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Pilbara Iron Ore Rail Infrastructure

Pilbara Iron Ore Rail Infrastructure 
rail from mine to port
Office: Perth and Melbourne 
Customer: Fortescue Metals Group 
Location: Pilbara Region, Western Australia 
Timeframe: 2006-2008 


Customer Challenges

FMG was a start-up project, with an ambitious schedule for completion to ship iron-ore and generate revenue. Challenges included:

  • Demonstrating project feasibility so as to achieve financial closure and sanction project execution
  • Complex project resourcing logistics due to the remoteness and extent of the project site
  • Cyclone George causing a 3 month disruption to schedule

Project Services

This rail link is a 40 tonne axle load design standard gauge railway 256km in length from Christmas Creek Mine in the Fortescue Valley to the unloading loop at Port Hedland.

The railway capacity is 45Mtpa and includes a new unloading loop with marshaling yards and a maintenance workshop. The project includes 11 bridges between the Chichester Ranges and the Pilbara coast, as well as 20km of associated roads.


  • First major iron ore/infrastructure start-up project in a generation.
  • Built faster and at lower relative cost than any similar global project.
  • Injected over $1.5 billion into Australian economy
  • Set a new standard in the design and procurement of the heaviest axle-load rolling stock, supported by WorleyParsons in-country supervision of manufacturing in China.
  • Innovative application of a range of contracting and procurement regimes, including incentivisation, appropriately tailored for each work package.
  • Record delivery schedule, with zero industrial lost time for a construction effort involving approximately eight million on-site hours.
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