AHSF Gypsum Hopper Trial

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The increasing demand for iron ore shipments in the Geraldton area of Western Australia in 2005 resulted in ARG looking at ways to augment their ore hopper fleet. It was decided that the ENH and ENHA hoppers currently used for gypsum traffic at Thevenard would be transferred to Geraldton, replaced at Thevenard by former broad gauge stone hoppers. The ENHs and ENHAs were originally built as iron ore hoppers for the North Australia Railway, and initially two were forwarded to Western Australia.

As a test, broad gauge hopper AHSF 9564 was sent to Thevenard and modified for gypsum traffic. It was mounted on narrow gauge bogies, and internal modifications were made to increase the slope angle. Several test trips were made, but the experiment was deemed unsuccessful. At the beginning of April 2006 it was out of use at Thevenard, and the remaining ENHs and ENHAs still form the gypsum train.

AHSF 9564 on narrow gauge bogies at Thevenard, 5 Apr 2006. It was built by A.E. Goodwins in NSW, and entered service on broad gauge as HS 9564 on 18 June 1954.
Photo: Peter Knife