BHP Nevada Railroad

BHP Nevada Railroad

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BHP Nevada Railroad

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The BHP Nevada Railroad was a shortline railroad that operated in Nevada from 1996 to 1999. BHP acquired the line from the Nevada Northern Railway. The railroad hauled copper ore concentrate from BHP's concentrator at Riepetown to Shafter, Nevada. At Shafter the railroad interchanged with the Union Pacific and the ore continued to BHP's smelter at San Manuel, Arizona. The railroad was owned by Broken Hill Proprietary Company (BHP), an Australian based company that purchased the Robinson copper mining district in Ely from Magma Copper. The line ran south from a connection with the Union Pacific at Shafter to Ely.

The railroad ended up turning over its locomotives and rolling stock to the Nevada Northern Railway Museum as part of a settlement over their track lease agreement.

A small portion of the BHP was operated over the Nevada Northern Railway Museum tracks with trackage rights between East Ely and Ruth. The line was abandoned in 1999 when copper mining was discontinued, however, in 2004, new copper mines were reopened, and this time hauled copper by truck. The disused line between Ely and Cobre was acquired by the city of Ely in 2006. Recent plans by Sierra Pacific Resources for the construction of the "Ely Energy Center", a 2,500 megawatt coal-fired generating plant in the Ely vicinity are raising the possibility that the railroad may see yet another revival, this time carrying inbound loads of coal to White Pine...
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