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Rail Transport and Infrastructure

Local engineering firm more than doubles y/y rail revenue

By: Dylan Stewart     26th June 2015 Niche technology engineering firm Ansys reported in May that it had increased its rail revenue from R37-million in 2014 to R94-million in 2015.  

Passenger fleet revamp a reason to celebrate, says consultancy

By: Dylan Stewart     26th June 2015 State-owned rail operator the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) rolling stock fleet renewal programme will provide a vital boost for South Africa’s economy and help establish a meaningful passenger railway industry in the country, says consultancy and auditing firm KPMG... 

Passenger fleet revamp a reason to celebrate, says consultancy
DE BUYS SCOTT Less than half of the existing fleet is operable

Clear strategy needed for rail upgrade plans

By: Dylan Stewart     26th June 2015 South Africa’s numerous rail upgrade plans are not guided by a coherent, high-level, overarching strategy, the lack of which may lead to poor implementation, advises engineering and professional services consulting firm WSP Group Africa regional director Vishaal Lutchman. 

Clear strategy needed for  rail upgrade plans
VISHAAL LUTCHMAN A clear vision will unify the motivations of different sectors

Road-to-rail policy crucial for rural areas

By: Dylan Stewart     26th June 2015 While the South African government has finally indicated its support for a road-to-rail policy, which involves significant upgrades of South Africa’s rail facilities to encourage their being used more for goods and passenger transport than automotive transport, finding a positive practical and... 

Rail development must encompass entire continent – JCCI

By: Dylan Stewart     26th June 2015 If South Africa enhances its railway capacity and is the only country to do so in the Southern Africa region, without attending to north–south, inter-State rail corridors, the benefits of the country’s planned rail upgrades will be a lot less significant, says Johannesburg Chamber of Commerce and... 

Rail development must encompass entire continent – JCCI
FAY MUKADDAM New rolling stock is a priority when upgrading rail facilities

Local company hopes to be awarded Transnet tender  

By: Dylan Stewart     26th June 2015 Local partner and agent for Plasser & Theurer Track, maintenance equipment manufacturer Plasser South Africa (SA), has submitted a tender to provide State-owned rail utility Transnet with three flash butt rail-welding machines, Plasser SA spokesperson Tamsin Louw tells Engineering News. 

Local company hopes to be awarded Transnet tender
SPECIAL ABILITY The flash butt rail welder can perform a closure weld

Africa’s rail industry assembles in Joburg

By: Dylan Stewart     26th June 2015 Remodelling public–private partnerships (PPPs), financing rail infrastructure and light rail as an alternative for passengers and intermodal networks for supply chain efficiency are a few of the topics that will be covered at the eighteenth yearly Africa Rail 2015 event, which will be held at... 

Rolling stock life expectancy improved

By: Dylan Stewart     26th June 2015 With billions of rands being invested in South Africa’s rail infrastructure over the next three years, the country must consider ways of ensuring the reliability, efficiency and longevity of these assets as part of this development, suggests petrochemicals major Shell South Africa technical... 

State rail company invests in track management 

By: Bruce Montiea     12th December 2014 In support of its Market Demand Strategy (MDS), State-owned freight and logistics company Transnet is concentrating on refurbishing the country’s rail track system through training and the introduction of new rail track monitoring and management methods, says Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) track... 

State rail company invests in track management
Transnet Freight Rail track and technology principal engineer Kanak Mistry discusses the parastatal’s training initiatives

Mozambique to get new railway line in December

12th December 2014 Engineering, management and specialist technical services company Aurecon is providing design services to the new Moatize Nacala Port and Railway project to be concluded in December in Mozambique. The Moatize Nacala railway is part of the Nacala logistics corridor commissioned by global mining... 

Mozambique to get new railway line in December
Photo by Bloomberg
CURVING The railway line is expected to increase coal exports

Rail graduates ‘seeds’ for future industry growth

By: Schalk Burger     12th December 2014 The graduation of 85 employees of State-owned logistics company Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) in rail sciences planted the seeds for future rail industry growth and formed an integral part of TFR’s R201-billion rail infrastructure roll-out plans, Transnet CEO Brian Molefe said at the graduation... 

Additional earlier and later trains for commuters

By: Bruce Montiea     12th December 2014 To continue offering safe, convenient and efficient service to passengers, rapid transit train Gautrain’s airport service from Sandton to OR Tambo International Airport was improved in August with earlier trains in the mornings and later trains in the evenings, says Gautrain CEO Jack van der... 

Additional earlier and later trains for commuters
RUSH HOUR The overall Gautrain airport service continues to show positive growth since it started operations on June 8, 2010

R18.7b increase in road-to-rail programme

12th December 2014 State-owned logistics and rail company Transnet has increased its capital investment by 66.8% to R18.7-billion in its road-to-rail programme aimed at transferring the majority of the country’s cargo from the road network to the rail network. The success of the road-to-rail programme has been... 

R18.7b increase in  road-to-rail programme
ON THE TRACKS The success of Transnet’s road-to-rail programme has been confirmed by the company’s growth in revenue and profit

SA company delivers passenger coaches to Angolan client

By: Bruce Montiea     12th December 2014 Ten passenger coaches and one power car were delivered to Angola’s major railway line Caminho de Ferro de Benguela (CFB),  in Lobito, by South African manufacturing and exporting company Dominex in a project that was completed in October, says Dominex CEO Kirk Christodoulakis. The project... 

SA company delivers  passenger coaches to Angolan client
IN THE AIR Dominex delivered eight sleeper coaches, two restaurant/kitchen coaches and one power car to Angola’s major railway line, Caminho de Ferro de Benguela

Company imports conduits suitable for SA rail industry

12th December 2014 With the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) latest announcement of a R51-billion ten-year investment into procuring 600 new, modern commuter and passenger trains, the rail sector holds significant opportunities for electrical and mechanical components supplier Elquip Solutions,... 

Conference to focus on the future of transportation

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 The yearly Southern African Transport Conference (SATC) will take place at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research’s (CSIR’s) international conference centre, in Pretoria, from July 7 to 10. The conference will cover all aspects of transport, including rail, and its theme is ‘Leading... 

Locomotive manufacturer sources local suppliers

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 Rail technology manufacturer Bombardier Transportation South Africa (BTSA) is in the process of negotiating and signing supplier subcontracts for the supply of 240 electric locomotives at a base cost of R10.4-billion to State-owned rail operator Transnet. Bombardier Transportation business... 

Locomotive manufacturer  sources local suppliers
Photo by Bombardier
TRAXX AFRICA Bombardier has been manufacturing this dual-voltage, multi-systems locomotive for ten years

Local supplier launches new range of transducers

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 Electrical parameters measurement solutions company LEM launched the new LTC series closed-loop transducers, which control energy in rail transportation systems, in South Africa in January this year. Johannesburg-based electronic-component specialist and sole distributor of LEM products in South... 

Local supplier launches new range of transducers
Photo by Duane Daws
INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS All locomotive manufacturers use transducers and LEM is an internationally recognised transducer manufacturer

Train coaches converted into science centre

27th June 2014 The then Minister of Science and Technology Derek Hanekom inaugurated a new science centre housed in two old train carriages at the Matjiesfontein Transport Museum, in the Western Cape, in April. The science centre is intended to be part of a longer term Science and Technology Train, which... 

Manufacturer finalises product specification for locomotive project

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 Locomotives manufacturer General Electric (GE) South Africa Technologies reports that it is engaged in the initial design reviews for the 233 Evolution series diesel locomotives it will be supplying to State-owned rail operator Transnet. President and CEO of GE South Africa Tim Schweikert tells... 

Manufacturer finalises product specification  for locomotive project
Photo by Edelman
TIM SCHWEIKERT This project is really about speed, getting the suppliers qualified and getting first article inspections completed as soon as possible

Projects to influence South African commuter behaviour

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) national signalling upgrade project and its acquisition of new rolling stock from French manufacturer Alstom will significantly impact on commuter behaviour in South Africa, says consulting engineering firm GIBB GM Johann Rauch. GIBB is the... 

Projects to  influence South  African commuter  behaviour
Photo by GIBB
BACK TO RAIL Transnet’s manganese railway line upgrade project shows the rail operator’s intent to improve its services and move freight back to rail

Company receives $50m financing

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 Freight and logistics services provider Grindrod Freight Services partnered with infrastructure investment company Pembani-Remgro-Infrastructure Fund to form Mauritius-based rolling stock leasing company GPR Leasing Africa, in January. Financial institution Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) was appointed... 

Company receives $50m financing
Photo by RMB
GREG McKENZIE It was a complex set of terms we provided GPR Leasing, which set out the basis on which the funding would be made available

Skills development through consortium

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 The Bombardier Africa Alliance (BAA) consortium is currently in the design phase of the Durban portion of State-owned rail operator the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) national resignalling project. The project involves the resignalling of 260 km of double-track and 42... 

Skills development through consortium
Photo by Bombardier
PRASA RESIGNALLING PROJECT The project involves the resignalling of 260 km of double-track and 42 major train stations on the Durban commuter rail network

GNC roof to be installed next month 

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 Construction of the Gauteng Nerve Centre (GNC), which will control all commuter rail traffic in Gauteng, is well under way, with the roof scheduled for completion next month. The centre is located in Kaalfontein, near Kempton Park, in Johannesburg. 

GNC roof to be installed next month
Siemens Southern Africa infrastructure and cities senior project manager Lucio Lefebvre discusses the developments of the Gauteng Nerve Centre.

Rig used to test brake characteristics

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Pretoria-based on-tread composite railway brake-blocks designer and manufacturer DCD Metpro completed the installation of the Gautrain brake pad rig onto its existing dynamometer facility in November 2013. A dynamometer, commonly known as a dyno, is designed to simulate the brake characteristics... 

Rig used to  test brake  characteristics
Photo by Ngage
IMPROVED DYNO DCD Metpro completed the installation of the Gautrain brake pad rig onto its dynamometer in November 2013

Construction of GNC under way

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Construction of the Gauteng Nerve Centre (GNC), which will act as the signalling control centre of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Gauteng passenger rail network, is under way, says South African arm of global engineering company Siemens rail systems business development and... 

Construction of GNC under way
Photo by Siemens
GAUTENG NERVE CENTRE Once completed, the Gauteng Nerve Centre will enable operators to monitor all passenger train activity on a 52-m-wide video wall

Manufacturer secures Gibela contract

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 South African engineering firm Delberg Engineering secured a contract last month for the manufacture and supply of piping-related work, such as handrails and hydraulic pipe systems, which will be fitted onto the locomotives and coaches being supplied to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa... 

Rail infrastructure development plan secures local content

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 The proposed R300-billion investment programme by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) is set to not only streamline South Africa's railway capabilities but also potentially create business opportunities and job sustainability for sufficiently prepared local private-sector industry component... 

Rail infrastructure contributes to local industry development

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG notes that State-owned rail operators Transnet and the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) investments, collectively valued at more than R430-billion, offer significant localisation opportunities for South Africa. “The establishment of local... 

Expansion will help relieve pressure on rail sector

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Owing to poor economic conditions, the South African rail sector is under strain, says engineering, management and specialist technical services company Aurecon railway engineering technical director Francois Heyns. However, State-owned rail services provider Transnet’s large capital expansion... 

Expansion will help relieve pressure on  rail sector
Photo by Duane Daws
KEEPING AFLOAT The South African rail sector needs large rail projects to keep it buoyant, which require substantial capital investment to fund

Agriculture sector needs rail services

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Although State-owned freight rail operator Transnet’s R300-billion Market Demand Strategy (MDS) will provide greater infrastructure for high traffic-density operations, such as transporting mining commodities and minerals, the agriculture sector finds itself without adequate rail services, says... 

Feasibility study under way for R17bn Swaziland link project

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 South Africa-based engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald PDNA (MMPDNA) states that it is currently finalising the feasibility stage of State-owned rail operator Transnet’s R17-billion Swaziland link railway project. The project entails the construction of 146 km of new railway line, which will... 

RRL Grindrod

11th April 2014 Pretoria-based RRL Grindrod Locomotives is involved in the design, engineering, manufacturing, refurbishment, leasing, maintenance and parts supply to the locomotive industry. The company, which has a 45 000 m2 production facility at 1 Frikkie Meyer road, Pretoria West, has been producing main... 

RRL Grindrod

R1bn investment towards Transnet manufactured locomotive 

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 State-owned rail operator Transnet is dedicating about R1-billion of its R307-billion Market Demand Strategy (MDS) towards research and development for the manufacture of its own locomotives, Transnet group CEO Brian Molefe said at the company’s R50-billion supplier announcement, in March. He... 

R1bn investment towards Transnet manufactured locomotive
Transnet Freight Rail CEO Siyabonga Gama and Transnet CEO Brian Molefe discuss becoming a locomotive OEM. Cameraperson: Nichoals Boyd.

Improvement of freight-rail efficiencies stressed to alleviate strain on roads

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 The South African rail industry can only become a cost-effective alternative to road transport if the operational efficiencies of freight rail are increased to deliver a predictable and reliable service, says engineering and management consultant Arup. 

Regulator reveals state of railway safety

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 The South African Railway Safety Regulator’s (RSR’s) ‘State of Safety’ report for 2011/12 found that 354 fatalities, out of 412 operational fatalities, occurred as a result of people being hit by trains, with the remainder comprising suicides, operational incidents or safety-related incidents. 

Software ensures Gautrain’s success

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 Global engineering specialist solutions provider Kentz installed and commissioned the ArchestrA system platform software for the Gautrain rapid rail link project and has dealt with the system’s minor “teething problems, such as nuisance alarms, code faults and timing issues”. 

Multibillion-rand infrastructure spend to tackle challenges in future

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 A lack of significant investment in the South African rail sector has resulted in rail operators having to invest as much as possible in infrastructure to ensure that challenges in the sector can be overcome in future, notes State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). 

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