Railway product and engineering supply company Yale Engineering Products has secured an order and will supply two 160 t Kirow diesel hydraulic breakdown cranes, currently being manufactured in Germany, to State-owned freight logistics group Transnet’s Rail Engineering (TRE) division, in March or April next year, says Yale Engineering Products MD Kevin Hoy.
The cranes will be used for recovery work at derailment and accident sites or to do heavy lifting during railway construction and heavy bridge construction operations.
The KRC 1200 MultiTasker crane can lift loads almost twice as heavy as those lifted by the cranes currently in operation at Transnet, up to 19 m high within a radius of 23 m.
The Kirow cranes are powered by Cummins QSB 6.7 ℓ engines for crane work and travel on site. The cranes can be towed for long distances behind a locomotive at speeds of up to 100 km/h.
Training in the operation and management of the cranes will be provided to TRE’s representatives at the Kirow facility, in Germany, as well as locally during and after the commissioning of the cranes. Technical support, spare parts, servicing and repairs will then be provided by the company’s personnel when required by Transnet.
Yale Engineering Products became aware of the need for rehabilitation and replacement of existing permanent way, including on a number of rail corridors that had been earmarked for construction within neighbouring States.
“With this in mind, we went out to find a supplier of high quality hand-held track machines and tools. These Robel machines include electric tampers, rail grinders, rail cutters, welding shears, impact wrenches and rail jacks, all used in the rehabilitation and laying down of new permanent way, including maintenance and repair work.”
Mineral Resources Minister Susan Shabangu said in her Budget vote in Parliament, in May, that poor energy and rail infrastructure were hampering the growth of mineral resources and associated industries. She acknowledged the urgent need “to address the inherent limitations imposed on the mining industry by our rail and energy infrastructure”.
Transnet has allocated R15.1-billion for rail projects and rehabilitation over five years.
Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) is also upgrading its rolling stock, including the replacement or upgrading of older diesel and electric locomotives.
Hoy points to a number of depot projects and products that Yale Engineering Products supplied to the industry and TFR specifically, including wheel drop systems, locomotive, coach and wagon jacking systems, jacks, turntables, wagon/chassis inverters and other depot equipment.
The company also supplies Lukas-brand rerailing equipment and traversing beds. This hydraulic equipment is used in recovery work and to place locomotives, wagons or coaches back onto the tracks in the event of a derailing.
“We can provide and support the tools necessary for companies and government to carry out rail rescue and recovery operations, maintenance and rehabilitation of existing permanent way and the maintenance and repair of rolling stock,” he says.
Meanwhile, the company has also completed projects in neighbouring countries, specifically for moving mineral commodities between countries.
The goal of these rail projects within neighbouring countries is to get heavy vehicles off the roads while moving commodities freely within and between countries. Moving commodities by rail can reduce lead times and will ease the burden on the roads, he says.
“This is one of the primary goals that government needs to accomplish with its railway rehabilitation and expansion projects. The sooner we can increase the movement of commodities and passengers around South Africa and between our neighbours, the better for growth and employment,” he emphasises.