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Grain handler CBH Group is evaluating competing bids for hauling WA's grain crop after the current provider, Australian Railroad Group, and several other rail providers submitted tenders.
Earlier this week, CBH chief executive officer, Andrew Crane said an encouraging number of proposals had been lodged by rail providers from around Australia and the world.
"We believe it is an attractive contract because of the size of the task and the opportunities for improvement including in scheduling, labour arrangements and rolling stock technologies," said Dr Crane.
ARG said it has tendered for all three zones set out in the tender documents, including an 'all encompassing' tender to achieve optimal efficiency, flexibility and cost effectiveness.
The group general manager of ARG Bulk West, Ken Potts said the increased certainty provided by a 10-year term would enable ARG to increase its investment in modern and efficient locomotives.
"ARG entered into the tender process with a number of guiding principles, including a desire to work with CBH to continue to improve rail efficiency, productivity and cost competitiveness," Mr Potts said.
"ARG is supportive of the Grain Express model and wants to increase the proportion of grain that is hauled to port on rail, and has committed to work with CBH to achieve that result," he said.
The rail tender is for above-rail (haulage) services. The incumbenet, ARG, has a separate agreement for below-rail (line maintenance) services with Westnet Rail Group.
The collective value of these services is about $100 million per year.
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