Roy Hill Road

Roy Hill operates the most modern roster of motive power and rollingstock in the Pilbara, consisting of:

  • 28 General Electric ES44ACi Evolution Series locomotives classified RHA 1001 - 1028;
  • 1326 'CCK138' ore waggons of 70m³ capacity and 21.6t tare, designed for 45t axle loads, married pairs coded GA inc. over 130 painted pink;
  • 12 fuel tank waggons with a 96,000 litre capacity coded TA 1001-1012;
  • 10 ballast hopper waggons coded BA 1401-1410;
  • 10 side dump waggons coded SA 1601-1610;
  • 5 flat waggons coded FA 1201-1205 for carting rail; and
  • 1 ballast plough waggon coded ZP 0002.

The GE ES44ACi Evolution Series locomotives, or EVOs as they are known are rated at 3280 kilowatts or 4400 horsepower and weigh in at 196 tonnes with the same physical body shape as the units built for Rio Tinto, but with bogies, underframe and fuel tank painted black and illuminated rear number boards on back of the radiator wing.

  • RHA 1001, class leader, is named 'Ginny' after Gina Rinehart's daughter Ginia.
  • RHA 1002 is named 'Ginbata', after the Roy Hill mine site airport of the same name.
  • Eight units RHA 1007 - RHA 1014 delivered 29th Jan - 1st Feb 2015 via the vessel Ocean Charger.
  • Six units RHA 1001 - RHA 1006 delivered 4-6th Feb 2015 via the vessel Drago J.
  • Build date of the first fourteen units is November 2014, serial no: 62573 to 62586.
  • Four units RHA 1015 - RHA 1018 with September 2015 build dates and serial no: 63826 to 63829, were delivered on the 30-31st December 2015 via the vessel BBC Houston.
  • And the final three units RHA 1019 - RHA 1021 serial no: 64300 to 64302 were delivered in April 2016.

In May 2018 after reaching 55 Mtpa milestone a further five locomotives were named;

  • RHA 1005 named 'China Steel Corporation', after minority owners and ore customer.
  • RHA 1007 named 'Barry', after Barry Fitzgerald, CEO of Roy Hill Holdings.
  • RHA 1009 named 'POSCO', after minority owner and ore customer.
  • RHA 1012 named 'Tad', after Tadeusz Watroba, Executive Director, Hancock Prospecting and Roy Hill Holdings.
  • RHA 1013 named 'Marubeni', after minority owner.

In September 2018 a further five ES44ACi locomotives (RHA 1022 - 1026, serials 64739-64743) were delivered in a striking pink livery in support of breast cancer via the vessel BBC Virginia, these five units were also the first export units built at General Electric's Fort Worth, Texas plant.

In October 2020 a single ES44ACi locomotive RHA 1027 serial 66295 was completed by Wabtec at Fort Worth Texas and shipped out of the plant on the 13th November 2020. It was delivered to Port Hedland on the 29th March 2021 off the vessel BBC Olympus.

In January 2022 a single ES44ACi locomotive RHA 1028 serial number 66307 was built by Wabtec at Fort Worth Texas in November 2021 and shipped out of Houston on the 23rd November 2021 by the vessel Calypso. It was delivered to Port Hedland on the 9th January 2022 and haul by road to Roy Hill's welding yard by Tutt Bryant on the 12th January 2022.

All rollingstock has been supplied by China Southern Rail or CRRC Yangtze Co. Ltd, from the Zhuzhou works in China. The ore waggons being designated as CCK138 model, operate in married pairs, or slave/control configuration with F type couplers and drawbars between the pair riding on Amsted Super Service Ride Master bogies. These and all the other waggons are using NYAB overlay ECP and the Knorr-Bremse tension spring park brakes.

Current operations involve train lengths of 2700 metres and consist of three locomotives and 232 married pair ore waggons with the consists operating with two ES44ACi unit hauling 116 waggons then another ES44ACi unit mid-train with a further 116 waggons. These loaded trains are banked by another pair of ES44ACi locomotives out of the Roy Hill mine (339 km) to the 307.9 km grade crossing.

Empty trains are usually timed to depart Tad Yard after a loaded has arrived and then planned to cross an opposing loaded train usually at Marubeni Loop located south of the Yule River approx. 152 km south of Port Hedland.

The railway has a total mainline length of some 346 km with the rail being supplied by Nippon Steel Japan from both the Yawata Mill and the Sumitomo Metal Corp mill, with the concrete sleepers manufactured by the Italian-Thai Development Corporation Limited (ITD) at the Italian-Thai Industrial Complex 'C Compound', located at Wihan Daeng in Saraburi Province in Thailand. Images of the sleepers and rail can been seen at right.
The line 'starts' at the 0 km, being the car dumper at the port, with empty trains ending up at the -4.80 km on departure from the dumper balloon loop and then ends at the departure end of the loadout balloon loop, with the train loader at the mine located at roughly the 343 km.
Tad Yard is the marshalling service area for all rollingstock and motive power and located at the 8-13 km area and is of a triple track configuration about 4.5 km in length with the workshops, wheel lathe and fuelling facilities located to the immediate west of the marshalling yard.
The original construction rail welding yard is still in situ at the 21-23.5 km and is the home of the rail tester, track machines, ballast waggons etc. when not required down track.
They also have the following track machines;

  • Ensco Rail track inspection vehicle - ZM 0001
  • Matisa B66UC universal tamping machine - ZT 0003
  • and a Matisa R21 ballast regulator ZR 0004
Single ended ballast sidings are located at the:
  • Ballast siding A 44 km, points north; and
  • Ballast siding B 188 km, points south.

Single ended refuge spurs are located at the:

  • Refuge A 121 km, points south;
  • Refuge B 264 km, points south; and
  • Refuge C 315 km, points south.

The four passing sidings or loops are approximately 3200 metres in length are located at;

  • HPPL 75-79 km with a deal end backtrack off the north end of loop road;
  • Marubeni 152-159 km with a dead end backtrack off the north end of loop road;
  • POSCO 228-231 km with a dead end backtrack off the north end of loop road; and
  • CSC Taiwan 290-293 km with a load backtrack at the north end of loop road.

Train Control is located in Perth and currently verbal train orders are issued over a digital TETRA radio network, with the system being very close to changing over to the Ansaldo cab based signalling system with moving block and is the first in the world that has specified a satellite-based train control system with a SIL4 (Safety Integrity Level 4) train localisation function at system level for train control.

For more information, photos and a schematic drawing / map of their system, click here for the Roy Hill website.

Click on image for pop up.

RHA 1026 RHA 1022 RHA 1022 RHA 1023 Track segment Track segment CD 4302 fuel RHA 1018 fuel Test Siding A Test Siding A CM40-8M Siding A CD4305 CD4305 CD4305 CD4305 CD4301 CD4301 CD4301 CD4302 CD4302 TA 1008 fuel RHA 1019 fuel RHA 1019 fuel RHA 1004 mid-train RHA 1006 mt train RHA 1006 mt train RHA 1016 RHA 1016 RHA units RHA units RHA 1001 waggons T 387 T 387 GA 2231 GA 2080 RHA 1017 RHA 1018 RHA 1007 RHA 1014 RHA 1014 RHA 1010 RHA 1010 RHA 1011 RHA 1011 RHA 1011 RHA 1013 RHA 1013 RHA 1013
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