THE CBH Group’s first train, consisting of two new locomotives and a string of new wagons, began real work on Friday to start carting grain in the Albany zone.
On its journey the train passed through Northam.
CBH Group general manager Colin Tutt said CBH 001 Yilliminning and CBH 002:Mooterdine led 60 new narrow gauge wagons to Hyden to commence loading grain and carting tonnes to port.
“This is a truly historic day for Western Australian growers and the CBH Group,” he said
“Having our first train on the tracks is a landmark.
“Changing the status quo isn’t easy and we’ve come up against our fair share of sceptics, but to see it out there is so rewarding and inspiring.
“We hope as many growers and staff in the area can catch a glimpse as it moves through the Great Southern over the next few weeks.
“I am sure that they will feel as proud as I do when they see their trains as it just goes to show what a co-operative can do, bring to life great and bold ideas.”
Watco WA Rail has been moving grain in the CBH Group’s new wagons using leased locomotives since April on the standard gauge line but Friday marked the inaugural ‘CBH train’; complete with brand new state-of-the- art locomotives.
“Watco train drivers are very excited about these new locomotives as they are far more comfortable and modern than what has been available in WA for many years,” Mr Tutt said.
The two working locomotives are 2700 horsepower narrow gauge and feature dynamic braking and distributed power.
Distributed power makes the engine more efficient and allows a faster turnaround time at site, while dynamic braking gives better fuel efficiency.
The locomotives also meet the highest environmental standards, achieving the US tier 3 emission standards.
The next eight locomotives in the fleet are planned to reach Western Australia by the end of July with the remaining not far behind.