AusRAIL, Market Sectors

CBH contracts locomotive build

CBH has contracted US based MotivePower, a subsidiary of Wabtec Corporation, to build its new locomotive fleet.

The first of 22 locomotives would be delivered in March 2012, in time for driver training and accreditation to be finalised.

CBH Operations general manager Colin Tutt said while the timeframes for construction and operations of rolling stock were tight, the project was “progressing to schedule and under budget.”

Tutt said the tender process was very competitive with six companies from around the world bidding for the construction task.

&quotMotivePower’s engines were the best option for the task of moving grain on Western Australian rail lines as well as having good fuel economy [and] meeting US Tier 2 emissions standards,” he said.

“We are confident that MotivePower’s expertise and experience in building locomotives for freight rail will deliver WA growers the best outcome.”

Tutt expects the locomotives would provide better operational and environmental efficiencies and ultimately greater productivity, as well as being much safer than the company’s existing fleet, currently being operated by QR National subsidiary Australian Railroad Group.

New engines with more horsepower would also enable CBH to optimise train lengths and journey times, and transport more grain to port by rail.

Wabtec’s chief executive Albert J. Neupaver said that winning the contract would position the company for similar opportunities in Australia in the future.

&quotWabtec has had a manufacturing and sales presence in Australia for 20 years, and we continue to expand our operations in this important rail market,&quot he said.

CBH awarded the tender for its long-term grain rail contract for the first time to American company, Watco in December last year.

CBH’s 10-year agreement with Watco commences in May 2012, with Watco to provide a comprehensive rail logistics planning service including train planning and scheduling, tracking, maintenance, inventory control and crew management.