In 1997, the former West Australian government rail operator, Westrail, purchased several radio-controlled, automated, ballast hoppers from Chicago Freight Car Leasing (CFCL). These were the first assets sold into Australia by CFCL, the rail leasing arm of a U.S.-based group of enterprises now known as Sasser Family Holdings, Inc.(SFH). The transaction caught the attention of a local entrepreneur. The resultant collaboration marked the inception of CFCL Australia, which was incorporated as SFH’s first wholly-owned, overseas investment in 1998, and utilised further American-made assets in its original fleet.
In 1999, following the privatisation of the government-owned rail operator Australian National, CFCL Australia acquired its first fleet of locomotives with the purchase of the high horse-power modern EL-class fleet. Since then, CFCL Australia has continued to build its asset base through new builds and acquisitions to become the leading supplier of leased locomotive power and rolling stock to Australian rail operators. They also acquired and upgraded two maintenance and repair facilities near Adelaide and Goulburn.
CF Asia Pacific was established in 2013 to provide vision, direction and consistent quality to the expanding enterprises. Shortly thereafter, CF Asia Pacific leadership recognized the need to invest in strategically located maintenance businesses to support its lease fleet and ensure high asset availability and reliability. The maintenance business is now known as CF Rail Services, a consolidation of AHSC and BRO businesses. It provides customer focused and tailored maintenance services to the wider rail industry in Australia with uncompromising quality for all customers.