A 1.8km-long freight train delivered more than 9,000 tonnes of wheat to a grain terminal in Western Australia on April 19 – the longest and largest grain train ever operated in the country.
Exporter CBH Group broke a record it previously set in July 2016 for a 1.3km-long 88-wagon train, which carried 6,500 tonnes of wheat.
The new record was set by a 120-wagon train with three locomotives delivering wheat to CBH’s Kwinana terminal.
Operations manager David Capper said the trial was not about setting records.
He added: “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.
“In that first year, we were able to reduce freight rates by seven per cent and while these reductions have continued – rail freight rates are about 20 per cent lower now than in 2010-11 – there is so much more we want to achieve.
“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.
“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.”