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Rail News

Big loss for Gautrain predicted as ridership falls, owing to Covid-19

By: Irma Venter     18th September 2020 Weekday Gautrain rail ridership has fallen to 7 478 passenger trips a day, about 14% of pre-Covid-19 levels, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) COO Tshepo Kgobe. Bus ridership is at 16% of pre-Covid-19 levels, at 2 974 passenger trips a day. 

Security function now top priority at PRASA, says CEO

By: Irma Venter     18th September 2020 While Covid-19 has given the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) the opportunity to “stop and think” about its service offering and the way forward for the rail entity, it also left the door open for severe vandalism of its assets during the national lockdown, says CEO Nosipho Damasane.... 

Mbalula launches beefed up PRASA protection service  

By: Donna Slater     16th September 2020 The Department of Transport and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on September 16 launched the multidisciplinary Ministerial Integrated Security Plan, which involves the employment and deployment of an additional 3 100 security personnel to monitor and protect rail... 

Mbalula launches beefed up PRASA protection service
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula inspects a portion of the new PRASA protection officers at the Rhodesfield train station

Transnet mulls lifting Chinese engine contract suspension

By: Reuters     10th September 2020 South Africa's Transnet may be forced to lift a suspension on China's CRRC Corp so that the firm can repair its locomotives, according to a document from state-owned Transnet, despite pending legal action against the Chinese giant. The world's biggest train maker CRRC - formed by the merger of... 

Security function now top priority at PRASA, says CEO 

By: Irma Venter     7th September 2020 While Covid-19 has given the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) the opportunity to “stop and think” about its service offering and the way forward for the rail entity, it also left the door open for severe vandalism of its assets during the national lockdown, says CEO Nosipho Damasane.... 

Security function now top priority at PRASA, says CEO

Rolling ahead with railway wheel repairs

By: Tracy Hancock     4th September 2020 Rail components manufacturer Bakara Engineering has completed repairs to railway wheels for a private rail operator and is working on a similar project for Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), Bakara technical manager Reg Taylor tells Engineering News. Appointed by the private rail... 

Rolling ahead with railway wheel repairs
WHEELSHOP REDRESS Bakara was appointed by PRASA in November last year to repair railway wheels, but a technical assessment of its wheelshop was required before the company could start production

Localisation key to economic recovery

By: Tracy Hancock     4th September 2020 Localisation should be the main driver of South Africa’s economic recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak, says diversified engineering company Pamodzi Unique Engineering CEO Sindi Dlamini. The Boksburg-based broad-based black economic-empowerment Level 1 company designs, manufactures and... 

Localisation key to economic recovery
INTERNATIONALLY ACTIVE Pamodzi Unique Engineering has supplied off-road pantographs to the US, Panama, Belgium, Zambia, Namibia and recently Russia

HVAC specialist launches new tech

By: Tracy Hancock     4th September 2020 Three prototypes of a new modular mobile cool-air-drying system for agricultural use will be launched at the end of this year by Pretoria-headquartered multidisciplinary engineering company Specialist Mechanical Engineers (SME). The development of the system is in line with SME’s strategy to... 

HVAC specialist launches new tech
AGRICULTURAL ASSET The modular mobile cool-air-drying system optimised drying time and low energy costs among other advantages

Gibela has spent R6bn on local procurement since 2014 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th August 2020 Train manufacturer Gibela has launched its first socioeconomic impact report, sharing the progress it has made in terms of economic, social and environmental initiatives from January 2014 to March this year. Gibela was formed in 2013 as a black economic empowerment consortium through French... 

Gibela has spent R6bn on local procurement since 2014
Gibela CEO Hector Danisa

Bulk infrastructure works start at the Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway  

By: Irma Venter     27th August 2020 Construction of bulk infrastructure at the Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway has started. This development, located on the southern border of the Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni metros, is connected by road and rail corridors between Johannesburg and Ekurhuleni, in Gauteng; Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal;... 

Bulk infrastructure works start at the Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway 

Transnet signals intent to support domestic manufacture of rail despite global tender 

By: Terence Creamer     24th August 2020 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet has signalled its intention to support the localisation of rail manufacture, but is simultaneously proceeding with a global tender for the supply of 60 kg a metre of head hardened rail, which it describes as an interim solution for meeting its... 

Transnet signals intent to support domestic manufacture of rail despite global tender

Gautrain set for big loss as ridership falls owing to Covid-19 

By: Irma Venter     21st August 2020 Weekday Gautrain rail ridership has fallen to about 14% of pre-Covid-19 levels, to 7 478 passenger trips a day, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) COO Tshepo Kgobe. Bus ridership is at 16% of pre-Covid-19 levels, at 2 974 passenger trips a day. 

Gautrain set for big loss as ridership falls owing to Covid-19
Tshepo Kgobe

Covid-19 to have lasting impact on the transport sector

By: Irma Venter     14th August 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic means it will never again be business as usual for the transport sector, says Transport Authority for Gauteng (TAG) CEO Jack van der Merwe. The disease has upended almost every aspect of the sector, with a number of changes threatening to be permanent. 

Covid-19 to have lasting impact on the transport sector

Transnet CEO expects subdued commodity prices to weigh on recovery from Covid 

By: Terence Creamer     12th August 2020 Transnet CEO Portia Derby warned on Wednesday that the recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic in South Africa and the rest of Africa was likely to be negatively affected by still-subdued commodity prices and the serious deterioration in public finances across the continent, which had resulted in... 

Transnet CEO expects subdued commodity prices to weigh on recovery from Covid
Transnet CEO Portia Derby

Alstom Southern Africa appoints new MD

By: Irma Venter     7th August 2020 Rail transport company Alstom has appointed Bernard Peille the new MD of Alstom Southern Africa, effective July 15.  Peille joined Alstom in 1989. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the railway industry, with particular expertise in design, industrial site development, management of rolling... 

Transnet signs deal to supply 300 freight rail wagons to Mozambican rail operator 

By: Donna Slater     6th August 2020 State-owned rail engineering company Transnet Engineering (TE) and Mozambican State-owned railway operator Caminhos De Ferros De Mocambique (CFM) have signed a rolling stock supply agreement valued at more than R400-million. Under the terms of the agreement, TE will supply 300 freight wagons to... 

Transnet signs deal to supply 300 freight rail wagons to Mozambican rail operator
Representatives from Transnet Engineering and Caminhos De Ferros De Mocambique sign the 300 wagon deal

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts 

By: Terence Creamer     31st July 2020 Higher levels of infrastructure investment are needed to increase South Africa’s potential growth, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD’s) latest survey of South Africa asserts. Released on July 31, the report warns that the South African economy could contract by as... 

Increasing infrastructure investment would boost South Africa’s potential growth, OECD survey asserts
OECD says tourism sector has big jobs potential, but will need support until the middle of 2021

Efficient wagon handling lowers operational costs

31st July 2020 The safe and efficient offloading of materials from both rail wagons and road trucks improves efficiencies, lowers operating costs and protects product integrity during bulk handling, says materials handling company Specialised Container Agencies (SCA). “SCA focuses on the design of containerised... 

Efficient wagon handling lowers operational costs
ON TRACK TIPPER The use of containerised bulk materials handling solutions ensures safe and efficient offloading in road and rail hauling

Specialised steel extends life of ore wagons

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Stainless steel manufacturer Columbus Stainless advocates that the much longer life span of ore wagons achieved using 3CR12, makes it clear why stainless steel is the cost-effective choice for equipment in ore-handling processes. “Owing to its excellent properties in wet sliding conditions, the... 

Specialised steel extends life of ore wagons
UP ORE DOWN Wagons manufactured by Columbus Stainless using 3CR12 transport ore for substantially longer with less degradation than those made of mild steel or other materials

Manufacturer obtains welding certification

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Rolling stock manufacturer Transmashholdings (TMH) Africa, which acts as the centre of excellence for narrow-gauge rolling stock within the TMH Group, announced in March that it had been awarded the ISO 3834 welding certification. The certification was awarded to the company by the Southern... 

Manufacturer obtains welding certification
ACCREDITED FUSION Transmashholdings Africa have been awarded an International Standards Organisation 3843 welding certification which will help draw in new clients for the company

Workshop conversion back on track

By: Halima Frost     31st July 2020 Although the conversion of railroad equipment supplier Gibela Rail Transport Consortium’s training centre into a traction motor manufacturing workshop has been delayed because of Covid-19, the project is again on track for completion by the end of the year.  The company says that the electrical... 

Workshop conversion  back on track
KEEP MOTORING Although setbacks have been faced Gibela is back on track to start manufacturing its traction motors by year end

PRASA, railway equipment company managers arrested for theft

By: Irma Venter     27th July 2020 The Organised Crime Unit of the South Africa Police Service (SAPS) and the Protection Services of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on the weekend arrested two suspects in possession of stolen PRASA assets, worth almost R2-million. One of the suspects is a PRASA branch manager at... 

PRASA, railway equipment company managers arrested for theft

Metrorail recovers R1.3m in stolen feeder wire  

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2020 Metrorail’s Gauteng Protection Services this week recovered stolen feeder wire worth an estimated R1.3-million. Metrorail’s Rapid Response Unit intercepted a truck carrying four pallets of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa feeder wires.   

Metrorail recovers R1.3m in stolen feeder wire 

Taxi assistance approved in principle, says TAG’s Van der Merwe

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2020 Government has taken the policy decision to financially assist minibus taxis, but the mechanism to do this has not yet been determined, says Transport Authority of Gauteng (TAG) head Jack van der Merwe. “The short answer is that government has made a decision that taxis are a very important... 

UP, CSIR sign collaboration agreement on smart transport, cities 

By: Irma Venter     23rd July 2020 The University of Pretoria (UP) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), an entity of the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), have signed a memorandum of agreement to collaborate in the areas of smart transport, cities and environments. “The cooperation means that UP... 

UP, CSIR sign collaboration agreement on smart transport, cities 

Alstom Southern Africa appoints new MD 

By: Irma Venter     22nd July 2020 Rail transport company Alstom has appointed Bernard Peille as the new MD of Alstom Southern Africa, effective July 15.  Bernard joined Alstom in 1989. He has more than 30 years’ experience in the railway industry, with particular expertise in design, industrial site development, management of... 

Alstom Southern Africa appoints new MD
Bernard Peille

Commuter rail sector urged to prepare for the future  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     20th July 2020 South Africa's commuter rail industry must, while dealing with the immediate challenges of navigating through the Covid-19 pandemic, also ensure that it positions itself as a safer, more advanced and functional mode of public transport for the future, Gautrain Management Agency CEO William Dachs... 

Commuter rail sector urged to prepare for the future

Transnet Freight Rail introduces decentralised operational model

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th July 2020 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has introduced a new operating model that will bring about greater efficiencies for customers, it says. The model has decentralised key responsibilities to ensure a more responsive rail freight network that is better equipped to service the South African economy.  

PRASA to recruit 3 100 additional security guards

By: Marleny Arnoldi     20th July 2020 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has started a recruitment process to employee 3 100 security guards to protect its rail infrastructure and other assets. The recruitment drive will include static and train guards, operations monitoring controllers and armed response guards.  

Transnet closely monitoring Cape Town storm

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th July 2020 State-owned Transnet says it is closely monitoring adverse weather conditions along the country’s coastline, to determine when it is safe to resume port operations. The stormy weather, rough sea conditions and swells in excess of 9 m led to the disruption of outgoing vessel movements at the Port... 

PRASA appoints acting chief procurement officer

By: Donna Slater     7th July 2020 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has appointed Willie Mathebula acting group chief procurement officer, with effect from July 7. He assumes the position which has been left vacant by the departure of previous incumbent Keabetswe Mpane.  

Alstom launches new Mastria mobility orchestration solution

By: Schalk Burger     3rd July 2020 Transport and rail multinational Alstom has launched a new version of multimodal supervision and mobility orchestration solution Mastria, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide operators and transport authorities with enhanced passenger flow management tools. The solution allows... 

Transnet appoints new CFO

By: Donna Slater     1st July 2020 State-owned freight logistics company Transnet has appointed Nonkululeko Dlamini group CFO, with effect from July 1. Dlamini, who will also serve as an executive director on the Transnet board, is a seasoned executive, with almost 20 years’ experience in financial roles at State-owned companies,... 

Grindrod notes impact of lockdown on its businesses

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     26th June 2020 JSE-listed Grindrod’s trading in the first quarter of this year was strong through most of its businesses, the company said in a pre-close business update on June 26. It noted, however, that Covid-19-related lockdowns in Southern African countries impacted significantly on the ability of many of... 

Transnet, Hawks' joint efforts lead to arrest of petroleum, rail equipment thieves

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     25th June 2020 South African rail, port and pipeline company Transnet has welcomed arrests made in connection with the theft of petroleum products and rail equipment. These arrest were achieved through a join security operation between the company and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks),... 

Mpondo institutes investigation into leak of confidential PRASA documents

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd June 2020 Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo has ordered an investigation into the illegal leaking of confidential company documents related to a security tender. Mpondo has directed the acting head of PRASA Security, Brigadier General (Ret) Tebogo Rakau, to... 

Intelligent transport system community severely impacted on by Covid-19 

By: Irma Venter     19th June 2020 The Covid-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the local intelligent transport system (ITS) community, says Intelligent Transport Society South Africa (ITSSA) CEO Dr Paul Vorster. The ITTSA conducted a survey among its members on the new normal brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

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