In addition to or instead of Watco?
I wonder if it is purely cost related or if Watco's inability to ramp up services when required played a part.You paint an amusing picture. Watco have a reputation as a low-cost operator, so one would expect low cost was a significant part of Watco winning the CBH, Graincorp-Qld contracts. And now the grain marketers have sad-face because Watco don't have significant resources on hand for bumper seasons. Sounds like they got what they paid for.
The latter seems to be a gripe with Graincorp on their Queensland deal as well if the rumours are to be believed.
What will Watco do now can they chase other business in WA ?
On narrow gauge it only owns two locos in Western Australia, and with next to zero narrow gauge rollingstock available for lease it probably won't go after the big aluminina and iron ore business, which would require large capital outlays to purchase new equipment. It has existing rail infrastructure contracts at the moment with Arc Infstructure. New narrow gauge container traffic that it develops itself is probably the only way forward, maybe southwest lithium, but once again, that will depend on rollingstock availability. Alternative grain logistics companies might be an option too.I believe Qube own approx. 25 container wagons currently stored in Pinjarra. I guess Watco could use them them if ever required. Cheers (In attached link 18 March 2014) News 2014 (hothamvalleyrailway.com.au)