Manufacturing News

Sugar refiner builds its own sugar locomotive

Manufacturing News

Sugar producer Wilmar Sugar has built its own locomotive to haul cane from the fields to the refinery – the first sugar locomotive built from the ground up by a milling company in more than 140 years.

The 26 tonne locomotive, named Brisbane (pictured), is about to start its maiden season, and is the first new model introduced to the company’s fleet since 1991.

Two more of the new model locos are currently under construction by the Queensland company, with two more planned for 2024.

Wilmar Sugar Senior Project Engineer Calvin Smith said Brisbane had been designed to meet all of the company’s requirements for a mid-sized loco.

Smith said: “This has been a really important project for the company and for the team.

“We started the conceptual development by looking at what we wanted in a mid-sized loco, in terms of operational performance, fatigue life, cabin design and driver comfort.

“Then we engineered it from the ground up to meet all of our business needs across all of our milling regions.”

Brisbane boasts several new features, including an improved gearbox design, a soft-mounted engine to reduce chassis vibration, a fit-for-purpose automotive-grade control system and new remote shunting unit for single driver operation.

The new loco also uses about 25 per cent less fuel than the model it will replace, and is part of a broader Wilmar strategy to reduce carbon emissions across the business.

Wilmar is also considering a trial of renewable fuel later this year.

Asset Manager for Mobile and Services, Carl Schmidt, said the loco project had taken almost three years to complete – from concept to delivery – and cost about $2 million.

Schmidt said: “It has involved a lot of very dedicated and skilled people from different parts of the Wilmar business, as well as external contractors, and we’re extremely proud of the result.”

He said Brisbane would be based at Wilmar’s Victoria Mill in the Herbert region of Queensland, and is one of the company’s 74 locomotives.

Since 2016 Wilmar has rebuilt 20 of the 40-tonne locos and four of the mid-sized Baldwin locos from the chassis up.

Picture: Wilmar Sugar

Share this Story
Manufacturing News

Stay Informed

Go to Top