The new contract will need 22 additional locomotive drivers between 2022 and 2023, a new spelling facility near Townsville (replacing the Julago spelling yards and branch south of Partington on the NCL) and additional cattle loading sites along the northern corridor. New crew depots are to be established at Townsville and Hughenden.
Currently Aurizon operates cattle trains from Cloncurry and Julia Creek, also loading at Richmond. After spelling at Julago, Aurizon services run to Rockhampton and Dinmore (Cloncurry to Dinmore is 2,121km by rail and 1,673km by road). Watco will need at least four cattle train sets to match Aurizon's rail operations over these distances.