Ansaldo STS wins Rio Tinto signalling contract in Australia

11 September 2012 (Last Updated September 11th, 2012 18:30)

Ansaldo STS Australia has won a new €65.1m contract to deliver signalling, communications and transmission systems for Rio Tinto's heavy haul Rail Capacity Enhancement Project 353 (RCE353) for its Pilbara operations in Western Australia.

Pilbara region

Ansaldo STS Australia has won a new €65.1m contract to deliver signalling, communications and transmission systems for Rio Tinto's heavy haul Rail Capacity Enhancement Project 353 (RCE353) for its Pilbara operations in Western Australia.

RCE353 involves doubling the 70km single track line from Emu siding to the port at Cape Lambert, allowing Rio Tinto to increase its overall Pilbara network capacity to 353 million tonnes of iron-ore in 2015.

The signalling contract is part of a series of Rio Tinto heavy haul rail projects awarded under the framework agreement signed between Ansaldo STS and Rio Tinto in 2010.

In July 2012, Rio Tinto awarded a A$317m ($326.8m) contract to Ansaldo STS Australia to develop and deliver an automated train management system for its iron ore rail network in Western Australia's Pilbara region.

"The signalling contract is part of a series of Rio Tinto heavy haul rail projects awarded under the framework agreement signed between Ansaldo STS and Rio Tinto in 2010."

Rio Tinto operates 41 trains from mines to ports, comprising 148 locomotives and 9,400 iron ore cars, and the automated system will allow the company to increase production in Pilbara without investing in additional trains.

Under the July deal, the company will develop a modular signalling system to include a central safety server to manage train movements and onboard driving modules for the locomotives to enable fully automatic operation.

The project will also feature the complete reuse of wayside infrastructure, while minimising disruption to train operations during deployment.

Rio Tinto's automated train system is expected to be completed in 2015, and is intended to improve the flexibility and capacity of Rio Tinto Iron Ore's mining rail network.


Image: Ansaldo will provide signalling, communications and transmission systems for Rio Tinto's heavy haul RCE353 project. Photo: courtesy of Christian Sprogoe / Copyright 2010 Rio Tinto.