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Rail News

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... 

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

Balking miners jeopardise $2.8bn Mozambican coal rail

By: Bloomberg     5th October 2018 A plan to develop a $2.8-billion railway and port to ferry coal in Mozambique may collapse because miners are balking, according to the man trying to build it. Failing to get the project off the ground would deprive the southern African country of a source of revenue it’s come to rely on as it... 

Nzimande wants urgent report on Kempton Park train crash

By: News24Wire      5th October 2018 Transport Minister Blade Nzimande wants an urgent report on the Kempton Park train crash after 320 people were injured in the collision between two trains on Thursday. Nzimande is seeking answers from the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR), his spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi said on Friday. "Minister... 

Aveng to sell rail business to Mathupha Capital for R133m

By: Terence Creamer     3rd October 2018 JSE-listed infrastructure group Aveng announced on Wednesday that it would sell its rail business to black-owned investment company Mathupha Capital for R133-million. The proposed transaction is subject to several conditions, including Competition Commission approval, but it is nevertheless... 

Aveng to sell rail business to Mathupha Capital for R133m

Transnet lining up to be a global player by 2020, Gama tells delegates

By: African News Agency      2nd October 2018 Embattled Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama on Tuesday told delegates at a transport and logistics conference in Durban that the parastatal is aiming to be a multi-billion rand player in the global logistics game by 2020. “We aim to grow Transnet to a R100-billion business by 2020 and a top... 

Nzimande slams DA for state of emergency call over trains

By: News24Wire      2nd October 2018 Transport Minister Blade Nzimande has slammed the DA's calls to have a state of emergency called in the Western Cape over the state of train services. Last month, Mayoral Committee member for Transport and Urban Development Brett Herron made the request after an attack on a train en route to... 

Transnet head Gama given notice of termination, board confirms

By: News24Wire      28th September 2018 The Transnet Board has confirmed Transnet group chief executive Siyabonga Gama was given notice of termination, with ten days to justify why he should not be axed. In a statement, the Board said it had on Thursday served Gama with a letter explaining its decision, citing "serious violations" of... 

Transnet head Gama given notice of termination, board confirms
Photo by Dylan Slater
Siyabonga Gama

Cameroonian rail firm Camrail convicted over 2016 deadly train crash

By: Reuters     27th September 2018 Cameroonian rail operator Camrail and eleven other defendants were found guilty of involuntary manslaughter on Wednesday in connection with a train derailment that killed 79 people and wounded over 600 in October 2016. The packed train operated by Camrail, a unit of French industrial group... 

Trafigura Group helps re-establish historic African trade route

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th September 2018 Independent commodity trading group Trafigura has successfully taken the first step towards reopening one of Africa’s most historic trade routes, with a train journey that ended in the Angolan port of Lobito on Saturday, September 22. A cargo of 800 t of copper blister, bought by Trafigura from... 

PRASA 'indefinitely' suspends trains in KZN

By: News24Wire      25th September 2018 There will be no trains in the entire province of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) confirmed to News24 on Monday evening. PRASA provincial spokesperson Zama Nomnganga said they have indefinitely suspended all their operations in KZN. "Yes, we have done... 

Pretoria high court dismisses Transnet director's challenge to dismissal

By: African News Agency      19th September 2018 The Pretoria High court on Tuesday dismissed former Transnet director Seth Radebe's challenge to have his removal by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan set aside. Gordhan said in a statement he welcomed the ruling, adding that Rabebe's approach to the court had been "vexacious". 

Cable theft puts brakes on Pretoria-Joburg Metrorail trains

By: African News Agency      19th September 2018 Metrorail said on Wednesday that its train service running between Pretoria and Johannesburg was disrupted due to overhead catenary wires being cut and stolen at Irene from both the up and down lines.  Goodman Matampi, acting provincial manager of Gauteng Metrorail, said trains to and from... 

ELB, Elwatini partner to provide rail solutions

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th September 2018 ELB Engineering Services and Elwatini Rail Consultants have formed a special purpose vehicle (SPV), ELB-Elwatini Rail Solutions, to provide services in rail feasibility studies, railway planning, railway engineering design, construction supervision and management, civil design, traction power and... 

World’s first hydrogen fuel cell train enters commercial service

By: Simone Liedtke     17th September 2018 The world’s first hydrogen fuel cell train, the Coradia iLint, made its debut this past weekend. The train is equipped with fuel cells that convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity, thereby eliminating pollutant emissions related to propulsion. 

World’s first hydrogen fuel cell train enters commercial service

Bombardier Transportation’s electric train makes its public debut

By: Irma Venter     14th September 2018 Bombardier Transportation’s new battery-operated train, the  Bombardier Talent 3 electro-hybrid train, was introduced to the German public this week. “We want to continue to electrify rail transport. A train that can charge its batteries from the overhead line while driving is a huge step toward... 

Bombardier Transportation’s electric train makes its public debut

First Xeno 1 laser installation complete

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     14th September 2018 Product identification equipment manufacturer Cab Technology South Africa has completed the installation of a Xeno 1 laser marking system at cable and connector solutions supplier Hiconnex Industrial’s new facility, in Centurion, in Gauteng, says Cab Technology South Africa technical sales... 

First Xeno 1 laser  installation complete
XENO 1 LASER SYSTEM The Xeno 1 is a desktop system that meets all the requirements for a cyber-physical system

PRASA commits to paying R16m for special Rail Enforcement Unit

By: News24Wire      13th September 2018 The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA) says it is fully committed to its part in the establishment of a special Rail Enforcement Unit, pledging to pay its R16-million contribution towards the deployment of an additional 100 officers. The rail agency's contribution, which it reaffirmed at a... 

South Africa's iron-ore railway to be shut down for annual maintenance

By: Reuters     12th September 2018 The main railway line along South Africa's iron-ore corridor will be shut down for annual maintenance from September 26 to October 2, State-owned freight logistics firm Transnet said on Wednesday. The railway line that stretches up to 861 km (534 miles) from iron-ore mines at Sishen in the... 

Traxtion, Railway Material Resources form JV to distribute rail parts into Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th September 2018 Private locomotive and rail operator Traxtion Sheltam and Austria-based rail services company Railway Material and Resources (RMR) have signed an agreement to create a joint venture (JV) called RMR Africa, that will distribute rail parts across the African continent. The JV brings together two... 

Transnet board suspends two senior executives

By: African News Agency      7th September 2018 Transnet's board on Thursday, announced the suspension of two senior executives. "The board of Transnet today suspended two senior Transnet executives – Thamsanqa Jiyane, the chief officer for advanced manufacturing of Transnet Engineering and Lindiwe Mdletshe, the senior manager for strategic... 

Transport committee says rail safety regulator should prioritise signalling challenges

By: African News Agency      5th September 2018 The Portfolio Committee on Transport has on Wednesday called on the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) to prioritise signalling in its programmes. The call comes after more than 100 people were injured on Tuesday after a collision between two passenger Metrorail trains at the Eloff extension in Selby,... 

African rail industry urged to adopt concepts of Fourth Industrial Revolution

By: Nadine James     4th September 2018 The African rail industry must adopt the concepts and develop the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to facilitate, and realise, the industrialisation aspirations of the continent, delegates attending a South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) technical workshop, on Tuesday,... 

More than 100 commuters injured in Joburg train collision

By: African News Agency      4th September 2018 Metrorail has said that a total 112 commuters, mostly without valid train tickets, sustained minor injuries and seven with serious but not critical injuries are receiving medical attention at four local hospitals after a collision between two passenger trains in Johannesburg. This comes after a... 

Public Protector to probe Metrorail in Western Cape

By: African News Agency      3rd September 2018 The Public Protector has agreed to investigate struggling Metrorail in the Western Cape, where the service has been hit with multiple problems that have seen the numbers of commuters drop by nearly half. Frequent delays and inadequate space on commuter trains have been made worse by the recent... 

Grindrod reports strong recovery in interim earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st August 2018 Freight and financial services group Grindrod has achieved a strong year-on-year recovery in the six months to June 30, with its earnings a share having increased to 317c, compared with a loss a share of 11.5c in the first half of 2017. Headline earnings a share were 3.8c, compared with a... 

Spotlight on CTC and potential legal inconsistencies

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     31st August 2018 The Cape Town Convention (CTC) on International Interests in Mobile Equipment is receiving a lot of attention from the legal industry in terms of how South Africa has incorporated it and how certain remedies provided for therein are enforced in the aviation industry, says global law firm Norton... 

Spotlight on CTC and potential legal inconsistencies
COMPLIANCY CHECK An aviation working group is evaluating whether South Africa implements and complies with the rights and remedies provided for in the Cape Town Convention

Untu warns against PRASA’s continued safety noncompliance

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th August 2018 The United National Transport Union (Untu) believes government and Transport Minister Blade Nzimande can be held accountable for any injuries incurred by employees or commuters of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), owing to “blatant disregard” for basic safety procedures set down... 

Transnet results eclipsed by irregular expenditure, qualified audit and State capture

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2018 A surge in irregular expenditure to over R8-billion triggered a qualification of Transnet’s 2018 financial results, all but eclipsing an otherwise strong financial and operational performance by the State-owned group. The irregular expenditure related primarily to procurement undertaken by... 

Transnet results eclipsed by irregular expenditure, qualified audit and State capture

State capture inquiry gets underway in Johannesburg

By: African News Agency      20th August 2018 The judicial commission of inquiry into alleged capture of the South African State and its entities, referred to as ''State capture'', is set to begin on Monday in Johannesburg. At the centre of the hearings are the fugitive Gupta family, who have since left the country as allegations of... 

State capture inquiry gets underway in Johannesburg
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

Get your house in order, MPs tell Transnet

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 Parliament's watchdog on public account on Friday said it had instructed the Transnet board and management to curb graft at the State-owned company. "The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has told the Transnet Board and management to stop the looting because the business is able to... 

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