Round Australia Road Trip #11
The Pilbara region of Western Australia covers an area of more than 500 000 square kilometres. Its wealth of mineral riches includes vast deposits of iron ore, mined at Newman and Tom Price. The ore is transported to Port Hedland, where the deep natural harbour caters for the bulk tankers which export it to China and Japan.
The ore is transported from the mines to Port Hedland by road trains towing three trailers, up to 53 metres in total length
and by rail. The iron ore trains in Port Hedland are the longest trains in the world.
We timed our visit to the Redbank Bridge Lookout perfectly. A fully loaded train was approaching and the driver gave us a friendly wave and blew the horn as he passed under the bridge. I counted two engines at the front, followed by 137 cars, two more engines and another 135 cars. It took 15 minutes from beginning to end. This train might be the longest in the world but it wasn’t the fastest!