Header Image

My webmaster lived in Pittsburgh (Steel City), Pennsylvania for a couple of years when he was at university and recalls the routinely long freight trains which used to run right beside the Ohio River. He was also quite intrigued by a programme on the 'Quest' channel not so long ago about carrying iron ore a considerable distance from where it was mined to a sea port for export. He's been looking around on the internet at what he terms 'big rigs' and has put together this page as a result. (so blame him, not me!)


In the very late sixties the Norfolk & Western Rail Road ran a 550 car train along the Ohio River. A news photo appeared in Trains Magazine. It was a one shot. They never tried to repeat it.


usa_bnsf

Figure 1: Coal trains near the Powder River Basin area of South East Montana and North East Wyoming, USA.
For a larger image, click on the image above to zoom it. Click on the enlarged image to expand it even further, then use your browser's 'Back' button to return to the gallery.



The longest and heaviest freight train on record in the States was one about 4 miles in length (not the one in the pic to the left) consisting of 500 coal cars with three 3600 hp diesels pulling, and three more in the middle (referred to as a "consist"), travelling 157 miles from Iaegar (West Virginia) to Portsmouth (Ohio) on the Norfolk & Western Rail Road on 15th November 1967. The total weight was nearly 47,250 tons. Iaegar, incidentally, is little hamlet of about 300 souls in the south west corner of West Virginia.










From the Guiness book of railway facts and feats: The heaviest and longest train, with the largest number of wagons recorded, was run on the 3'6" gauge Sishen-Saldanha railway in South Africa on 26-27th August 1989. The train consisted of 660 wagons each loaded to 105 tons gross, a tank car and a caboose (guard's van). The train was moved by nine 50kV electric and seven diesel-electric locomotives distributed along the train. The train was 7.3km (4.5miles) long and weighed 69,393 tons, excluding locomotives! It travelled 861km (535 miles).


Longest-freight-train

Figure 2: The longest freight train in the world.





The longest train ever was 7.353 km (4.568 miles) long, and consisted of 682 ore cars pushed by 8 powerful diesel-electric locomotives. Assembled by BHP Iron Ore, the train travelled 275 km (171 miles) from the company's Newman and Yandi mines to Port Hedland, Western Australia, on 21st June 2001.





longest_truck_in_the_world

Figure 3: Longest Road Train.

A 'road train' or 'roadtrain' is a trucking concept used in remote areas of Argentina, Australia, Mexico, the United States and Canada to move freight efficiently. The term road train is most often used in Australia. In the U.S. and Canada the terms 'triples', 'turnpike doubles' and 'Rocky Mountain doubles' are commonly used for longer combination vehicles. A road train consists of a relatively conventional tractor unit but, instead of pulling one trailer or semi-trailer, a road train pulls two or more of them. On 18th February 2006, an Australian-built Mack truck with 112 semi-trailers, (1,300 tonnes and 1.47km [0.9 miles] long), pulled the load a token 100 metres (328 feet) to recapture the record for the longest road train (multiple loaded trailers) ever pulled with a single prime mover. It was on the main road of Clifton, Queensland that 70-year-old John Atkinson claimed the new record, using a tri-drive Mack Titan.



32687

Figure 4:

Other 'Big' trains were:-


Brazil
Carajás Railway Iron Ore typically 330-car trains, each 3 km long.


Australia
BHP Billiton: 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) June 2001 trial with 682 ore cars and eight distributed GE AC6000CW locomotives with a total weight of 99,734 tons.


Mauritania
Mauritania Railway: 20,000t on 4ft 8 1⁄2in gauge – iron ore


South Africa
Sishen–Saldanha railway line: 41,400t(Gross), 3,875m long, 9 locomotives in 4 sets remote distributed power management, (342 cars with 100t ore each), 3ft 6in gauge and 50 kV AC.



BNSF
This curiously stands for:- Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation.


BHP Billiton is an Anglo-Australian multinational mining, metals and petroleum company headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. It is the world's largest mining company measured by 2013 revenues. BHP Billiton was created in 2001 through the merger of the Australian Broken Hill Proprietary Company Limited (BHP) and the Anglo–Dutch Billiton plc. The UK-registered BHP Billiton Plc is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index!


BNSF Freight train

Figure 5: Almost certainly in Canada hauling container flats loaded two deep.
For a larger image, click on the image above to zoom it. Click on the enlarged image to expand it even further, then use your browser's 'Back' button to return to the gallery.

JosoBridge

Figure 6: 'Big Train' crossing the Joso High Bridge in Washington State, USA.
For a larger image, click on the image above to zoom it. Click on the enlarged image to expand it even further, then use your browser's 'Back' button to return to the gallery.

10004

Figure 7: ノーザン・オンタリオを行く貨物列車。とんでもなく長いですね。
My webmaster didn't understand this caption either! Suffice to say it's almost certainly in Canada pulling container flats loaded two deep through rocky wooded terrain.