Runaway mining train travels 90 kms sans driver

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A runaway train with no one inside which hurtled through the Western Australia Pilbara region reached speeds of more than 150km/h before it was deliberately derailed.

ATSB posted a few details of the incident, noting that the train consisted of four locomotives and 268 railcars.

The 268-wagon train began its solo journey when the driver got down to carry out inspection, and was soon moving at up to 110 km per hour. It was eventually deliberately derailed, which was operated by a control center.

A runaway BHP train filled with iron ore made headlines on Monday morning, when it derailed about 120 kilometres south of Port Hedland in WA.

The miner suspended all of its rail operations on Monday after it derailed the iron ore train, damaging 1.5 kilometres of track and crushing numerous 268 fully-laden wagons in the process. No one was injured and the incident is under investigation.

"Obviously it would have been very concerning for everyone involved - BHP and the workforce, and the people of Port Hedland - that a train was traveling down the track without a driver and obviously out of control", McGowan said.

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"We can not speculate on the outcome of the investigation, however we are working with the appropriate authorities and our focus remains on the safe recovery of our operations", the BHP spokeswoman said. While the driver was outside of the locomotive, the train commenced to run away. "There would have been a procedure in place to make sure the train didn't move off".

The derailment came after the train ran away at high speed for almost 100 kilometres (62 miles).

Analysts think iron ore prices could see a short-term bump as a result of this derailment, according to the news service.

Port Hedland is the world's largest iron ore exporting terminal, used by BHP as well as other miners.

With the capesize market already plagued by lacklustre Chinese demand for coal and iron ore, the BHP outage has depressed the sentiment further, according to Banchero Costa's head of research Ralph Leszczynski.

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