Any idea where the world’s third-busiest rail corridor might be? 

India? South America? Maybe China? 

How about the Pilbara? That’s right, an area most Australians would identify as being the outback has some 3664km of track, with approximately 493 locomotives and roughly 32,000 wagons currently in use. 

As this timelapse video depicts, trains run day and night through stunning remote countryside, carrying iron ore to Port Hedland, Dampier and Cape Lambert ports. 

Iron ore exports from those three ports totalled some $151 billion in 2020-21, with 96 per cent of Australia’s iron ore coming from the region. 

The Pilbara’s freight railways have been operating since 1966 and each train on average is 2km long and carries a load of approximately $3 million. 

Apart from being extremely busy, the Pilbara railway system is absolutely vital to not just the WA economy but that of the entire country. 

Little wonder that the train drivers who navigate it are some of the highest-paid in the world!


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