Friday 27th Nov, 2020

John Holland rolls out rare rail equipment for Pilbara iron ore

John Holland has mobilised an advanced specialist railway fleet to carry out maintenance and service support across the Pilbara in Western Australia.

John Holland has mobilised an advanced specialist railway fleet to carry out maintenance and service support across the Pilbara in Western Australia.

The mass assembly of equipment involves the refurbishment and service of multi-million-dollar machinery at its Welshpool Plant Operations Centre including tampers, regulators, mobile flashbutt welders and the rarely seen new track construction machine (NTC).

John Holland Plant Operations Manager Anne Williams said there is always a buzz with rail enthusiasts when the NTC is unpacked from storage as it is only used every few years.

“It was most recently used to lay 350 kilometres of railway at Roy Hill and prior to that, it was used in the construction of the Perth to Mandurah Rail Line,” Williams said.

John Holland Plant Services has been in operating in WA for 22 years and at the current Welshpool location for 6 years. According to Williams, her local team of 26 are proud to do their bit in supporting the Australian economy.

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“John Holland own the largest privately-owned specialist railways maintenance fleet in Australia, which includes fully equipped service vehicles. We also manufacture and carry out modification of specialised rail track machines,” she said.

“It’s well known that WA’s mining industry is playing a significant role in the economy and our role is to provide this industry with much-needed infrastructure to keep it moving forward.

“Our Welshpool workshop is the base for 16 tradespeople including Plant Mechanics, Auto Electricians, Boilermakers and Apprentices who all work hard to maintain everything from a 50-tonne Tamper through to a hand drill, in addition to 10 support staff including Supervisors, Engineers and Administration roles.”

The biggest item designed and manufactured at the site is John Holland’s ballast regulators. The original design and manufacture was carried about over ten years ago and have recently been redesigned and refurbished to meet the today’s stringent safety requirements.

“When the John Holland operations team win a project whether it is in the Pilbara or on the local PTA network our remit is the same – provide safe, reliable and compliant plant to assist in the delivery of those projects,” Williams said.