CBH officially launches new grain trains

01 Sep, 2012 03:00 AM
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US Consul General Aleisha Woodward officially christened the CBH locomotive fleet with a bottle of champagne on Friday.
US Consul General Aleisha Woodward officially christened the CBH locomotive fleet with a bottle of champagne on Friday.

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.

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READER COMMENTS

X Ag Socialist
1/09/2012 10:07:03 AM, on Farm Weekly

I hope that lady said . " I NAME YOU BRARSWELL" Then whack with the bottle.
Aaron
2/09/2012 1:40:25 PM, on Farm Weekly

Wouldn't you think the board would have held off investing in trains until after a decision on Tier 3 had been forthcoming? Not this CBH board. Instead of returning much needed equity to shareholders, they are busy racking up debt on their behalf.
my two cents
3/09/2012 8:47:46 AM, on Farm Weekly

what would be good now if the state govt, lets CBH buys the tier 3 lines for a token price.
blahblah
3/09/2012 10:54:52 AM, on Farm Weekly

Two Cents, If these lines cost a huge amount to repair/maintain then the price of transport to port will go up, could still be cheaper to keep on road.
Kanzi
3/09/2012 1:06:27 PM, on Farm Weekly

Aaron, if some farmers are so broke that they can only survive by cashing in their CBH equity, then they might as well sell the farm and lease back the land. Fact is that if you sell CBH, your handling costs will skyrocket, which drives up costs and makes farms less profitable, so land worth less. But some farmers do insist on shooting themselves in the proverbial foot and then wonder why it hurts.
blahblah
3/09/2012 1:32:20 PM, on Farm Weekly

Kanzi, You use terms like 'skyrocket', can you be more objective and place an estimate on how much you think(if at all) an increase would be?
Aaron
3/09/2012 10:09:31 PM, on Farm Weekly

Kanzi it is a tired old argument. But for the retiring, terminally ill and those who experience a run of bad seasons, your point of view is a little inconsiderate. Costs won't necessarily rise because the already crumbling monopoly would be broken up and competition does the rest. CBH shares would be a market darling (as ABB's were in SA) and if you held your shares they go up in value, of course you receive a dividend and this is your hedge against prices rising. Simple really.
Kanzi
4/09/2012 9:17:22 AM, on Farm Weekly

Blah, the last benchmarking figures that I saw, showed a large difference between state handling charges. CBH was easily the cheapest, all costs considered. Aaron, if the competition can do it better, let them go ahead and show everyone how its done. Everyone is free to vote on CBH directors and what they are proposing. Every farmer who has delivered grain to CBH in its history, helped build it to what it is today. It does its job. Benchmarked, low handling charges.
Aaron
4/09/2012 2:30:59 PM, on Farm Weekly

Benchmarked against what? The East Coast where infrastructure has to carry the cost of not being used in some years when domestic demand outstrips production. There are 20 million people on the East Coast. There is nothing to accurately benchmark ... yet. Next season Bunge will have you salivating to bypass CBH and odds are you would do it for as little as a 50c/tonne saving.
Aaron
4/09/2012 2:43:56 PM, on Farm Weekly

Oh and Kanzi there is nothing to stop Glencore or any other multinational from lobbing an aggressive takeover offer on CBH in your letterbox. It is an extremely real possibility and most growers will accept, even if it is a low ball bid because the current structure is not allowing them to access their equity. In which case we'll deliver a crumbling monopoly to a multinational for cents in the dollar!
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COMMENTS

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coles and woolworths did and are still doing this with homebrand milk. is the accc
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George is cute and beaut! Fab idea.
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The big corporates are going off shore in large numbers to get manufacturing and service work