Below the rocky surface of this remote location lies a vast deposit of iron ore, a valuable resource that is being excavated from eleven mines, loaded onto rail cars, and transported to two separate shipping ports hundreds of miles away. In addition, the ore must travel to those ports on railways constantly degrading under the massive weight of trains about two kilometers and 230 cars long.
Rio Tinto's Iron Ore Heavy Haul Railway is largest privately owned rail structure in Australia and one of the largest heavy-tonnage railways in the world.
On its more than 1,400 kilometers of track, Rio Tinto transports ore from its mines at Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Brockman, Hope Downs, West Angeles, Robe Valley, Yandicoogina and Marandoo to ports at Dampier and Cape Lambert.
Rail maintenance was only part of Rio Tinto's overall plan for the railway system. The company needed a partner to continually address its needs for additional track, and provide oversight for the array of Rio Tinto's machinery used to build and maintain the railway.