BHP Billiton run a fleet of 40 GE Dash 8 locomotives. Six units were built new (5630-5633 and 5646-5647), while the rest of the fleet are the result of rebuilding
the original Mount Newman Mining Alco C636 locomotives. Four of the 'new build' units are named after Greek gods; 5630 to 5633. With the rest of the fleet named after
Pilbara locations or ports to where iron ore is shipped.
For a full name listing check out the BHP Billiton Locomotive Roster Page.
There is a number of differences between units, different fuel tank shapes / styles, bogies, horns, to name a few.
Some of these differences, and the models have been covered in detail in Australian Model Railway Magazine, AMRM Issue 208, February 1998 and AMRM Issue 212, October 1998.
Originally 3 units were delivered 'cab-less', numbers 5663,
5665, and another view of
5665 . Instead of a cab, they had a cabinet where the Locotrol equipment was installed. These 3 units have since had cabs retrofitted. The locotrol cabinet off 5663 is down at the Pilbara Railway Historical Society's yard at Dampier.
BHP Billiton commissioned a new paint scheme which includes the new corporate logo and was designed by Steve Malpass Design, and is a mix of charcoal grey, silver and terracotta brown, Dash 8 loco 5632 was the first unit to receive the new colours. Since then a number locos have been repainted.
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