CFCL Australia

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IndustryRail Asset Leasing
FoundedNovember 1998
HeadquartersMillers Point
Key people
Ian Gibbs (Chairman), Pat Reid (CEO)
ParentCF Asia Pacific
SubsidiariesCFCLA Maintenance

CFCL Australia (CFCLA) is an Australian locomotive and rolling stock leasing company operating in the rail freight market. CFCLA leases assets to a number of private rail operators in the local rail industry, predominantly on the defined standard gauge interstate network.

Though primarily based in New South Wales, CFCLA’s assets can be found operating in most Australian states and with all major train operating companies. It has rolling stock on both long term lease to these companies as well as assets that are available for spot hire. It is owned by Chicago Freight Car Leasing Company and Marubeni Corporation


EL class locomotives in January 2007
S311 leading CFCLA grain hoppers on an El Zorro operated train near Meredith in January 2008

CFCL Australia was established in 1998, by the American Chicago Freight Car Leasing Company. Its first contract was for the supply of a small fleet of radio controlled, automated ballast hoppers to Westrail.

The first locomotives acquired were 13 members of the EL class from Australian National in November 1998.[1][2] In 2000, it diversified into wagons.[3]

In March 2009, the Marubeni Corporation purchased a 49% stake in CFCLA.[4] In November 2012, CFCLA unveiled its first intrastructure train in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.[5] As at October 2014, it had locomotives operating construction trains on the Roy Hill line and on the Hamersley & Robe River railway.[6]

Marubeni relinquished it's stake in CFCLA in 2016 and now holds a 15% stake in CF Asia Pacific.

CF Rail Services[edit]

CF Rail Services logo

In September 2010, CFCLA took out a lease on the Goulburn Railway Workshops to maintain both its locomotive and wagon fleets with the facility named the Australian Horse Power Service Centre.[7][8][9] As well as maintaining its own fleet, Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia also perform maintenance for other operators including Qube Logistics. It also maintains locomotives at Islington Railway Workshops in Adelaide.

CF Rail Services was established in 2013, bringing together the Australian Horse Power Service Centre and the Bluebird Rail Operations engineering business at Islington.[10]

The CF Rail Services name was dropped in 2017 to consolidate the name as CFCLA.


Initially the CFCLA locomotive fleet comprised second hand locomotives no longer required by rail operators or re-manufactured units that had been given life-extending overhauls. More recently it has purchased new locomotives

The CFCLA diesel locomotive fleet is made up of a variety of different classes of units, ranging from modern high power units to older mainline locomotives, and smaller branch line and shunting units.[11] As at October 2014, it comprised 88 locomotives.[6]

Class Image Type Gauge Top speed
Number Notes
EL class CFCLA-EL-classes.jpg Diesel-electric Standard 115 13 ex Australian National
44 Class CFCLA-44class-4471.jpg Diesel-electric Standard 115 1 Ex FreightCorp. Stored.
GL Class Diesel-electric Standard 115 12 rebuilt ex FreightCorp 442 class
442 class Diesel-electric Standard 115 2 ex FreightCorp via various operators
500 class Diesel-electric Standard 65 1 ex South Australian Railways
B class Cfcla-b-class-melbourne.jpg Diesel-electric Broad 115 2 ex V/Line via various operators
C class CFCLA GT26C C502 AT NCIG Kooragang.jpg Diesel-electric Standard 115 3 ex V/Line via various operators
S class El-zorro-broad-gauge grain.jpg Diesel-electric Broad 115 2 ex V/Line via various operators
T class T373 CFCLA.JPG Diesel-electric Broad 100 5 ex V/Line via various operators
G class G515MaryvaleFlinders.jpg Diesel-electric Broad 115 3 ex V/Line via various operators
TL class Diesel-electric Standard 100 1 ex Kowloon-Canton Railway
CD Class Diesel-electric Standard 90 8 ex Robe River Iron Associates
VL class CFCLA-VL-class-VL355.jpg Diesel-electric Standard 115 12 New build
CF class Diesel-electric Standard 115 10 New build. Original 12 units, 2 sold to Aurizon.
CM class Diesel-electric Standard 115 16 New build

Most locomotives in the fleet are named after famous Australian race horses.

The CFCLA fleet also comprises over 1,700 freight wagons of a variety of types including ballast hoppers, grain hoppers, bulk mineral hoppers, and intermodal flat wagons of varying lengths and carrying capabilities. CFCLA wagons generally have four-character identification codes starting with the letter C.[12]

Former fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Gauge Top speed
Number Notes
FL Class Diesel-electric Standard 115 1 ex FreightCorp 422 class. Sold to Watco Australia.
HL Class Diesel-electric Standard 115 1 ex FreightCorp 422 class. Sold to Watco Australia.


  1. ^ Leon Oberg (2007). Locomotives of Australia: 1850s - 2007. Rosenberg Publishing. p. 9. ISBN 1-877058-54-8.
  2. ^ "ELs Sold to US Bidder" Railway Digest December 1998 page 12
  3. ^ "CFCLA Wagon Expansion" Railway Digest" June 2000 page 13
  4. ^ Joint Venture CFCLA
  5. ^ Trainsets 2013-2014 CFCL Australia
  6. ^ a b "Australia Wide Fleet List" Motive Power issue 96 November 2014 pages 66/67
  7. ^ Bright Future for Goulburn Railway Workshops Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia 2 September 2010
  8. ^ Workshops roll ahead Goulburn Post 12 June 2012
  9. ^ "Born in Chicago" Railway Digest November 2012 page 34
  10. ^ History CF Rail Services
  11. ^ Locomotives Chicago Freight Car Leasing Australia
  12. ^ Wagons CFCL Australia

External links[edit]