WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group's new rail fleet continues to grow with two new locomotives starting work in the Geraldton Zone this week, bringing the total to four locomotives and over 300 wagons currently working across three zones in Western Australia, the company said on July 5.

CBH Group Logistics Manager Andrew Mencshelyi said CBH 004: Pantapin and CBH 005: Kulyaling headed to the Geraldton Zone this week to commence loading grain and carting tonnes from Carnamah to port.

In the Albany Zone CBH 001: Yilliminning and CBH 002: Mooterdine continue to load grain at Hyden, Wagin and Cranbrook and cart to port.

Meanwhile, 40 wagons are operating in the Kwinana Zone behind leased locomotives on the Merredin feeder lines.

"It is exciting times for CBH Group, Watco WA Rail and the growers of Western Australia as the dream of the co-operative owning and operating its own rail fleet becomes reality," Mencshelyi said. "We will go from strength to strength this year as each new train arrives and is commissioned and growers see more tonnes moving to port more efficiently. This is the start of an efficient, effective and competitive era for CBH on rail."

Mencshelyi said CBH Group's new above-rail provider Watco WA Rail now has over 90 employees at various locations throughout the Wheatbelt as its operations continue to ramp up with the delivery of more locomotives.

"The CBH Group and Watco WA Rail continue to work closely to ensure a smooth transition to the new rail provider and enable the scheduling of the trains and the placement of the new locomotives for the most productive outcomes," he said.

Mencshelyi said the new rail fleet includes standard and narrow gauge locomotives, with half the fleet comprising 2700 horsepower engines and the other half 3300 horsepower engines. The first four to arrive are all 2700 horsepower narrow gauge locomotives.

It is expected that 10 locomotives will be in service across the state by the end of July with the remaining fleet not far behind.