LAST Friday saw the official launch of CBH's $175 million fleet of locomotives and wagons.
The 22 locomotives, each named after historic rail sidings throughout the Wheatbelt, and 574 new purpose-built wagons make up the first new dedicated grain rail fleet to arrive in WA in more than 30 years.
Among the 750-strong crowd at CBH's Forrestfield Metro Grain Centre were Agriculture and Food Minister Terry Redman, Federal Special Minister for State Gary Gray, CBH chairman Neil Wandel, CBH chief executive officer Andy Crane and Watco Companies chief commercial officer Ed McKechnie.
CBH general manager of operations Colin Tutt said Friday's event marked two years of dedication and hard work to bring the dream of growers owning their own rail fleet to life and also marked the start of a very proud chapter in the history of CBH and the WA grains industry.
Mr Tutt said CBH would go from strength to strength during the upcoming harvest as growers witnessed each train be commissioned and start to move tonnes of grain to port more efficiently than ever before.
The trains have state-of-the-art technology including more horsepower to achieve faster journeys and turn-around times at rural CBH sites, distributed power and light-weight aluminium wagons.
The five winning entrants in CBH's Name a Train competition were also presented with plaques at last week's event.
The winning train names submitted by growers were Yilliminning, entered by Andrew Borthwick, Mooterdine entered by Kelvin Price and Baandee entered by Mark Smith.
Mr Tutt said although many of the old rail sidings were now abandoned they continued to be an important part of the early rail expansion in WA.
In 2010 CBH tendered its rail transport contract for the first time with an aim to developing a new and long-term arrangement for above-rail operations which delivered a more efficient, effective grain transport and logistics service to WA growers.
CBH awarded its 10-year above-rail contract to US company, Watco Companies, in late 2010 and it was officially implemented on May 1, 2012.