AutoHaul expanded on Rio Tinto’s Pilbara network

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The driverless operation now extends 166 km to the Gudai-Darri mine.

HITACHI Rail has completed the commissioning of the AutoHaul automated operating system on a 166km extension of Rio Tinto’s heavy haul network in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

AutoHaul is now in service on the connection to a new iron ore mine at Gudai-Darri, bringing the length of the journey operated remotely from an operating center in Perth to 1866km, without drivers needing to be present on board the 220 locomotives of the network.

Rio Tinto completed the transition to fully automated operation of its Pilabara network with AutoHaul in June 2019, becoming the first heavy-haul railroad in the world to operate an automated network.

As Technical Development Lead for AutoHaul, Hitachi Rail provided systems and software for the Gudai-Darri project.

This included on-board and control center technology, trackside equipment, radio base stations and Automatic Train Operation (ATO) interface software for locomotive control, crossing safety and location tracking.

All systems and software are now operational after the first production test and successful commissioning of the system.

According to Hitachi Rail, the Gudai-Darri Mine Loop features high-performance automated train loading under AutoHaul control for the first time.

“The Gudai-Darri AutoHaul network expansion project is a natural extension of Hitachi Rail’s long-term collaboration to provide innovative rail transport solutions to Rio Tinto,” said Ms. Roslyn Stuart, Senior Manager, Australia, at Hitachi Rail.

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