THE CBH Group’s first locomotive arrived in Fremantle on Monday last week after a seven-week journey from the east coast of the United States.
Although CBH executives and staff were at the dock to view the unloading, the locomotive itself was shrouded under tarpaulins.
It was actually unveiled last Thursday.
CBH general manager operations Colin Tutt said the arrival of the first locomotive was a special moment in history for CBH and the grains industry in Western Australia.
“These engines are at the heart of driving a better deal for our growers,” he said
“They provide the power to revitalise the way grain is transported by rail in Western Australia.
“They will be the most modern and efficient locomotives moving grain in Australia today.
“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.
“Growers will instantly be able to identify them as their own and I just know that when they see this impressive engine they will feel a great amount of pride.
“As they should feel proud that their co-operative is able to embark on bold initiatives which make our industry more competitive and shift value back to growers.”
CBH 001:Yilliminning is the first of 22 new locomotives to make the journey.
It is a 2700-horsepower narrow gauge locomotive and was named by a Western Australian grower in the CBH Group’s train naming competition late last year.
The second locomotive CBH 002 Mooterdine is not far behind; it is in transit sailing towards Western Australia.
The remaining locomotives are at various stages of manufacture but local growers will see the engines arriving every few weeks from now until September.
CBH 001 Yilliminning will have the final commissioning works completed locally and be on the tracks mid-June.
The Australian subsidiary of American ….Watco Companies WA Rail Pty Ltd has a 10-year contract to operate CBH’s rail grain freight service .
It began on May 1 and Watco is already carrying grain on the east-west standard gauge line with leased locomotives.