View Full Version : Bored? Really bored? Count the ore trucks, see if you can keep accurate count ..

22nd Sep 2016, 16:01
See how many different numbers you can come up with, when you try to count the iron ore trucks passing at the rail crossing! :)

Pilbara iron ore train counting challenge stumps the internet (http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/pilbara-iron-ore-train-counting-challenge-stumps-the-internet-20160906-gr9zle.html)

Sue VÍtements
22nd Sep 2016, 18:47
I saw 234 of them

22nd Sep 2016, 20:21
This is a shot taken at Dampier, WA. The trucks on the right are being led into an unloader that rotates the trucks, two at a time, to unload them and the others are waiting to return to the mines.

http://i229.photobucket.com/albums/ee224/fareastdriver/DSCF0113.jpg (http://s229.photobucket.com/user/fareastdriver/media/DSCF0113.jpg.html)

22nd Sep 2016, 20:28
I kept falling asleep....

Midland 331
22nd Sep 2016, 20:57
After a night of generous refreshment, we wobbled back to a mate's house where he proceeded to put on a DVD of "The Driver's Eye View of The Piccadilly Line."

(zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz - all of us, in around 5 minutes flat)

23rd Sep 2016, 01:28
Fareastdriver, that unloader would be the tippler - not the drinking variety, but the iron ore variety.

A rather good aviators view of the Mt Newman railroad and operations in the link below. In three parts, the video quality is unfortunately not anywhere near as good as it should be - but the viewing and the information is very good.
I trust the airborne people had low-flying permission, because they are very low at times.

As regards the ore-truck counting, I got 236. Each consist is supposed to be 240 cars, but I guess there's likely to be variations if the crew find a fault in one or more ore trucks and it/they has/have to be taken out for maintenance.


23rd Sep 2016, 03:48
R1jr has lived in the Pilbara for the past few years - it's like Mars with a breathable atmosphere. Her partner works for one of the mining railroads. They get paid a lot of money to stay there ... visited them for Christmas one year, and it actually dropped to 39C one day ...

23rd Sep 2016, 05:32
Isn't that the same as flying for Emirates?

23rd Sep 2016, 05:42
I saw 234 of them

I made it 236 ?

I forgot to close the door and was fearful of distraction, reminded me of counting the dots, or dashes, of the Consol transmission. One would laboriously get to around 45, and the On Course signal would be starting to merge them into a single tone before the dashes, or dots, began to be heard again, then the door would crash open and a voice would shout " Anyone want a cup of tea ?" Oh! for fcuks sake - one, two, three, four ......

24th Sep 2016, 10:11
When I worked in Karratha, near Dampier, another ore loading port, apparently the mines were so short that if you had two arms and legs you had a job.

Takan Inchovit
24th Sep 2016, 10:23
Flew into Hamersley Station some years ago and saw a few trains go past while I was there. I was thinking, TF I dont have to drive outa here. The ground there was mostly iron ore and boy it got hot.

tony draper
24th Sep 2016, 11:19
Th chap seems to like the place.:E
oops!! sorry wrong link.

24th Sep 2016, 11:28
Yep, Takan.
In areas where the ground is covered in gibber stone, it'll literally melt the soles of your Blundstones.

24th Sep 2016, 15:07
No-one picked up on the age of the Mt Newman Mining Railroad films? They are talking about the coming age of digital controls - the computer screen is a tiny B&W - and I'm sure the operator is inputting MS-DOS.

At the end it says, "into the 1990's". So, I'm hazarding a guess the movies were made around 1988-89. All those locos in the videos are long gone, replaced by even bigger, and even more high-tech, driverless trains!

Even a lot of the mining operations are now driverless - all computer-and-sensor-controlled, and overseen from far, far away - usually Perth.
The digital computerisation, and elimination of much on-site labour, on mining and railroads in the North West of W.A., is nearly complete.

The only people needed now are maintenance people - and with so much equipment today, it's usually just a case of, "connect the laptop, identify the fault, replace the entire component" - so, even their job has got a lot easier.

Mr Absolom's interesting film was also produced in 1987! The differences in those scenes and storylines, and todays scenes and storylines, are quite substantial.
For example, Wittenoom has ceased to exist - only 3 dogged people remain there, against the wishes of the Govt - and it has been "wiped off the map" in every reference, within any authority.

Virtually every item of equipment that Jack Absolom showed off, has been replaced with vastly bigger and better items of equipment. Not only are the locos bigger, the trains are longer, and they carry much more again.
In addition, the entire NW Shelf of Western Australia is now one of the biggest natural gas suppliers in the world, with the worlds biggest gas train (one of several in the NW) just completed, at a cost of AUD$75B.
The natural gas reserves of the NW Shelf are the second largest in the world, just behind Qatar. These gas reserves are reputed to be able to supply most of Asia's gas needs for around 200 years.

24th Sep 2016, 17:24
I found the video about Pilbara fascinating.

tony draper
24th Sep 2016, 17:46
There is a whole series of them on youtube Mr G-CPTN,various topics mostly the outback,I enjoyed em even if they are dated.:)

Pappa Smurf
25th Sep 2016, 00:58
Spent 33 years in the Pilbara.
Don't realise how good it was until you have left.

25th Sep 2016, 07:44
Red Dog (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0803061/?ref_=nv_sr_1)

Its a film so its fiction (although based on a true story) but if you get a chance to see it do so. The depiction of the Pilbara and the people who work there is spot on.

25th Sep 2016, 13:04
Jack Absoloms film shows Millstream as it was in 1987, with a substantial number of the introduced date palms.
However, the date palms are nearly all gone now - they were deemed an invasive species that caused additional fire problems, and which competed adversely with native species of trees.

The date palms spread right up and down the Fortescue River from the original palms planted at Millstream Station homestead. Their numbers ran into tens of thousands at their peak.
There are only 5-10% of the date palms left, and those remaining palms are slated to be removed within a few short years.

Quite a number of the mature palms were actually dug up and transported the 1650kms to Perth, where they were used to add attractiveness to new housing development areas, and shopping centres.
All the male palms located around the Millstream Station homestead were left, as they were deemed of value for shade, and for tourism and historical reasons.
However, all the female palms around the homestead were removed to prevent new seeds.

Weeding out the last of Millstream National Park's date palms (http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-05-06/weeding-out-the-last-of-millstream-national-park's-date-palms/7390546)

Yamagata ken
25th Sep 2016, 23:50
Thanks for that video Captain Draper. It brought back a lot of memories for me. In the mid 1990s I spent 18 months researching (fieldwork) and writing a report on the landscape evolution of the Hamersley Iron Province for (natch) Hamersley Iron.

It was the most rewarding project of my career as a geologist. Hamersley Iron were very supportive, and it was great to be able to order up a helicopter for a day's fieldwork if I needed to get somewhere seriously remote.

One of the pilots was a retired Qantas 747 Captain. He'd taken early retirement because he wanted to fly rather than operate an aircraft. He was exactly the sort of pilot I like. Old, grey haired and alive.

26th Sep 2016, 12:46
Just as a reminder, as to how old Jack Absoloms film, "Treasures of the Pilbara", is - Jack is 90 next year! Here he is, last Christmas, displaying one of his paintings.

Jack Absolom - Outback painter of renown (http://bdtruth.com.au/main/news/article/8020-Grab-a-poster.html)