.
5507 has the distinction of carrying four names for BHP Iron Ore and two liveries, and was further overhauled and leased to Pilbara Rail at 5051 and was used as a yard/dumper shunt loco in striking Pilbara Rail livery operating out of Dampier with sister loco 5508 overhauled at 5052.
5606, 5607 and 5510 all carried Goldsworthy Joint Venture lettering on the white band below BHP Iron Ore on the hoods, while the others wore Mt Newman Joint Venture. 5508 also carried the marigold and teal version of the BHP stylised Australia symbol.

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 single 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 6000 HP 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 late 2002 at Goninan's in Bassendean, Perth. And were sold to Pilbara Rail (Hamersley Iron) for use 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.
The two units were road transported to Dampier ~January 2003 and survived in shunt service until withdrawn in ~2009. The two units are still stored at Seven Mile yard.
Unit 5509 was subsequently cut down in September 2003 and then sent to United Goninan's Lansdowne NSW facility for use as an engine test bed, then later to Broadmeadow. In Nov 2017 it was placed up for auction via Grays Online for $5,000, but didn't receive any bids.
To see the Dash 7 loco details on Locopage click C36-7M Class.
Jim Bisdee photo Jim Bisdee photo

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.
5513 Hardie 5513 Hardie 5507 Goldsworthy 5507 Goldsworthy 5507 Goldsworthy 5513 Goldsworthy thumb 5510 Nelson Point

Photos of CM40-8M units displacing the C36-7M.

5513 Hardie 5669 Hardie 5513 Hardie

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.
5509 Nelson Point 5509 Nelson Point 5508 Nelson Point 5508 Nelson Point

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