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Rail News

TFR says rail industry making progress in the fight against cable theft

By: Creamer Media Reporter      17th November 2020 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) reports that more than 169 suspects were arrested between August and October for cable theft. It attributed this success to the joint efforts of TFR and other rail industry stakeholders, as well as law enforcement agencies and customers. 

TFR engages with customers about security concerns, mitigating measures

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     13th November 2020 The Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) executive management, security and technology teams this week hosted a security workshop in collaboration with customers and Minerals Council South Africa to explore ways of stepping up the war against theft, vandalism and sabotage of railway infrastructure and... 

Logistics index shows ‘strong growth’ in third quarter, following decline in prior three months

By: Irma Venter     13th November 2020 The South African logistics sector has just recorded its strongest ever quarter of growth, according to the newest Ctrack Freight & Transport Index (CFTI). In June, at the end of the second quarter, the CFTI showed that the domestic logistics sector recorded a decline of 17.6% compared with the... 

Gibela confident of meeting 2029 deadline 

By: Irma Venter     12th November 2020 Train-maker Gibela is confident it can meet the terms of its R51-billion contract to deliver 600 newly-built train sets to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) by 2029, despite the impact of Covid-19, says CEO Hector Danisa. Gibela in 2013 signed a R51-billion contract to supply... 

Gibela confident of meeting 2029 deadline
Hector Danisa

South Africa urged to take the lead in adopting TIR system

By: Irma Venter     6th November 2020 South Africa should take the lead in adopting the Transport Internationaux Routiers (TIR) system in sub-Saharan Africa, says the International Road Transport Union (IRU). TIR is a United Nations convention and enables goods to be shipped from a country of origin, through transit countries, to a... 

Golden Arrow operator keen on running passenger rail service in Cape Town 

By: Irma Venter     5th November 2020 Hosken Passenger Logistics & Rail (HPL&R), which among others operates the Golden Arrow bus service in Cape Town, is interested in expanding its operations to become a private participant in the country’s rail sector, confirms HPL&R spokesperson Bronwen Dyke-Beyer. HPL&R is listed on the JSE, and... 

Golden Arrow operator keen on running passenger rail service in Cape Town

The 'jig is up' for rail saboteurs - Mbalula tells Parliament

By: News24Wire      4th November 2020 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula wants the "might of the law unleashed" on those responsible for the destruction of South Africa's rail infrastructure. "The jig is up," he told the National Assembly on Tuesday. 

Ctrack Freight & Transport Index sees logistics sector making a comeback

By: Irma Venter     29th October 2020 The South African logistics sector has just recorded its strongest ever quarter of growth, this according to the newest Ctrack Freight & Transport Index (CFTI). In June, at the end of the second quarter, the CFTI showed that the domestic logistics sector recorded a decline of 17.6% compared with... 

Ctrack Freight & Transport Index sees logistics sector making a comeback

Rail offers potential for Africa

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     28th October 2020 The growing population in Africa, coupled with the rise of urbanisation, will require additional transport capacity, and rail has a significant role to play in this, said Products Projects Consulting for Trains MD Wolfram Schwab. He was speaking during rolling stock manufacturing and servicing... 

PRASA appoints acting CEO

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th October 2020 The newly appointed board of control of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) held its first meeting on October 27 and appointed group executive for human capital management Thandeka Mabija acting CEO with immediate effect. She is expected to hold the acting CEO position for a maximum... 

Traxtion to invest billions in rail infrastructure development over next five years 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th October 2020 Rail services and solutions provider Traxtion Group intends to embark on a significant investment programme within South Africa’s rail sector, which will, at first, see an initial locomotive and wagon build programme of R1.5-billion upon conclusion of the appropriate access rights with... 

South Africa’s rail expansion plan links Soweto to Johannesburg

By: Bloomberg     26th October 2020 South Africa’s only high-speed rail network is drawing up a multibillion rand plan to expand outside Johannesburg and Pretoria, joining a potential bonanza of infrastructure projects the government says are key to reviving the economy. A proposal for the venture is awaiting sign-off by the... 

Transnet revamping concessions model to speed up private involvement in rail and ports 

By: Terence Creamer     23rd October 2020 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet is in the process of overhauling its approach to opening up its port and rail networks, including 8 000-km of branch lines, to private participants, acknowledging that its previous models have been far to slow and cumbersome. CEO Portia Derby said the... 

Transnet revamping concessions model to speed up private involvement in rail and ports

Winde appeals to Ramaphosa, Mboweni over SAA R10bn bailout

By: News24Wire      23rd October 2020 Western Cape Premier Alan Winde has appealed to the national government to "think carefully" about a possible bailout for South African Airways (SAA). He said all the provinces desperately need everything they can get, to recover from the Covid-19 lockdown and job losses. 

Ramatlakane says it will be a challenge, but ’wrong things’ at PRASA must be fixed

By: African News Agency      23rd October 2020 PRASA's woes must be resolved so that it can deliver cheaper, safe and reliable public transport to South Africa's working class, former ANC MP Leonard Ramatlakane said shortly after he was named as the new chairman of the embattled entity. "All the wrong things must be dealt with and we must... 

Cabinet confirms PRASA board appointments

By: Creamer Media Reporter      22nd October 2020 Cabinet on October 22 confirmed the names of the new board of control of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). Leonard Ramatlakane is chairperson of the PRASA board. 

Work on Central and Mabopane rail lines delayed by a year, says PRASA 

By: African News Agency      21st October 2020 It will take another year for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to restore limited electrical service on the main rail lines servicing Cape Town and Johannesburg, the entity conceded in Parliament on Wednesday. "We are now looking at the end of October or November next year to... 

Gauteng’s Transport Authority to be formally established by the end of the year 

By: Simone Liedtke     16th October 2020 The Transport Authority of Gauteng (TAG) will be formally established by the end of this year, interim CEO Jack van der Merwe confirmed on October 16. Speaking during an engagement session, he lamented that the Covid-19 pandemic had somewhat delayed the process but said that final board... 

Gauteng’s Transport Authority to be formally established by the end of the year

Mbalula officially opens Western Cape Rail Traffic Control Centre

By: Yvonne Silaule     16th October 2020 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula officially launched the Rail Traffic Control Centre, in the Western Cape, on October 16. The new facility is expected to improve efficiencies in the management of rail transport for the benefit of commuters, the community and the economy of the City of Cape Town... 

Buses, trains shunned in favour of cars, taxis, reveals Gauteng travel survey 

By: Irma Venter     15th October 2020 Low capacity transport modes, such as minibus taxis and private cars, have become the backbone of the transport network in the Gauteng province, as opposed to high-capacity modes, such as rail and buses. This is one of the main findings of the 2019/20 Gauteng Household Transport Survey (GHTS),... 

Buses, trains shunned in favour of cars, taxis, reveals Gauteng travel survey

Academia, industry must be involved for railway concessions to be successful, says NMU associate

By: Simone Liedtke     14th October 2020 The ensure the success of railway concessions, Nelson Mandela University Infrastructure Development and Engagement Unit (ID&EU) associate Bongani Mankewu says government “must fathom the significant role to be played by academia and the industry”. He explains that the inception of concessioning... 

Ten-day iron-ore rail corridor maintenance to start on October 16

By: Marleny Arnoldi     14th October 2020 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has advised that it will conduct a ten-day shutdown on the iron-ore rail corridor from October 16. During this time, the State-owned utility’s scope of maintenance work will include replacing 30 623 sleepers, three turnouts, 5 km of catenary wire, 1.2 km of contact... 

Concessioning best option to revive urban rail, says former Gauteng Transport MEC  

By: Irma Venter     13th October 2020 Metrorail has little chance to revive its rail services in Gauteng, says University of Johannesburg senior research associate Dr Ismail Vadi.  He is also the former Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC. 

Concessioning best option to revive urban rail, says former Gauteng Transport MEC
Dr Ismail Vadi

Eswatini Rail Link project progressing, developers say

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     12th October 2020 The Eswatini Rail Link (ESRL) project is on track to advance economic development and intra-African trade, the developers noted in a statement on October 12. The project is a joint inter-railway strategic initiative between Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and Eswatini Railways (ESR) to create a... 

Gauteng inland port developer takes legal steps to halt ‘irrational’ road realignments needed to unlock Tambo-Springs hub 

By: Terence Creamer     12th October 2020 The developer of a private inland port in southern Gauteng, known as Distribution Junxion Port of Gauteng, has initiated legal action against the provincial administration in a bid to prevent it from implementing road infrastructure developments required to facilitate the construction of a... 

Gauteng inland port developer takes legal steps to halt ‘irrational’ road realignments needed to unlock Tambo-Springs hub
Map showing the location of Distribution Junxion Port of Gauteng and Tambo-Springs Logistics Gateway in relation to the road and rail networks in the region.

Transnet embarks on rail safety awareness campaign

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th October 2020 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) will embark on a National Level Crossing and Safety Awareness campaign from October 12 to 16. TFR and other stakeholders will go out to designated level crossings, as well as illegal level crossings, where safety teams will engage motorists, pedestrians and... 

Bombardier says Transnet contract ‘uninterrupted’ as 10-64 dispute resolution continues 

By: Terence Creamer     7th October 2020 Bombardier Transportation, one of four companies to secure a contract to supply 1 064 electric and diesel  locomotives to Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) in 2015, reports that it is continuing to execute on the contract, despite the fact that a dispute resolution process is ongoing. In 2019, Transnet... 

Bombardier says Transnet contract ‘uninterrupted’ as 10-64 dispute resolution continues
The TRAXX AFRICA locomotives delivered to date have been deployed to support the export of manganese ore

Patel prioritising AfCFTA trading by start of 2021 as he takes on key African role 

By: Terence Creamer     5th October 2020 South Africa’s Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel, who has been elected to chair the African Ministers of Trade (AMOT), says he will prioritise the finalisation of the outstanding work and negotiations required to enable the start of trading under the African Continent Free... 

Patel prioritising AfCFTA trading by start of 2021 as he takes on key African role
Trade, Industry and Competition Minister Ebrahim Patel

Tambo Springs rail concession fails, talks on to secure new deal 

By: Irma Venter     5th October 2020 Infrastructure development at the Tambo Springs Logistics Gateway is continuing, despite the inability of State-owned freight logistics group Transnet to deliver on the construction of a rail terminal in the agreed time, says Tambo Springs Development Company (TSDC) CEO Tumi Mohulatsi. In June... 

Tambo Springs rail concession fails, talks on to secure new deal
Tumi Mohulatsi

BOC says contingency plans in place for Gautrain strike

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     5th October 2020 Operator of the Gautrain, the Bombela Operating Company (BOC), says it will implement a contingency plan to ensure it is able to still deliver a train service to its passengers after trade union, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) announced that its members would embark on... 

Numsa serves notice for Gautrain strike

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     2nd October 2020 Trade union the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) on October 2 issued a notice to strike at the Bombela Operating Company (BOC) − the management and operating company for the Gautrain. The union said its members would, as of the morning of October 5, go on an indefinite... 

Gautrain extension will improve Gauteng’s competitiveness, says GMA  

By: Irma Venter     30th September 2020 Even if the next phase of the Gautrain rail system were to get the green light from National Treasury today, it would take three to four years before construction could start on the project, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO William Dachs. “This is a very ambitious, long-term plan,” he... 

Gautrain extension will improve Gauteng’s competitiveness, says GMA

Newest Ctrack Transport and Freight Index shows welcome increase

By: Irma Venter     29th September 2020 The newest Ctrack Transport and Freight Index has shown an 8% increase between the quarter to August and the quarter to May ­– the first time in 13 months that the index has been back into the black. “It is almost a certainty that the broader transport sector will contribute positively to gross... 

Newest Ctrack Transport and Freight Index shows welcome increase

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... 

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