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Early last week, a Watco Australia train traveled from Mt. McLaren, Queensland, to the Port of Mackay in northeastern Australia, marking the first train operated for GrainCorp.
Featuring two locomotives and 42 rail cars loaded with chickpeas, the inaugural train followed nearly two years of planning with GrainCorp, Watco Australia officials said in an online post.
Watco Cos. LLC signed a 10-year rail haulage contract with the company in February 2018. Watco since has worked to acquire eight new NRE locomotives and 128 rail cars.
The locomotives meet Queensland's narrow-gauge rail and weight limitations, while the cars are bolted together from lightweight aluminum to support the required axle loads, Watco Australia officials said.
A digital tracking system installed on the trains is designed to provide GrainCorp staff with accurate arrival times.
"GrainCorp has been an integral part of our planning process and should be one of our top five customers worldwide once fully operational,” said Watco Australia Chief Commercial Offier Ken Potts.