On December 13, 2010, the CBH Group of Western Australia announced Watco had been awarded its long-term grain rail contract. The CBH Group is a Western Australian farmer-owned cooperative that was established in 1933. It’s controlled by more than 4,800 grower-shareholders who plant and harvest grain grown across the 320,000 square kilometres (198,840 square miles) that comprise the Western Australian grain belt.
Watco began its Western Australian operations in March of 2012 and provides comprehensive rail logistics services including train planning and scheduling, tracing, maintenance and inventory control. The railroad transports an average of 10-12 million tonnes (368-441 million bushels) of grain from 192 country reception sites to CBH’s four export terminals.
CBH also announced they would be investing $175 million in rolling stock which Watco would operate and maintain; this would include a number of locomotives and more than 300 wagons (railcars). The Western Australian grain network is similar in carload volume and track length to Watco’s Central Region grain network consisting of the Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad, the South Kansas and Oklahoma Railroad and the Stillwater Central Railroad.