Other Private Mining Locomotives

I have included all the currently operating locomotive classes, as well as many other mainline classes.I won't include many of the smaller mining (mostly underground) locomotives, to save space, as there are many of them.

Where there is no official class number, I have substituted the number of the first loco. A "#" indicates that the locomotive does not have a number.

The mining industry hauls the bulk of the tonnage carried by private railway operators in Australia, the best example of this being in the Pilbara. However, railways are used by other mining companies as well, for smaller operations. Railways have the obvious advantage that they are best for hauling large amounts of bulk products such as mineral ores.

Blue Circle RioTinto Aluminium (Comalco) Emu Bay Railway
Hamersley Iron - Pilbara Rail Mount Isa Mines Robe River - Pilbara Rail
SECV Silverton Tramway Sulphide Corp
Fortescue Metals Group

Blue Circle

Blue Circle (part of Southern Portland Cement) operated a short railway in the Southern Highlands of NSW, in relation to its cement-making operations. Southern Portland Cement is in turn partly owned by BHP.
The railway system comprised a branch line at Marulan South and another at Berrima, both linking onto the the  Main Southern Railway Line. It was used to convey limestone and coal to the cement making plant at Berrima

RioTinto Aluminium (Comalco)

Comalco is Australia's largest producer of bauxite, and its railway is at Weipa, the world's largest deposit of bauxite. Although there is only around 20 km of track, the small Comalco fleet carries around 10 megatonnes of bauxite a year from the mine to the port, where it is shipped to the refinery at Gladstone.

Emu Bay Railway

The Emu Bay Railway (a former Pasminco subsidiary) runs a 145 km network in Tasmania from Burnie to the company's mines at Rosebery and Melba siding. In 1998, EBR was purchased by Australian Transport Network, and then merged with their TasRail company. It is now their Melba Branch.

For information on Emu Bay locomotives, please visit RailTasmania.

Fortescue Metals Group

Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) is the latest rail operator in the Pilbara iron-ore mining area.  Coote bought some second-hand locos from the other Pilbara operators for construction work; then FMG bought some Dash-9's for the iron ore haulage.
FMG have been trying to gain access to BHP's and RioTinto's networks in court battles.
The Dash-9's and DR8401-8405 (the latter belonging to Coote) are in FMG's livery.

Hamersley Iron

Hamersley Iron (a RioTinto subsidiary) are the second of the "big two" iron ore producers in the Pilbara. They were the second to begin operation, starting up in 1966. HI operate from Dampier to their mines at Tom Price, Paraburdoo, Marandoo, Brockman, and Yandicoogina. Currently, they haul around 57 megatonnes of iron ore per year, over some 540 km.  Rio Tinto / Pilbara Rail now have more than 120 locos.
Rio Tinto have taken over North Ltd, the parent of Robe River. As a result, the Hamersley and Robe River rail networks have been combined, and are now known as Pilbara Rail.
The 81 class are in RioTinto livery.

Mount Isa Mines

Mount Isa Mines is one of the country's main copper/lead/silver/zinc producers, and has historically been based at Mount Isa, although MIM has expanded to other areas.
However, their last two locomotives were recently put up for auction, ending their operations at the city. QR will apparently now be taking over.

Robe River

Robe River (formerly a subsidiary of North Ltd) was the last of the four companies to begin iron ore mining in the Pilbara; their operations didn't start until 1972. They have around around 200 km of track, from their Pannawonica and Deepdale mines to the port at Cape Wickham; and carry around 27 megatonnes of iron ore per year. They are also building a line to their new West Angelas mine; however, with takeover by Rio Tinto, the ore from this mine will run along Hamersley Iron's current line. HI's and Robe River's rail networks are now known as Pilbara Rail. I will list future loco purchases under Hamersley Iron.


The SECV's railway network began operation in 1927, originally being used for transporting brown coal out of it's Yallourn mine (this railway closed in 1984), and then working on the Interconnecting Railway between Yallourn and Morwell. This rather unique railway had a 900 mm gauge, and over time, built up a fleet of 42 electric locos. When Cooks Constructions took over operation of the line in 1993, these were replaced by ex-QR diesel-hydraulic locos, while the line itself saw a much lower usage.
In turn, Cooks have lost the contract, and EnergyBrix (who operate the Morwell briquette plant) have taken over. They introduced the P class.
Now, the ICR has been closed due to expansion of the mine. As a result, coal traffic goes by road.

Sulphide Corp

Sulphide Corp is a subsidiary of Pasminco and processes the latter's ore at it's Cockle Creek (Newcastle) plant. The ore is railed in from their Elura mine near Cobar. However, rail operations have now ceased at the Cockle Creek plant.

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