WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — CBH Group has broken its previous record for the longest and largest grain train operated in Australia.

The single 1.8 kilometer train with 120 wagons and three locomotives delivered over 9,000 tonnes of wheat to CBH's Kwinana Grain Terminal.

The movement broke CBH’s previous grain industry record of 88 wagons back in July 2016, which contained 6,500 tonnes of wheat and was 1.3 kilometers long.

David Capper, general manager of operations for CBH, said the record train was part of a trial undertaken to better understand how CBH could transport grain in the most efficient and cost effective way possible.

“When we made the rail investment back in 2010-11 and partnered with our rail operator Watco, the overwhelming driver was to take control of above rail operations and deliver our growers the most efficient transport service possible,” Capper said. “In that first year, we were able to reduce freight rates by 7% and while these reductions have continued — rail freight rates are about 20% lower now than in 2010-11 — there is so much more we want to achieve.”

Grain transportation
Since setting the previous train record in 2016, CBH has continued to utilize the 88-wagon train as part of a suite of efficient rail transport options. The success of the 120-wagon train trial will enable CBH to drive further efficiencies and provide more options to utilize our wagons more effectively.

In planning for the 2018 trial, CBH worked in consultation with Arc Infrastructure to ensure the record train met safe operating standards.

“While operating longer and larger trains creates economies of scale, we have to balance these efficiencies against other logistics considerations, including the allocation of our rolling stock resources throughout the rest of network,” Capper said. “We learnt a lot when running the previous 88 wagon-train in 2016, and through this trial, we’ll build on those learnings to make sure we get growers’ grain to market in the most efficient and cost effective way possible. It’s certainly not about setting a record, but it is nice to see Western Australia out in front.”