Ansaldo STS Australia has been awarded two contracts worth A$362 million under the Rio Tinto Iron Ore – Ansaldo STS Framework Agreement (RAFA) established in 2010.


The first contract worth A$ 317.5 million is for the development and delivery of an automated train management system for Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s 1,500km heavy-haul iron ore rail network in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.


The automated heavy haul railway, to be completed in 2015, will be the first of its kind in the world and will significantly enhance Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s mining rail network.


The highly-specialised modular signalling solution developed and to be implemented by Ansaldo STS includes the introduction of a centralised Vital Safety Server for the safe and flexible management of train movements and an on-board driving module which enables the complete automation of the trains’ operation.


The second contract, worth A$ 44.7 million, involves the delivery of the next in a series of staged upgrades for capacity and efficiency enhancements to Rio Tinto Iron Ore’s long-distance heavy-haul rail network.


Under the new contract Ansaldo STS will complete upgrades to Rio Tinto’s locomotive control systems so that the network can support the introduction of Electronically Controlled Pneumatic (ECP) braking. Ansaldo STS will then complete the installation and system integration of the ECP braking on Rio Tinto’s heavy-haul rail fleet.


The introduction of ECP braking will significantly reduce delays of Rio Tinto’s iron ore trains as they travel continuously from mine to port along the 1,500km remote heavyhaul rail line.


The contracts are the latest in a series of Rio Tinto Iron Ore heavy-haul rail projects awarded to Ansaldo STS Australia under RAFA. Under the Agreement, Ansaldo STS is to deliver a program of works over five years, to support Rio Tinto’s major expansion and operational efficiency projects in the Pilbara.


Ansaldo STS Australia has been designing and delivering signalling and communications solutions for heavy haul mining railways for more than 15 years. The company employs 700 people across Australia and has offices in Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney, Perth and Karratha.