CBH class

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CBH class
CBH 1 CBH 2 048 closeup.jpg
CBH002 at Wagin in 2012
Type and origin
Power type Diesel-electric
Builder MotivePower, Boise, Idaho
Serial number 2363.01-2363.22, 2595-01 - 2595-03
  • MP27CN: CBH001–CBH012, CBH023-CBH025
  • MP33CN: CBH013–CBH017
  • MP33C: CBH118–122
Build date 2012-2014
Total produced 25
AAR wheel arr. C-C
UIC class Co-Co
  • 1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in): CBH001–CBH017
  • 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in): CBH118–CBH122
Bogies 2
Length 18.5 metres
Width 2.85 metres
Height 4.01 metres
Loco weight 96 tonnes: CBH001-CBH011, CBH023-CBH025
120 tonnes: CBH012-CBH017
132 tonnes: CBH118-CBH122
Fuel type Diesel
Prime mover
  • Cummins QSK60: CBH001–CBH011, CBH023-CBH025
  • Cummins QSK78: CBH012–CBH017, CBH118–CBH122
Aspiration Turbocharged
Alternator Kato BP 6.5
Traction motors
  • GE 761: CBH001–CBH017, CBH023-CBH025
  • EMD D78: CBH118–CBH122
  • V16: CBH001–CBH011, CBH023-CBH025
  • V18: CBH012–CBH017, CBH118–CBH122
Train brakes Dynamic
Performance figures
Maximum speed 90 km/h
Number in class 25
  • CBH001–CBH017
  • CBH023-CBH025
  • CBH118–CBH122
Locale Western Australia
Delivered Batch 1: 14 May 2012 – 31 December 2012, Batch 2: November 2014
First run 15 June 2012
Current owner CBH Group
Disposition 25 in service

The CBH class is a class of diesel-electric freight locomotives designed and manufactured in the United States by MotivePower in Boise, Idaho, for Western Australian grain growers' co-operative CBH Group.

The CBH class was ordered to haul grain trains on the open access rail network in the south of Western Australia. The trains, operated for CBH by Watco WA Rail under a long-term contract, link various CBH grain collection points in the wheatbelt with CBH terminal and port facilities in Albany, Geraldton and Kwinana.

The 25 members of the CBH class are divided into three sub-classes, based on differences in power output, traction motors and rail gauge.


In early 2010, CBH Group called tenders for the first time for the transport of grain by rail. CBH's decision to go to tender was influenced by greater competition. An aim of the tender process was the development of a new and long-term arrangement for above-rail operations that would deliver a more efficient, effective grain transport and logistics service to CBH's grower members and their customers.[1][2]

Prior to releasing the tender documents, CBH carried out extensive preliminary work to identify potential rail providers around the world, and to ensure the terms of its proposed new long term partnership would provide all parties with both the flexibility and certainty to make the necessary investment.[2]

Tenders closed in June 2010 with bids lodged by rail operators from Australia and around the world including Asciano and the incumbent Australian Railroad Group.[3] In December 2010 CBH awarded a long-term grain rail contract to Watco WA Rail. CBH also announced that it planned to invest up to $175 million in rolling stock as part of its decision to enter into the contract.[2][4]

The 10-year agreement between CBH and Watco commenced in March 2012, and involves Watco's providing a comprehensive rail logistics planning service including train planning and scheduling, tracking, maintenance, inventory control and crew management. Watco operate and maintain the 22 locomotives and 574 wagons acquired by CBH.[2][4][5]

In April 2011, CBH contracted MotivePower to build 22 CBH class locomotives, with the first to be delivered in March 2012. According to CBH Operations General Manager, Colin Tutt, "Having new equipment with more horsepower [would] enable [CBH] to optimise train lengths and journey times, and transport more grain to port by rail."[6]

Six companies from around the world lodged bids to manufacture the CBH class. CBH concluded that MotivePower's proposed locomotives would be the best option for the task of moving grain on Western Australian rail lines, as well as having good fuel economy.[6] As Australia's railways have different regulations from those of the USA, the CBH class locomotives would be of an entirely new design. MotivePower's contract with CBH for the supply of those locomotives was the first of what MotivePower hoped would be many international contracts.[7]

As compensation for late delivery of the original locomotives, CBH received a further three narrow gauge locomotives in early 2015.[8][9][10][11]


CBH002 and CBH001 at Cranbrook, 2012.

Common features[edit]

All members of the CBH class are hood unit locomotives with a single cab at one end, and ride on three axle bogies (trucks) of C-C (Co'Co') wheel arrangement. Each is equipped with a Cummins QSK series prime mover.[12]

The engine blocks for the prime movers were cast in Germany and sent to the Cummins engine plant in Daventry, England, for final machining and assembly. At the end of the manufacturing process, the prime movers were hot tested before being fitted to the locomotives in Boise.[13] The engines meet US tier three emission standards.[14]

CBH class locomotives also have dynamic brakes and the control equipment necessary for "top and tail" distributed power operation. Trains with a CBH class locomotive at each end are easier to load and unload than a conventionally hauled train, and thus more time efficient.[14]


The first eleven CBH class locomotives from batch 1 and the three locomotives from batch 2, road numbers CBH001 to CBH011 and CBH023 to CBH025, are designated as type MP27CN (27 means 2,700 hp, C means three driven axles per bogie, and N means narrow gauge).[12] These units are equipped with a Cummins V-16 QSK60 prime mover rated at 2,000 kW (2,680 hp), and ride on 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) narrow gauge bogies fitted with six GE 761 traction motors.[12]


The next six units in the CBH class are designated as type MP33CN, with road numbers CBH012 to CBH017.[15] They have a more powerful Cummins V-18 QSK78 prime mover rated at 2,460 kW (3,300 hp), but are otherwise identical to the MP27CNs.[12]


Main article: MPI MP33C

The final five CBH class units are designated as type MP33C, and have road numbers CBH118 to CBH122.[15] They are equipped with the same 2,460 kW (3,300 hp) Cummins V-18 QSK78 prime mover as the MP33CN, but ride on 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) (standard gauge) bogies fitted with EMD D78 traction motors.[12]

Livery and naming[edit]

Hood end view of CBH001 Yilliminning at Wagin, 2012.

All members of the CBH class are liveried in a CBH Group two-tone mid blue / light blue design. Numbering is in mid blue, striping and lettering is in white, and the solebars and handrails are picked out in white. Underframes are painted black, with black and white safety stripes on the headstocks and access steps picked out in yellow.

In June/July 2011, CBH held a competition for grain growers to nominate "Iconic Western Australian" names for the CBH class locomotives. According to the media release announcing the competition, the locomotives would be growers' locomotives, and CBH wanted to give them the opportunity of being a part of what CBH described as an historic moment. Around 350 entries were submitted; more than CBH ever expected.[6]

The entries covered a broad spectrum of topics, including political figures, sporting legends, CBH and the grains industry history, flora, fauna, tourist locations and indigenous culture. However, a central theme was names taken from old rail sidings from around Western Australia.[6] The winning names were Yilliminning entered by Andrew Borthwick; Mooterdine entered by Kelvin Price; and Baandee entered by Mark Smith.[1][6]

Announcing the winning names, CBH Operations General Manager, Colin Tutt, said, "We selected three grower entries and two CBH staff member entries from the submissions, the remainder of the fleet were named to fit the theme. Many of these old rail sidings are now abandoned; nevertheless they are an important part of the early rail expansion in WA."[6]

Service history[edit]

The first two members of the CBH class, CBH001 Yilliminning and CBH002 Mooterdine, entered service in mid-June 2012,[14] shortly after arriving separately at Fremantle on their seven-week delivery journeys from the east coast of the USA.[16] Their initial task was to take a 60 wagon train to Hyden for loading.[14]

The class was officially launched at a ceremony at the CBH Metro Grain Centre in Forrestfield on 24 August 2012.[1][17][18]

Class list[edit]

By January 2013, all of the initial order of 22 CBH class locomotives had entered service, as follows:[12][15][19][20][21][22]

Model Road
Name In service Notes
2363.01 MP27CN CBH001 Yilliminning 15 June 2012
2363.02 MP27CN CBH002 Mooterdine 15 June 2012
2363.03 MP27CN CBH003 Elabbin 25 July 2012 Type tested at TTCI, Pueblo, Colorado, USA, before delivery.
2363.04 MP27CN CBH004 Pantapin 29 June 2012
2363.05 MP27CN CBH005 Kulyaling 6 July 2012
2363.06 MP27CN CBH006 Mandiga 20 July 2012
2363.07 MP27CN CBH007 Nanson 6 August 2012
2363.08 MP27CN CBH008 Tenindewa 31 July 2012
2363.09 MP27CN CBH009 Irwin 10 August 2012
2363.10 MP27CN CBH010 Yandanooka 15 August 2012
2363.11 MP27CN CBH011 Kokardine 7 September 2012
2363.12 MP33CN CBH012 Piesseville 24 September 2012
2363.13 MP33CN CBH013 Erikin 2 October 2012
2363.14 MP33CN CBH014 Moojebing 13 October 2012
2363.15 MP33CN CBH015 Chinocup 13 October 2012
2363.16 MP33CN CBH016 Needaling 5 November 2012
2363.17 MP33CN CBH017 Lake Biddy 5 November 2012
2363.18 MP33C CBH118 Walgoolan 6 November 2012
2363.19 MP33C CBH119 Baandee 21 January 2013
2363.20 MP33C CBH120 Norpa 19 November 2012
2363.21 MP33C CBH121 Benjaberring 7 December 2012
2363.22 MP33C CBH122 Yelbeni 21 January 2013
2595.01 MP27CN CBH023 Korrelocking February 2015
2595.02 MP27CN CBH024 Nembudding February 2015
2595.03 MP27CN CBH025 Trayning March 2015

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Hinkley, Bobbie (1 September 2012). "CBH officially launches new grain trains". Farm Weekly. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d "CBH News 2010". CBH Group official site. CBH Group. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  3. ^ Lee, Tracy (30 August 2010). "Asciano in $700m grain transport bid in WA". The Australian. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  4. ^ a b Celenza, Lauren (16 December 2010). "Grain handler does US rail deal". The Countryman. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  5. ^ "Western Australia". Watco Companies. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f "CBH News 2011". CBH Group official site. CBH Group. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  7. ^ Podgorski, Natalie (April 26, 2011). "Boise company to build locomotives for Australian company". ktvb.com. King Broadcasting Company. Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  8. ^ Burgess, Tony (July–August 2013). "Motive Power Roundup". Motive Power (88): 74. 
  9. ^ Thompson, Brad (23 December 2013). "CBH pushes market limits". The West Australian. Retrieved 29 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Motive Power Roundup] Motive Power issue 98 March 2015 page 74
  11. ^ "Rolling Stock contracts and deliveries" Railway Digest June 2015 page 42
  12. ^ a b c d e f Nuthall, Chris (July–August 2012). "New Power Profile: CBH Group's CBH Class". Motive Power (82): 55–57. 
  13. ^ Hinkley, Bobbie (29 May 2011). "Next stop WA for CBH's new locomotives". Farm Weekly. Fairfax Media. Retrieved 2 September 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c d "Historic train rolls into Wagin". Wagin Argus. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  15. ^ a b c Burgess, Tony (September–October 2012). "Motive Power Roundup". Motive Power (83): 28. 
  16. ^ Perry, Jennifer (23 May 2012). "CBH's first loco arrives". railexpress.com.au. Informa Australia Pty Ltd. Retrieved 6 September 2012. 
  17. ^ Garnett, Olivia (24 August 2012). "CBH proudly launches its new rail fleet". ABC website. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 28 August 2012. 
  18. ^ "CBH Group Officially Launches New Rail Fleet". Grainnet. Country Journal Publishing Co. 24 August 2012. 
  19. ^ Burgess, Tony (July–August 2012). "Motive Power Roundup". Motive Power: 28. 
  20. ^ Burgess, Tony (November–December 2012). "Motive Power Roundup". Motive Power (84): 28. 
  21. ^ Burgess, Tony (January–February 2013). "Motive Power Roundup". Motive Power (85): 25. 
  22. ^ Burgess, Tony (March–April 2013). "Motive Power Roundup". Motive Power (86): 28. 

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