Transport hub to haul in jobs for Warwick
WARWICK is on track to become Watco’s primary Queensland operations hub, offering a welcome economic boost to the drought-stricken town.
The state’s third largest fleet will soon be operational and ready to haul everything from wheat, cotton, livestock and coal, from Southern Queensland to the Port of Brisbane.
The international freight company, from Texas in the United States, has made every effort to inject funds into local businesses during its development stage, according to maintenance supervisor Shane Kraschnefski.
“Anything we can source locally we do,” Mr Kraschnefski said.
“We’ve used a number of establishments and suppliers here, including Roach Engineering, which have been a really big help!”
Everything, from the team’s hardware to their metal supply to fuel, has been bought in town while the four mechanical staff work to bring the locomotives into line with state standards.
The full fleet will include 13 locomotives around 150 grain wagons and two sets of wheat trains going through each day.
Once everything is up and running, locals can expect a number of new employment opportunities.
“All of us here are getting a bit on so we’ll need some electricians, fitters, dual-traders and possibly some assistants as well,” Mr Kraschnefski said.
The success of the transport giant in Warwick relies heavily on the drought breaking, but Watco Australia executive director Ken Potts said they’re in it for the long haul.
“We’ve done our averages over the years; we know there are bumpy years, but it averages out over time.”
Once the drought eases and the grain sector recovers, Mr Potts estimated 24 drivers would be based at the Rose City facility.
“We really want to be set up for a normal harvest, so we’ll have probably five full-time locomotives out of Warwick and two grain fleets, and with a bit of luck, we will have some cattle trains running out of there too,” he said.