CBH is on a roll with its train-buying spree, opening procurement processes for narrow-gauge locomotives and new wagons just weeks after buying seven new locos from global train-building company Progress Rail. The grain juggernaut has been managing three parallel procurement processes — or requests for proposal — to buy standard-gauge locomotives. narrow gauge locomotives and wagons to expand its rolling stock fleet. CBH chief executive Ben Macnamara announced in December the company had completed the first of the three procurement processes and would have seven new standard-gauge locomotives from Progress Rail in action by November 2024. It now wants to buy narrow-gauge locomotives through the second procurement process and wagons through a third. A CBH spokesman said exactly how many narrow gauge locomotives and how many wagons it would buy would be determined in the second quarter of 2023, and contracts would be announced by June. The move to buy more trains mark CBH’s biggest fleet upgrade since it first invested in rolling stock in 2010, when it bought 25 locomotives and 572 wagons for $175m. The trains were rolled out in 2012. It forms part of CBH’s Path to 2033 Strategy unveiled late last year, which includes an end goal of increasing CBH’s monthly grain export capacity from 1.6 million tonnes to 3Mt by 2033 or sooner. CBH chief operations officer Mick Daw said the purchase of new rolling stock played a significant role in helping to achieve that target and increasing the capacity of the network. He said the locomotives and the wagons would be used both to expand and replace the existing fleet. “For the standard-gauge locomotives, CBH has entered a contract with Progress Rail to acquire seven new locomotives to more than double our standard gauge locomotive fleet,” Mr Daw said. “This is the first significant rail fleet investment CBH has made since 2012. “The request for proposal process for new narrow-gauge locomotives and wagons is currently underway and we are working towards a decision on successful proponents to be announced in the second quarter of calendar 2023. “In the meantime, CBH has leased an additional 10 locomotives from Aurizon, which have been integrated in to CBH’s active fleets and the three fleets Aurizon brought across as part of the new Rail Service Agreement.” About a third of WA’s freight rail network is standard gauge, most of which operates with a 23 or 24-tonne axle load. WA’s narrow gauge network spans about 2500km and is a mix of 16, 19 and 21-tonne axle load. About 300km is dual gauge, meaning both standard gauge and narrow gauge locomotives can use it.