CBH’s first loco arrives
CBH Group’s first locomotive, “Yilliminning”, arrived in Freemantle, Western Australia, last week after a seven week journey from the east coast of the US. 290 of CBH’s 574 new wagons have also been delivered.
By Jennifer Perry
The 2700 horsepower narrow gauge locomotive, Yilliminning, was named by a WA grower, and is the first of 22 new locomotives commissioned by CBH as part of a $175m contract with American company, Watco. The locomotive will have the final commissioning works completed locally and be on the tracks mid-June.
CBH’s contract with Watco includes standard and narrow gauge locomotives, with half the fleet comprising 2700 horsepower engines and the other half, 3300 horsepower engines – much greater than CBH’s current fleet – as well as 574 new wagons.
CBH general manager operations Colin Tutt said the arrival of the first locomotive is a special moment in history for CBH and the grains industry in Western Australia.
“... This is the first time in more than three decades that new trains have arrived in this state with the sole purpose of moving grain,” Tutt said.
“They will be the most modern and efficient locomotives moving grain in Australia today ... [The] engines are at the heart of driving a better deal for our growers [and] provide the power to revitalise the way grain is transported by rail in Western Australia.”
The second locomotive, named “Mooterdine” is currently in transit sailing towards WA. The remaining locomotives are at various stages of manufacture and WA growers will see the engines arriving every few weeks from now until September.
To date, 162 narrow gauge and 128 standard gauge wagons have been delivered, with four shipments of narrow gauge wagons to arrive over the next few months. The final delivery and commissioning works are expected to take place in late August, early September.
A spokesperson for CBH told Rail Express that to date, all the standard gauge wagons that have been delivered have been commissioned and are online with leased locomotives, with a portion of the narrow gauge wagons having reached the commissioning stage while the rest continue to go through the testing process.
“CBH is very happy with the quality, design, payload and productivity of the new wagons and is progressing well to have a fully operational fleet,” the spokesperson said.
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