Hamersley Iron private rail road

Submitted: Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 21:08
ThreadID: 109640 Views:3107 Replies:5 FollowUps:8
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Are you allowed to camp along the private road that runs along the rail line? I know you must get permission to travel the road, but are you allowed to stop and camp the night?
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Reply By: Michaeljp - Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 21:22

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 21:22
Also, the road from Nullagine to Running waters and Carawine gorge is it a good road or just a track?
AnswerID: 539603

Follow Up By: KJW964 - Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 22:19

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 22:19
You are not allowed to camp alongside road but if you are off the lease no one will know or dare
FollowupID: 824235

Follow Up By: KJW964 - Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 22:20

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 22:20
It's a road of sorts what are you travelling with?
FollowupID: 824236

Follow Up By: Michaeljp - Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 22:25

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 22:25
Thanks for the replies KJW, Ill be solo in a well equipped patrol and i have done plenty of solo outback travels in the past 30 years.
FollowupID: 824237

Follow Up By: Joe Fury - Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 22:29

Saturday, Sep 27, 2014 at 22:29
G'day Michaeljp

The Nullagine to Running Waters road is a well formed dirt/gravel road, it is in good condition for most of its length, the Oakover River crossing can be difficult if there is a good flow of water, otherwise it's not too challenging.

Be mindful of all the worst case scenarios if you are towing anything, especially if you intend going into Running Waters, Carawine Gorge is always spectacular but more so if you are the only one there at the time.

The river shale requires lower tyre pressures and momentum to get into the shady areas.

The Rio Tinto rail access road traverses pastoral leases as well as mining leases, if you don't draw attention to your self or your camp you won't have any issues free camping along either road.

Bare in mind day time temperatures are already well into the high thirties and the northern wet season is fast approaching and like anything weather related, it is un predictable at best.

Safe travels : Joe F
FollowupID: 824238

Follow Up By: Derek Jones - Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 12:54

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 12:54
There are a few sharpish entries into & out of often dry creek beds between Nullagine and Oakover River. The road from Oakover Cross to Carawine is bitumen with a typical dirt road off the main road into Carawine.

FollowupID: 824260

Reply By: Life Member-Doug T NSW - Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 09:14

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 09:14
I travelled it back in 2006 and stopped for a sleep about half way down to Dampier from Tom Price, I had escorted a load to Tom Price and I had to meet another truck in Dampier the next morning going to Perth, so being a Pilot Vehicle was probably OK , but it a goos excuse to see some more great country .

I was rear Pilot for this job.

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AnswerID: 539620

Reply By: Ron N - Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 14:02

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 14:02
Pilbara rail routes are on MINING LEASES owned by the mining companies. You cannot camp on a mining lease without the leaseholders written permission.

Unless you know PRECISELY that you are not on a mining lease, don't camp there.
If you're found camping on a mining lease by company personnel, you'll be moved on rapidly.

Access roads along the Pilbara iron ore rail routes are treated as WORKSITES, and worksite conditions apply.

You need to acquire an Access Road permit and undergo a short on-line training course before you are allowed to traverse rail access roads.
The permit is specific to the driver, not the vehicle. Conditions of Rail Access Road use are on your permit.

Rail Access Road can be closed within a matter of hours if weather conditions suddenly dictate a closure.
If it rains when you're camping, they close the Access Road, and you drive on that closed Access Road, you will be severely penalised.

The mining companies of today are not the old, easy-going, "she'll-be-right", operators of the 1970's and 1980's.
Todays mining companies are full of intensive, "cover-every-possibility" type of OH&S conditions, rules and regulations.
It's all driven by lawyers and accountants and people who have never driven through the outback.
Regardless, when on these MINING COMPANY LEASES, and THEIR OPERATIONAL SITES, you're obliged to meet with ALL their intensive OH&S regulations and restrictions - exactly as if you were working for them, or contracting to them.

Here is Rio Tinto's website with a clickable link at the bottom, entitled, "Complete rail access road permit training".
Click on that link and you get numerous videos and instructive pages that you MUST view and complete before being issued with a Rail Access Road pass.

So much of this info is directed at dumb, inexperienced juveniles or overseas tourists without a clue.
However, that's the way it all operates today, you have to live with it.

Rail Access Road training course
AnswerID: 539626

Follow Up By: get outmore - Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 14:49

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 14:49
"If you're found camping on a mining lease by company personnel, you'll be moved on rapidly."

LOL dont bet on it
I was working nightshift and regulary travelled between 2 mines , I spotted a family who had made an over night camp
later getting towards the end of my shift the sun was just coming up on a freezing goldfields morning and dad was up and had the fire going
i drove over and he asked me wide eyed if they were allowed to camp there

i said couldnt care less i just came over for the fire while waiting to hand the ute over to the cross shift

FollowupID: 824270

Follow Up By: pop2jocem - Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 15:51

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 15:51
Ah yes, the good ol' days. My regular run every two weeks was from Port Hedland to Wittenoom when Wittenoom was still a town and had a diesel powered power station that needed servicing.
Back in the late 60's asbestos was just a handy building material as far as a 20 year old field service man new.
The access roads between Tom Price, Paraburdoo and Dampier were my "highways" back then. Karratha was just a gleam in a town planners eye.
Now my son works for Rio and spends half his life familiarising himself with the latest sheave of new safety regulations and permit systems.
Just part of the job for him but I am glad those days are well and truly behind me.........lolololol.

FollowupID: 824275

Follow Up By: Ron N - Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 19:22

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 19:22
Pop, I'm in the same boat, fortunately. I was a mining contractor (earthmoving, trucking and digging open pits) for 30 yrs and a gold mine owner and operator for 18 yrs, where I did everything, right through to smelting the gold.

Sadly, the overwhelming amount of OH&S BS in mining probably accounts for 20% of the costs in mining today.
Don't get me wrong, we need OH&S, it's just the form that it takes today is so dumbed-down, it doesn't take into account any personal experience and skills levels.

Blokes injure themselves with an angle grinder because no-one ever taught them any angle-grinder use skills - so angle grinders are banned from mines and minesites.

A bloke falls off a ladder because no-one showed him how to use one properly - so ladders are banned from mines and worksites.

A bloke working for a miner jumps in a 4WD and heads out on a gravel road and promptly rolls the vehicle because he has never been taught any vehicle-control skills.

So the mining companies answer is to only buy vehicles with ABS, Anti-Sway, Anti-Collision, Anti-Swerve, Anti-anything-the driver-might-do-that's-not-company-controlled, options. Of course, they all must have 5-star crash ratings - and I'm surprised they aren't specifying run-flat tyres as standard.

God knows how we survived pounding through the country in old 2WD, Holdens, Fords, and Chryslers - on roads that make Rail Access roads look like highways.
Of course, if you were lucky you got a 4cyl petrol Landrover, if some bush bashing was required, and you were in 4WD heaven if you got a 3-speed FJ45!

It's all just gone mad in todays world. I was just looking at a 500kg electric hoist on Grays auctions that's up for sale - and it's hanging from a hook in the roof.

There's a weeks worth of permits, insurances, "safe work plans", hazard identification, "risk calculation", planned work methods, specified employee list, and a dozen other requirements that have to be submitted to Grays, to Worksafe - and probably in triplicate to 6 other Govt Depts as well - just to reach up and unhook the hoist, and take it away.
God help us, I don't know where we'll be in another 15 years.
FollowupID: 824281

Reply By: steved58 - Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 17:20

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 17:20
You should pass by millstream about 1/2 way from tom price to Dampier A perfect place to camp and have a swim maybe stay there a couple of days was a great place when I worked at Tom Price 30 years ago
AnswerID: 539632

Reply By: TomH - Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 18:05

Sunday, Sep 28, 2014 at 18:05
Would you camp on your neighbours lawn.

Same thing really using someone elses private property.
AnswerID: 539635

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