WESTERN Australian grain exporter CBH has signed contracts with Wabtec and CRRC Meishan for the supply of new locomotives and wagons to expand its grain haulage capabilities.

In the second half of 2022, CBH launched three tenders for the supply of new locomotives and wagons, in order to strengthen its existing fleet which consists of 25 locomotives and 572 wagons which operate on 1435mm and 1067mm-gauge routes in Western Australia.

Under the contract now awarded, Wabtec will supply 17 1067mm-gauge CM20ACi diesel-electric locomotives. Wabtec says that the first tranche of five locomotives will arrive in Australia in the first quarter of 2026 and will enter service soon after. The following second tranche of 12 locomotives will arrive in the second quarter of 2026.

CBH CEO, Mr Ben Macnamara, said the agreement with Wabtec will increase CBH’s narrow-gauge locomotive fleet to 37.

“Our rail fleet is a key asset for the co-operative, expanding this is a strategic priority that is critical for us to achieve CBH’s Path to 2033 strategy that aims to lift our monthly export capacity to 3 million tonnes by 2033 or sooner,” he said.

“These locomotives will provide CBH with low operational costs, high availability and proven reliability needed to succeed in today’s competitive market,” said Mr Rogerio Mendonca, president of freight equipment at Wabtec.

CBH will increase its wagon fleet after entering into an agreement with CRRC Meishan for the supply of 200 standard-gauge and 450 narrow-gauge grain hopper wagons. Due to the size of the order, the wagons will be delivered to CBH in seven tranches between September 2024 and June 2025.

For detailed data on fleet orders from around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.