R/€ = 15.23Change: 0.20
R/$ = 13.52Change: 0.24
Au 1148.19 $/ozChange: 13.43
Pt 939.00 $/ozChange: 28.50
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?

And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
Oct 12, 2012

Combined passenger-freight trains could offer rural lifelines

Expertise|Pretoria|Rustenburg|Africa|General Electric|General Electric South Africa Technologies|Industrial|Platinum|rail|Road|Roads|System|Systems|Technology|Transnet|transport|Trucks|Africa|South Africa|Broader Public Transport Systems|Logistics|Rural Road Network|Systems|Transport Media|Transport Systems|Transportation|Gorman Zimba|Infrastructure|South Africa
Expertise||Africa|General Electric|Industrial|Platinum|rail|Road|Roads|System|Systems|Technology|Transnet|transport|Trucks|Africa||Logistics|Systems||Infrastructure|
© Reuse this

Predictable, mixed general-freight and passenger trains can move bulk commodities and people from rural areas to cities and help to develop these regions and reduce urbanisation, says global technology company General Electric South Africa Technologies CEO Gorman Zimba.

“Predictability is crucial for freight and passenger transport by rail. To boost our national exports, we must develop a ‘conveyor-belt’ system of trains that is predictable and consistent. “The same applies to the use of trains for passenger transport,” he notes.

Trains are more efficient at transporting bulk goods, such as commodities and agricultural produce, than trucks. Intermodal transport systems should provide incentives for different transport media, including buses and taxis, to participate in the transportation of people from identified pickup points and should function as predictable feeder routes in broader public transport systems.

“All transport modes have a role to play, but need to compete on a level playing field. For example, taxis took over many routes from badly run trains because they were more predictable and out-competed rail transport. However, mixed-freight and passenger trains into the cities can out-compete taxis in this regard, as they add value to the cities more efficiently,” Zimba explains.

Agricultural produce is commonly transported on the roads of South Africa, but that leads to a significant degradation of the rural road network. Making passenger and freight rail transport efficient holds the promise to uplift city and rural areas, he maintains.

“We must be competitive at a global level and this includes changing our culture, which is individualistic with regard to freight and passenger transport, which, in turn, reduces efficiencies. South Africa should focus on using different transport modes, provided they are cost effective. “This will also enable businesspeople, farmers and entrepreneurs to access cost-competitive transport, aiding development,” he explains.

However, improving the use and effectiveness of South African rail transport will require the control system to be modernised.

General Electric’s control systems can help to reduce problems caused by human error, making rail freight much more reliable and predictable, as well as improving their use, he notes.

“General Electric has the technical expertise to run much longer freight trains, up to 3.5-km long, and [State-owned logistics company] Transnet Freight Rail’s strategy [of moving bulk goods, commodities and long-distance transport onto rail] is the right approach,” avers Zimba.

Zimba spoke in September when General Electric took journalists on the Rovos Rail Pride of Africa steam train as it winded its way through the industrial areas of western Pretoria, where defunct and derelict examples of rail yards and industrial-scale rail use were evident.

“We have the infrastructure and can upgrade the lines with a number of short links to new areas, such as the Waterberg coalfields and the Rustenburg platinum belt. “We should use what we have, which is significant,” he said.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Ports and Shipping News
Article contains comments
The government of landlocked Malawi has revived its old proposal to turn the Shire and Zambezi rivers into a commercial waterway for the country’s imports and exports via the Indian Ocean, despite strong opposition from its neighbour Mozambique. Without Mozambican...
The first merchant vessel to be registered under the South African flag since 1985 arrived in Saldanha Bay this week to transport 170 000 t of iron-ore from mining giant Anglo American company Kumba Iron Ore’s  Sishen mine, in Kathu, the Northern Cape, to China. The...
New technologies promise to transform the economic, scientific and environmental of "ocean space" by humanity. This is the view expressed in the recent Global Marine Technology Trends 2030 report, drawn up by three British institutions – marine classification and...
Latest News
Updated 55 minutes ago The Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) has called on governments to introduce legislation that puts a stop to the construction of new coal plants, stating that coal consumption needed to be phased out completely by 2050, or earlier. The international nongovernmental...
Updated 1 hour 13 minutes ago The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has again lowered its growth outlook for South Africa for 2015, projecting in its October World Economic Outlook (WEO) that the economy would expand by only 1.4% this year and 1.3% in 2016. The forecasts represent a 0.6 and a 0.8...
Minister Thulas Nxesi
Updated 1 hour 20 minutes ago There are still many opportunities for South Africa’s black high school learners to find jobs in future, both in the public and private sectors, provided that the learners apply discipline and commitment to study, Public Works Minister Thulas Nxesi said on Tuesday....
Recent Research Reports
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
Road and Rail 2015: A review of South Africa's road and rail sectors (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2015 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail infrastructure and network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and...
Defence 2015: A review of South Africa's defence sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Coal 2015 report examines South Africa’s coal industry with regards to the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local demand, export sales and coal logistics, projects being undertaken by the large and smaller participants in the...
Real Economy Year Book 2015 (PDF Report)
There are very few beacons of hope on South Africa’s economic horizon. Economic growth is weak, unemployment is rising, electricity supply is insufficient to meet demand and/or spur growth, with poor prospects for many of the commodities mined and exported. However,...
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book comprises separate reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Water 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Real Economy Year Book has been divided into individual reports under the banner Real Economy Insight and investigates key developments in the automotive, construction, electricity, road and rail, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum sectors.
This Week's Magazine
Sphere Holdings CEO Itumeleng Kgaboesele
Updated 7 hours ago Black-owned investment holding company Sphere Holdings plans to raise a further R1-billion in the coming months in support of its strategy to become a leading black industrial enterprise, which could ultimately seek a listing on the JSE.
Energy analyst and EE Publishers MD Chris Yelland warned recently against excessive optimism regarding timescales for the proposed construction of new nuclear power plants (NPPs) in South Africa. He was speaking at a Nuclear Roundtable in Johannesburg. “I think we...
Malawi’s Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) is inviting eligible bidders to prequalify for the board’s efficiency improvement works, which will be implemented as part of the E24-million Lilongwe Water Resources Efficiency Programme.   LWB CEO Alfonso Chikuni explains that...
CROATIA, AN EU MEMBER BUT NOT A TDCA MEMBER On July 1, 2013, Croatia officially became the twenty-eighth member of the European Union (EU). Despite Croatia’s accession into the EU, it is yet to become party to the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)...
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has announced that its new Inundu airborne electronics testing, evaluation and training pod had made its first test flight on September 10. The successful flight was undertaken from Lanseria International...
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $96 Close
Subscribe Now for $96