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CBH Group celebrates 5 years since US$175 million rail investment

Published by , Digital Assistant Editor
Dry Bulk,

The CBH Group is celebrating the fifth anniversary of its US$175 million investment in a new fleet of locomotives and wagons.

In 2012, CBH launched the rail fleet consisting of 22 locomotives and 574 purpose-built wagons. It was the first dedicated new grain rail fleet to arrive in Western Australia in more than 30 years.

In June 2012 the first train ran from Kwinana to Hyden and in 2014 another three locomotives were added to the fleet.

The rail fleet has since moved more than 35 million t with an expectation to soon hit 40 million t.

CBH Group Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Crane, said: “Our investment was driven by a singular focus to continue lowering supply chain costs for Western Australian growers.”

“It is always pleasing when a business case delivers to and exceeds the benefits envisaged. In the first year of operation CBH reduced rail costs by 7%. These reductions have continued with rail freight rates now sitting around 20% lower than 2011 rates, in real terms.”

“This is a great result and we are continually looking at ways we can continue to keep the Western Australian supply chain competitive against alternative international origins,” Dr Crane added.

“We’re pleased to be able to demonstrate how our key investment has returned value to growers and I’d like to personally thank our rail operator Watco for its help in achieving this positive result.”

CBH Group awarded Watco WA Rail the 10-year contract for above-rail operations. The first train to run under this contract used leased locomotives and ran from Merredin to the Kwinana Grain Terminal on 30 March 2012.

Watco now operates two narrow gauge trains into Geraldton, two narrow gauge trains into Albany and four narrow gauge and two standard trains into Kwinana.

In March 2017, a record 964 832 t were moved via rail.

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