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Rail News

Transnet goods train derails, blocks major line in Cape Town

By: News24Wire      10th December 2018 A Transnet goods train derailed between Tygerberg and Bellville railway stations in Cape Town on Monday, severely delaying commuter services. "Under current circumstances, delays could exceed 120 minutes," Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said. Scott said the derailment occurred around 08:30... 

Gibela delivers its first South African made train to PRASA 

By: Irma Venter     7th December 2018 Gibela has delivered its first South African-built X’trapolis Mega commuter train to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The train was dispatched from Gibela’s new train manufacturing complex at Dunnottar, in Ekurhuleni, this week, travelling to Prasa’s Wolmerton depot, north of... 

Gibela delivers its first South African made train to PRASA
The first South African-built X’trapolis Mega commuter train on its way to the Wolmerton depot

South Africa’s 'dysfunctional' rail system root of many transport problems 

By: Irma Venter     7th December 2018 South Africa has a “completely dysfunctional" passenger rail system, says Professor Stephan Krygsman of the University of Stellenbosch’s Department of Logistics (Transport Economics). “There is no way to sugarcoat it. “The fact that we cannot get a rail system working in this country is probably... 

South Africa’s 'dysfunctional' rail system root of many transport problems

Transnet to modify operating model, corporate structure

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd December 2018 State-owned Transnet last week held a board strategy workshop to review the group’s deteriorating financial and operational performance. The first resolution to come out of the workshop was on the principles for the corporate design of a new operating model that is underpinned by financial... 

Transnet to modify operating model, corporate structure
Photo by Creamer Media
Transnet acting group CE Tau Morwe

Swifambo loses SCA bid to retain R3.5bn 'tall trains' PRASA tender

By: News24Wire      30th November 2018 Controversial locomotive supplier Swifambo Rail Leasing has lost a Supreme Court of Appeal challenge to a High Court order that stripped it of a R3.5-billion tender with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). Last year, Judge J Francis in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg... 

Afreximbank ropes in Russian companies to invest in railway projects in Africa

By: African News Agency      30th November 2018 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said on Friday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian Railways and the Russian Export Center (REC) to cooperate in implementing export and investment projects in the railway sector in Africa. Under the terms of the MoU, the parties... 

Saldanha iron-ore rail line to remain shut until Dec 9 after truck accident

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th November 2018 State-owned Transnet has stopped all rail activity along the Saldanha iron-ore export line after a truck carrying an abnormal load with excessive height collided with a railway bridge between Vredendal and Lutzville, in the Western Cape. The accident, which took place at about 10:00 on Wednesday... 

Durban train delays in the spotlight

By: News24Wire      28th November 2018 "He didn't even wait for me to explain why I was late. I was just told to pack my things and leave," says Philile Nzimande, who was fired from her job because of Durban Metrorail train delays. Nzimande said she had arrived two hours late after the train from Umlazi "stopped in the middle of... 

African countries urged to sign Luxembourg Protocol at Zimbabwe PIDA meeting

By: African News Agency      27th November 2018 African countries have been urged to sign the Luxembourg Protocol by Soteri Gatera, the chief of industrialisation and infrastructure at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Gatera made the call during his presentation titled, ‘The Luxembourg Rail Protocol: Railway Rolling Stock Financing –... 

Guinea bauxite miner to build new railway in $3bn deal

By: Bloomberg     27th November 2018 Societe Miniere de Boke, which mines aluminum raw material bauxite in Guinea, signed agreements with the West African nation to spend $3-billion on a railway, an alumina refinery and the development of new mining areas. The 135 km railway, which will link mining operations to a river terminal,... 

R1bn Dunnottar facility boosts Nigel economy, youth employment  

22nd November 2018 Last month, President Cyril Ramaphosa officially opened the R1-billion, 78ha Gibela train manufacturing facility at Dunnottar Park, in Johannesburg. The facility will manufacture, assemble, test, commission and deliver 580 new X’Trapolis Mega commuter trains for Prasa. Nadine James tells us more. 

R1bn Dunnottar facility boosts Nigel economy, youth employment
R1bn Dunnottar facility boosts Nigel economy, youth employment

Audit outcomes of State-owned entities continue to regress

By: Kim Cloete     22nd November 2018 The audit outcomes of State-owned entities (SOEs) have regressed over the past financial year compared with both the previous year and 2014/15. The 2017/18 general report for the Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) said there was an increase in noncompliance of the 16 SOEs it audited. It also... 

Gibela to hand over SA-built train before year-end 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th November 2018 The first new Xtra’polis Mega commuter train to be built in South Africa since the 1970s is undergoing final testing at transport consortium Gibela’s train manufacturing facility in Dunnottar, Gauteng, ahead of being handed over before the end of 2018 to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa... 

Gibela to hand over SA-built train before year-end

Repair, maintenance vital for infrastructure life span

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     16th November 2018 Preventive maintenance and the timeous repair of infrastructure can save significant costs and extend the life of infrastructure, says specialised construction products supplier a.b.e. Construction Chemicals general construction sales manager Warren Trew. “Unfortunately, many players in the... 

Repair, maintenance vital for infrastructure life span
BRIDGE RESORATION a.b.e. Construction Chemicals is involved in the restoration of bridges on the N17 and N14

Project to have major economic impact

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     16th November 2018 The Motherwell Passenger Rail Corridor (MPRC), one of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) largest rail projects, will have a major economic impact, with significant benefits, says multidisciplinary engineering and architecture company GIBB railway engineering associate Nico... 

Project to  have major economic impact
MOTHERWELL PASSENGER RAIL CORRIDOR The construction of the railway line and associated infrastructure is scheduled to start in 2022/23

GE pulls out of Nigeria rail concession, hands over to Transnet

By: Bloomberg     15th November 2018 General Electric (GE) said it’s giving up a Nigerian railway concession and handing it over to Transnet in line with its strategy to exit the transportation business. Agreements GE reached with the Nigerian government “are now being negotiated by Transnet and its consortium partners” including... 

Johannesburg Park Station platforms to be closed for a month

By: African News Agency      13th November 2018 Passenger Railway Agency South Africa (PRASA) on Tuesday said the majority of Johannesburg Park Station platforms will be closed with limited train services accessing the station between November 16 and December 16. PRASA said their modernisation programme aimed at rolling out new modernised... 

Nothing sinister about the new fleet of vehicles, PRASA spokesperson says

By: African News Agency      7th November 2018 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on Wednesday in response to media speculation on its new fleet, said installation of tracking devices had delayed sending vehicles it acquired recently to operational areas.  Media reports said that a total of 174 brand-new vehicles, which were... 

Morwe signals strategy shift as he prioritises restoration of trust amid ‘turbulance’ 

By: Terence Creamer     7th November 2018 Transnet acting CEO Tau Morwe is prioritising the restoration of trust, internally and externally, which he acknowledges has been affected by the “turbulence” associated with recent action taken by the board to tackle corruption and recover money “siphoned” from the State-owned company. However,... 

Morwe signals strategy shift as he prioritises restoration of trust amid ‘turbulance’

Road sweeper showcased at Wastecon

2nd November 2018 Local equipment supplier Shumani Industrial Equipment showcased its innovative MACRO M60 road sweeper at Wastecon 2018 which took place at Emperor’s Palace last month. Shumani director Victor Nemukula says municipalities were constantly battling with increased littering, which has become an... 

Russian rail group aims to develop newly acquired Boksburg factory into global narrow-gauge hub

By: Terence Creamer     31st October 2018 Leading Russian rail engineering group Transmashholding (TMH) confirmed on Wednesday that it, together with its South African partner Mjisa, had completed the acquisition of a 45 000 m2 rail manufacturing facility in Gauteng, South Africa. Black empowerment company Mjisa, which is led by Mafika... 

Russian rail group aims to develop newly acquired Boksburg factory into global narrow-gauge hub
Mjisa Investments director Sam Bhembe, TMH International CEO Martin Vaujour and TMH Africa CEO Jerome Boyet

Transnet suspends former supply chain officer for misconduct

By: African News Agency      31st October 2018 Transnet said on Wednesday that it has suspended its former group supply chain officer, Edward Thomas, pending investigations into various serious allegations of misconduct involving a number of contracts. Transnet said that Thomas, currently group general manager for finance, was informed on... 

Rail Enforcement Unit launched in Cape Town

By: African News Agency      29th October 2018 A much-anticipated Rail Enforcement Unit was launched during a ceremony on Cape Town railway station on Monday morning, with the hope of securing the safety of passengers and critical infrastructure on the city's beleaguered rail network. The establishment of the unit follows the memorandum of... 

Rail Enforcement Unit launched in Cape Town

Rail industry plagued by theft, vandalism

By: Simone Liedtke     26th October 2018 Train collisions accounted for the highest number of safety incidents in the rail sector during 2017/18, the Railway Safety Regulator’s (RSR’s) annual ‘State of Safety’ report, shows. Other prominent incidents included fires, platform train interchange incidents, people being struck by trains and... 

Ramaphosa inaugurates R1bn train manufacturing facility, training centre in Nigel 

By: Nadine James     25th October 2018 President Cyril Ramaphosa on Thursday officially opened the R1-billion, 78 ha Gibela train manufacturing facility at Dunnottar Park, in Nigel, east of Johannesburg. Members of the Southern African Development Community Secretariat, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) acting group CEO... 

Ramaphosa inaugurates R1bn train manufacturing facility, training centre in Nigel

Announcement on preferred bidder for Gautrain rolling stock expected by year-end

By: Irma Venter     25th October 2018 The preferred bidder in the race to provide 12 new four-car trains to the Gautrain system should be announced by the end of the year, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO Jack van der Merwe.   The announcement was originally expected in August. The Gautrain system currently operates 96... 

Announcement on preferred bidder for Gautrain rolling stock expected by year-end

Intermodal transport systems vital for growth in South Africa, SADC region 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     23rd October 2018 Intermodal transport systems are vital for economic growth and development in South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region, Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi said during a presentation at the fifth edition of the South Africa-Italy Summit/Indaba on... 

Intermodal transport systems vital for growth in South Africa, SADC region
Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi outlines the need for intermodal transport systems in South Africa and the rest of the Southern African Development Community region. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Gautrain expansion decision ‘not imminent’, warns MEC Vadi

By: Irma Venter     22nd October 2018 Government’s sign-off on the expansion of the Gautrain rail network “is not imminent”, warns Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi. He noted on Monday that the feasibility study for the proposed Gauteng Rapid Rail Integrated Network Extension Plan had been completed. This study concluded... 

Gautrain expansion decision ‘not imminent’, warns MEC Vadi

Transnet removes Gama as CEO

By: Reuters     22nd October 2018 The board of directors of South African state-owned logistics firm Transnet said it had removed Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama, who has been accused of misconduct in a multimillion-dollar deal. Transnet, which operates nearly three-quarters of the African rail network, the bulk of which is in... 

Transnet removes Gama as CEO
Photo by Creamer Media
Siyabonga Gama

Electronification prompts data-based services

19th October 2018 As part of the electronification of mobile hydraulics, drive and control technologies group Bosch Rexroth is developing new, data-based services for all aspect of rail vehicles. Until now, the maintenance of rail vehicles has essentially happened at fixed intervals, whereby the service engineer... 

Electronification prompts data-based services
INTERNET OF THINGS An Internet of Things solution manages the transfer, processing and visualisation of measured data for PredictDrivetrain and NextGenSpec

Luxembourg Protocol can reshape African rail industry

By: Natasha Odendaal     19th October 2018 The adoption of the Luxembourg Protocol to the Cape Town Convention can be a solution to unlocking billions of dollars of investments from private investors into Africa’s rail industry. The new treaty, which will provide a Luxembourg-based central international registry of ownership of railway... 

More trains subject to manual authorisation due to signalling defects, MPs told

By: African News Agency      17th October 2018 The number of passenger trains on South African railway tracks subject to manual authorisation because of defective signalling systems continues to rise, MPs heard on Tuesday. Briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on transport, the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) acting chief executive Tshepo... 

Opportunities abound for Italian entrepreneurs expanding into Africa

By: Shannon de Ryhove     12th October 2018 The Italian-South African Chamber of Trade and Industries says Italian companies are becoming increasingly positive about the opportunities offered by South Africa, which is being acknowledged as a hub from which to expand and invest into surrounding African countries, says Italian-South African... 

Rail to form backbone of South African transport, mobility by 2050

By: Simone Liedtke     11th October 2018 The draft White Paper on National Rail Policy is expected to be completed by the end of this year, with the legislative process only expected to begin post the 2019 national elections. The promulgation of the draft White Paper will be the first instance in which government will be giving the... 

Transnet tests world’s longest manganese production train

By: Marleny Arnoldi     11th October 2018 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has successfully run a 375-wagon manganese train over a distance of 861 km from Sishen to Saldanha Bay. This formed part of the testing of the 4-km-long train, which will, once in operation, be a production train with the highest number of wagons in the world, and the... 

Losses due to arson attacks on Metrorail trains closing in on R700m 

By: African News Agency      9th October 2018 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on Tuesday put its losses due to arson attacks on its Metrorail trains at R636-million over the past three years. Briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on transport, PRASA chief executive Sibusiso Sithole said 71% of the arson attacks had... 

Nzimande urges Prasa, rail regulator to resolve trains safety impasse out of court

By: African News Agency      8th October 2018 Transport minister Blade Nzimande on Monday appealed to both the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) and Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to find an out of court settlement in the interests of millions of commuters who daily use the Metrorail, in a stand off over safety. The regulator... 

Nzimande urges Prasa, rail regulator to resolve trains safety impasse out of court
Transport Minister Blade Nzimande
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