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Watco wins grain transportation contract in Australia


Watco Cos. L.L.C. recently was awarded a 10-year contract to provide grain transportation services for the CBH Group, a western Australian farmer-owned co-operative established in 1933.

Watco will provide rail logistics planning services, including train operations and scheduling, rail-car tracing, car and locomotive maintenance, and inventory control. CBH plans to invest $175 million in rolling stock, which would be maintained by Watco Mechanical Services.

Watco plans to launch its western Australia operations in May 2012 and transport 368 to 441 million bushels of grain annually from 192 grain elevators to regional ports. About 95 percent of the grain harvested in the region is exported.

“We believe our experience in grain transportation and the successful execution of over 40 start-ups on railroads, rail-car shops, switching operations and transload locations will be of significant value when commencing operations in western Australia,” said Watco Chief Commerical Officer Ed McKechnie in a prepared statement.

Watco owns and operates 22 short lines, 23 industrial contract switching locations, 14 car repair shops, four locomotive shops and 19 mobile mechanical shops. The company also manages 12 transload facilities, seven warehouses and one intermodal terminal.