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AWB has commissioned construction of 90 additional grain wagons, which will more than double its fleet of the 68-tonne capacity rail wagons.
The decision to expand the fleet was taken after the excellent operational performance of the original 84 wagons brought into service earlier this year, and with better seasonal conditions in much of south eastern Australia. The expansion of the rail fleet will allow AWB to deliver on its strategy of ensuring supply to its high value customers.
The additional wagons will be delivered early in 2010 and will mean AWB owns four complete grain trains, with one additional train on lease. AWB’s trains are hauled by specialist freight operator El Zorro.
AWB managing director Gordon Davis said that with five, high capacity and high quality trains running in NSW and Victoria, the company would be well-placed to move significant volumes of grain and utilise the more of the recently upgraded Victorian rail network.
“One of the new trains will run on the Victorian broad gauge lines, with the other configured for standard gauge, although all our new wagons are gauge-convertible,” Mr Davis said.
“The fleet expansion will increase our ability to provide solutions to growers and end-user customers on the east coast of Australia and will enable us to make good use of the Victorian government’s recent investment in the country rail network.
“With additional, high-capacity trains that can make full use of our fast and efficient GrainFlow sites, we can maximise supply chain efficiencies on the east coast to meet the demands of our export and domestic customers.
“In addition to our own sites, El Zorro will operate these trains from other company’s facilities, wherever tonnage is available and rapid, efficient loading and turnaround can be achieved – this latter point is the key to being a competitive freight provider, offering best freight rates to customers and achieving strong fleet utilisation,” Mr Davis said.
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