An introduction and a question

Steve O'Dea



I’m a mining engineer and was taught about rail systems at uni… used them underground in a few old mines (and one new one)… was fascinated by the ABT railway on the west coast of Tasmania… and am increasingly looking at historic as well as current systems to find the most appropriate solution to a given project.  


I am currently working on a mining project in WA where we need to haul a modest amount of ore a modest distance (one and a half million tonnes per annum just under 60km of essentially flat terrain).  Naturally the standard answer to this is off highway trucks (either road trains or haul trucks) running on a dedicated haul road.


This brings me to a question on light rail; the answer to the haulage question should be “a light rail system” – specifically it should be low cost, low speed, simple (no turning – tram one way then reverse back) and efficient.  Until finding this forum I had not, however, been able to find anyone knowledgeable on this topic.  I have spoken to a couple of railway engineering companies but they can only think about traditional railways designed and engineered to last forever and costing a large fortune to construct.  Is there someone on here who can advise on a simple and inexpensive light rail system?


Rail used to be here… the foundation and ballast is still in place in many places and could potentially be utilised in the new system.


Look forward to your thoughts!!



Many thanks,


0400 848 128




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