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Rolling stock manufacturer Hitachi Rail has commissioned the autonomous rail transport system for the new Gudai-Darri iron ore mine in Pilbara, Western Australia.

Under the greenfield mine development, a 166km rail spur has been constructed to link the new mine to Rio Tinto’s existing AutoHaul rail network in the region.

Hitachi Rail is the technical and delivery lead for the development of AutoHaul, which is claimed to be the first completely automated heavy-haul long-distance rail system globally.

AutoHaul allows 220 trains to operate safely across more than 1,866km of track from mines to ports. The trains are monitored remotely from an operations centre in Perth.

Hitachi Rail has delivered systems and software to link the new section of rail for Gudai-Darri.

Its deliveries include onboard and control centre technology, trackside equipment, radio base stations, and automatic train operation (ATO) interface software for locomotive control, as well as level crossing safety and location tracking.

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By GlobalData

Hitachi Rail Australia senior director Roslyn Stuart said: “The Gudai-Darri AutoHaul network expansion project is a natural extension of Hitachi Rail’s long-term collaboration to deliver innovative rail transport solutions for Rio Tinto.

“The project has seen Hitachi Rail and the Rio Tinto AutoHaul team deliver another ‘first’, with back-to-back loading (high performing automated train loading) to be introduced on the Gudai-Darri mine rail loop.”

Last month, Tågåkeriet I Bergslagen (Tågab) tapped Hitachi Rail to implement European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) digital signalling technology on its Scandinavian rail network.