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Technology in Australia 1788-1988Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering
Table of Contents

Chapter 6

I Construction During The Settlement Years

II The Use Of Timber As A Structural Material

III Structural Steel

IV Concrete Technology

V Housing

VI Industrialised Pre-cast Concrete Housing

VII Ports And Harbours

VIII Roads

IX Heavy Foundations

X Bridges

XI Sewerage

XII Water Engineering

XIII Railways
i Factors Impeding Developments
ii Railway Sleepers
iii Rail Tracks
iv Some Interesting Railway Projects
v Tarcoola-Alice Springs Railway
vi The Conversion to Standard Gauge
vii Railways in the Pilbara
viii Railways in the Coal Fields of Queensland
ix The Melbourne Underground Railway Loop

XIV Major Buildings

XV Airports

XVI Thermal Power Stations

XVII Materials Handling

XVIII Oil Industry

XIX The Snowy Mountains Scheme

XX The Sydney Opera House

XXI The Sydney Harbour Bridge

XXII Hamersley Iron

XXIII North West Shelf

Sources and References


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Railways in the Coal Fields of Queensland

From 1967 to 1973, a number of coal mines were connected to the Central Railway from Blackwater to Gladstone. The existing track was upgraded using 53 kg/m rail and gradients improved from 2 to 1.25 per cent. At the mines, balloon loops were provided for loading. Train size was similar to the previous lines, but increasing rail size and changing operation characteristics represented a trend towards a new style of operation. 50-wagon trains hauled by three locomotives were operated, subsequently increased to 64 wagons and four locomotives to give a gross trailing load of a little over 4,000 tonnes.

A little later (from 1969 to 1976) the Goonyella system was developed. Rail used was 53 kg/m, axle-load increased to 18.5 tonnes, and 74 wagon trains gave total trailing loads of 5,250 tonnes. The total tonnage hauled on the Goonyella system is substantial, of the order of 19 million nett tonnes per annum. This led to the introduction of 'Locotrol', which remotely controls a second group of locomotives in the train by radio. Locotrol permitted doubling the size of the train without exceeding draw-gear strength. Trains of this type are 2 km long. Locotrol was so successful that it was introduced to the Blackwater operation, providing for 100-wagon trains hauled by five locomotives, with a total train length of 1.5 km. Subsequent developments in Queensland have included construction of a 225 km railway from Cobarra (near Townsville) to the Greenvale lateritic nickel ore mine, using rotary dump wagons with an axle-load of 20 tonnes.

The traditional practice which formed the initial basis of Queensland Railways' mineral lines has, from time to time, proved to be a problem. In particular, the Queensland vertical rail and cylindrical wheel standard resulted in shelling of 53 kilogram rail, since overcome by profiling the rail and wheels to canted standards. Axle-loadings have increased, but remain of the same magnitude as conventional practice. This has not, however, restricted the sizeable tonnage hauled on the Queensland coal and mineral lines.

Organisations in Australian Science at Work - Hamersley Iron

People in Bright Sparcs - Connell, J. W.

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© 1988 Print Edition page 380, Online Edition 2000
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