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The World of Heavy Haul Railways

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Outside the political blocks (USA, China, Russia)
there are wery few mine railways as are interesting for a mountain country


The Northern Hemisphere

1): LAPLAND in Sweden and Norway probably have the best model for Peru.
The railway line for transport of iron ore runs between the iron mine in Kiruna and the ports of Narvik in Norway and Luleå in the bottom of the Gulf of Bothnia - crossing the polar circle.
Those trains have a gross weight until 8.660 tons, inclusive the locomotive and are the heaviest in Europa.
The rails resist 16.5 tons each wheel. They use the special SA3 coupler. They are fed electrically by 15 kV 16 2/3 Hz. (as is a mechanical reduction of 50Hz).
Sweden and Norway employ normal gauge of 1.435 mm
General cargo trains in Sweden don't weight more than 3.500 tons - limited by their buffers and couplers.

Klaus Lynge
EUR ING
The trains for iron ore are hauled by the electrical locomotive "IORE 101/102":
Length 45,8 m (2 x 22,9m) - weight 360 tones (24 wheels)
Maximum power 10,800 kW
Maximum haul 1200 kN (120 tons)
Maximum speed 80 km/h
The same rails too are trafficed by passenger trains, but with a speed until 135 km/h
Note:   Trains for heavy haul in general are working on plane areas, buy these trains of Narvik are passing a mountain range, uphill are 10‰ (1%) in loaded train direction.
Note2:   Flåmsbana in Norway is a mountain railway line for passengers where 80% of the line holds 5,5% declination.

2): FINLAND together with RUSSIA
The most heavy trains in Finland weights nearly 5.400 tons and are transporting y iron mineral in ‘pellets' from the process plant of Kostomuksha, Rusia. From Kostomuksha they go to Oulu, Finland as units of 60 wagons as measure nearly 880 metres in length. In Finland this trains are hauled by two electric locomotives of the Sr2 class at 25 kV 50 Hz AC while in Russia the locomotives are of diesel - double 2TE116 class.
Because of the restrictions along the line between Oulu and the port of Kokkola (200km against south), the trains are reduced to 30-40 wagons from Oulu.
In general this stretch is operated by electrical locomotives of class Sr1 on the rest of the way. The trains use exclusively Russian rolling stock and are equipped with SA3 couplers.   Finland was separated from the Russian Empire 1917 - and its gauge of 1524mm (=5 pies) is a heritage from Russia
The port of Kokkola (Finnish language ) = Karleby (Swedish language) - is placed 200km south of Luleå in Sweden. (the Kiruna ore railway) - and Oulu between the two, against east in the third corner of a 200km triangle.

3): LABRADOR in CANADA
Trains for bulk in general are limited to 3km of length and up to 20,700 gross tons, but the trains for iron in Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway keep until 30,000 tons. This railway line of 414km is operated by the 'Iron Ore group of Canada' = IOC, as is a consortium between 'Rio Tinto', Mitsubishi and the 'Labrador Iron Ore Royalty Corporation'.
They use the normal gauge of 1.435mm and haul with diesel locomotives.
The railway line is feeding the exportation port of Sept-Iles at the southern coast, at the mouth of St.Lawrence River.

Note: After terminated the mine activity, 200km of the railway line today are transferred as property of the original people (First Nations People), and is operated by themselves.

cut for A4 paper  
Second A4 page - the best mine Railways of the World

The World of Heavy Haul Railways


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IORE - the locomototive most powerful in the World is electric


The Southern Hemisphere

- the South hold more friendly climatic conditions -

4): BRAZIL
The railway line of Carajás hold 892km in length and connect the Worlds biggest open pit iron mine: 'Mineradora Vale' in south east of the state Pará, with the private port ‘Ponta da Madeira' in São Luís, the state of Maranhão. This port receives mineral bulkers of 23 metre depths.
In total 120 millions of tons mineral and 350,000 passengers is travelling each year.
Around 35 different types of trains circulate simultaneously on the railroads, inclusive the longest trains in regular function - as typically are trains of 330 wagons, each train of 3km length.
Broad gauge of 1.600mm. Operated by diesel locomotives.

5): SOUTH AFRICA
The railway line of Sishen–Saldanha goes to the port of Saldanha Bay in West Cape, and hold 860km of extension. Trains of 41,400 tons - 3.875 metres length = 342 wagons with 100 tons of mineral each one. Hauled by 9 locomotives distributed along the train. Their power are controlled remotely.
The line is fed electrically by 50kV AC. Narrow gauge of 1,067mm (3 ft 6 in). Speed 80 km/h.

6): WEST AUSTRALIA
In the Pilbara Region of West Australia, there are 5 mineral ports along a coast of 200km: Dampier, Anketell, Herb Elliot, Hedland, Cape Lambert.
Those ports are feeded by four railways for heavy transport:
Fortescue Railway of 280 km hold the STRONGEST rails of the world, as endure 20 ts from each wheel = 40 tons at each axle. Too there is Goldsworthy Railway of 208km, ‘Hamersley y Robe River' Railway of 1300km and Monte Newman Railway at 426km. Standard gauge is 1435mm. All trains are operated by diesel.
Today - March 2022 - the Fortescue mine has decided to construct their next railway working only by batteries using, the gravvitation force to recharge. Without additional power, they have declared. We look foreward to hear about how they will come off.
In West Australia they too have 'Road Trains' = Trucks hauling up to 4 trailers.

Klaus Lynge
EUR ING

7): PERU
Toquepala-Cuajone-Ilo railway = 240 km. The last mountain railway constructed in Peru - 50 years ago.
Belong to the company Southern Copper Corporation, owner of the mines, and is operated by diesel locomotives.
Peru use 'Normal gauge' of 1435mm - and their national electric grid hold 60Hz
Remarkable is a tunnel of 15km length. A port in Ilo don't exist. The jetty for mineral in Ilo is not specially impressive.

8): PERU-CHILE
Just south of Peru near the border Peru-Chile exists a 200km mountain railway: Arica-La Paz, as over 50 kilometers is climbing 6%. There is no actual information available of operation nor of its function. We only know that it exists, and that the climbing earlier was supported by a 'rack and pinion' system.
Actually there are indications, that Chile and Bolivia will reactivate this railroad


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Diesel locomototives seems very powerfull and frecuently they work 'hand in hand' hauling long and heavy trains
- but they are not able neither to GENERATE nor REGENERATE energy -


Pusac site - revised May 2022