The mangled wreckage of BHP's runaway train which derailed in Western Australia

The mangled wreckage of BHP's runaway train which derailed in Western Australia

The mangled wreckage of a deliberately derailed runaway iron ore train in Western Australia's Pilbara region has been revealed in video footage from the crash site.

However, it said, operations would be maintained and the use of reserves would mean there would be no interruption to supply.

The train, comprising 268 wagons stretching nearly two miles in length, was carrying up to 35,000 tonnes of iron ore worth about $2 million when the driver alighted to inspect an issue with a wagon and the train moved off without him.

As the track needs to be repaired and wreckage moved, partial rail operations will only be resumed in a week. "We've got no reason why we have to change the contracts and agreements we have with existing customers", he said, following the company' annual general meeting in Adelaide.

The drastic action was taken by a remote control centre more than 1500km away in Perth.

BHP said around 1.5 kilometres of its privately-owned railway was destroyed, and expects it will take around a week to fix.

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With shipping demand expected to fall, the C5 capesize rate for West Australia-China trade on the Baltic Exchange fell to $7.42 per tonne on Wednesday from $8.32 on Monday.

Despite the closure of its rail network, BHP's iron ore mines remain open and operating.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau said damage to the train was substantial and it is estimated about 1.5km of track was damaged.

"We can not speculate on the outcome of the investigation, however we are working with the appropriate authorities and our focus remains on the safe recovery of our operations", the BHP spokeswoman said.

The ATSB said it expected to finish its investigation by the second quarter of 2019.

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