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AURIZON is rolling out 10 new heavy-haul locomotives to meet growth in demand for hauling commodities such as copper, lead, zinc and grain.

The 10 locomotives represent an investment of more than $50 million in additional haulage capacity for Aurizon’s bulk business.

Four locomotives have already rolled out of manufacturer UGL’s Newcastle’s facility recently. These have been deployed to support the growth of resource companies Cobar NSW.

The remaining six locomotives will be commissioned in coming months.

The company’s growing grain-haulage business throughout Australia now moves more than 9 million tonnes per annum to ports in Queensland, NSW and WA. Its NSW business services approximately 30 grain receival and handling facilities feeding into the Port of Newcastle. In Western Australia, Aurizon has a long-term contract with Australia’s largest grain co-operative CBH and is ramping up rail capacity for a record harvest.

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In 2021, Aurizon acquired APS which includes an export terminal and ship loading facility for bulk commodities, adjacent to rail infrastructure at the Port of Newcastle.

Aurizon bulk business group executive Clay McDonald said the APS acquisition was the catalyst for securing a strategic foothold in the NSW bulk market, where the company can offer direct rail access to the port for regions that boast rich mineral and agricultural wealth.

“By extending our transport and logistics capability, Aurizon can support the growth and success of customers and the regional economies in which we operate. No better example is the extraordinary growth we are seeing in the Cobar minerals province,” he said.

“Our $50 million investment in these new locos is a big vote of confidence in the continuing growth in the region, and the capability of our Aurizon team in delivering growth tonnages, safely and reliably, for our customers.

“New locomotive fleet also gives us the extra capacity and flexibility in a market like Western Australia where there is continuing strong growth in the resources and agricultural sector. Our Bulk business has been working hard with CBH to increase rail capacity and fleet efficiency in meeting the record grain harvest produced by WA growers.”

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