BHP Iron Ore Road

SD40R / SD40-2 Siding

Dash 8 AC6000 SD40 SD70ACe Rolling Stock

A few years ago BHP Billiton faced a motive power shortage due to an increase in global demand for iron ore, and with new locomotives at least 2 years away a decision was made to purchase some second hand SD40 type locomotives off GETS (GE Transportation Systems). Most of the units were re-conditioned prior to shipping.

So on the 9th of November 2003, ex GECX SD40R loco 6415 arrived at Nelson Point, off the heavy lift ship BBC FRISIA from Mexico. After some initial quarantine issues, the unit was lowered onto BHPBilliton rails out the front of the Locomotive Overhaul Workshop late that same afternoon. The other locos in that shipment where SD40R GECX 6401 and ex-Southern Pacific 8335, a tunnel motor SD40T-2. This SP unit is only for spares and has since been all but been gutted.

The second batch arrived over the New Year on the sister ship BBC CHINA. On it among others where SD40R 6407 in GECX blue and yellow, and SD40-2 3500 in khaki undercoat colour, one of the re-con units.

All the above locos had to be re-numbered before issue to traffic, and were so numbered from 3078 upwards to 3085.

On the 8th of June, 2004 loco 3086 was unloaded, and was the first of the rebuild units to sport the bubble paint colour scheme. Over the 8th and 9th locos 3087, 3088, 3089,3090 and 3091 were delivered to site.

On the 6th of August, 2004 the final shipment of 6 SD40R locos arrived via the ship BBC SEALAND numbered 3092 to 3097 and all are in the bubble paint livery. After some testing 3095 and 3096 worked a return working to Yandi and back as the midtrain units behind 5636 on the 9th and 10th of August, 2004. 3094 and 3097 were also inservice a day later.

With the arrival of the second hand SD40 locomotives from GETS it allowed BHP Billiton to increase the operation to 12 departures a day from the Port. It has also seen BHP Billitons locomotive fleet swell in size to 56 units, plus 1 spare parts unit, the SD40T-2. The units see mainline action as 'trailing units' only and cannot be a leading remote as they have no Locotrol, air conditioning or other crew comforts, and no ATP fitted. They can't even lead a work train. They are commonly seen marshalled behind an AC6000 or SD70ACe, or a pair of them behind a Dash 8.

Four of the SD40R locos; 3078, 3079, 3080 and 3091 have all had Daiken split air-conditioners and microwave ovens fitted, along with radios to enable them to be used in Nelson Point Yard as pilot engines, shunting the rakes into the dumpers and runing the compressor cars around the yard. 3096 has had similer treatment but copped an air-conditioner in the RHS of it's nose. Ten SD40R's are also being fitted with ATP to allow them to lead trains between Nelson Point to Bing and around to Finucane Island. At present 3 have been fitted out.

Here is some information relating to the history of these units.

ModelNumberSerial / Frame - Road noLivery
SD40307831503 / 7861-13 - SP8422 7302 GECX6401IC&E Blue / Yellow
SD40307931542 / 7861-52 - SP8461 7308 GECX6415IC&E Blue / Yellow
SD40308033674 / 7083-4 - SP8482 7377 GECX6407IC&E Blue / Yellow
SD40-23081786170-75 - UP3573 3573Undercoat
SD40-23082786263-31 - UP3639 3639Undercoat
SD40-23083786170-2 - UP3500 3500Undercoat
SD40-23084786263-35 - UP3643 3643Undercoat
SD40-23085786170-25 - UP3523 3523Undercoat
SD40R308631491 / 7861-1 - SP8410 SP7354Bubble
SD40R308731519 / 7861-29 - SP8438 SP7321Bubble
SD40R308831513 / 7861-23 - SP8432 SP7312Bubble
SD40R308931512 / 7861-22 - SP8431 SP7331Bubble
SD40R309033680 / 7083-10 - SP8488 SP7374Bubble
SD40R309131496 / 7861-6 - SP8415 SP7322Bubble
SD40R309231498 / 7861-8 - SP8417 SP7334Bubble
SD40R309333679 / 7083-9 - SP8487 SP7349Bubble
SD40R309431515 / 7861-25 - SP8434 SP7306Bubble
SD40R309533677 / 7083-7 - SP8485 SP7327Bubble
SD40R309631510 / 7861-20 - SP8429 SP7309Bubble
SD40R309731569 / 7875-10 - SP8409 SP7345Bubble

The Southern Pacific rebuilds were designated SD40R.

Click on for larger image.

3080 6076 3078 CD2 3079 CD2 3080 BI-LO 3080 lathe 3087 lathe 3096 prep 5641 3094-97-96-95 5636 3095 float 3095 float 3095 3097 float 3097 float 3092 float 3093 3096 3096 3083 CD3 SD40 6415 SD40-2 3085 SD40T-2 8335 SD40T-2 8335
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