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Rail Transport and Infrastructure

New standards to contribute to rail safety

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th December 2010 A new South African National Standard (SANS 3000-4) covering Human Factors, which is expected to be published in early 2011, will be a key contributor to improving railway safety, says Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) senior manager for safety standards Jacintha Naidoo.  

Concerns that skills may dissipate as Gautrain nears completion

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th December 2010 With the Gautrain rapid rail link project nearing completion, there are concerns that the skills developed and acquired during the construction of South Africa's high-speed rail network may dissipate. 

Very high speed rail for SA? 

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th December 2010 A paper presented at the South African Transport Conference 2010, held in Gauteng, in August, questions if South Africa is ready for, and would benefit from very high-speed rail. 

More decisions and studies for Mthombo

By: Jessica Hannah     10th December 2010 There are several more decisions and definitive engineering studies that need to be undertaken before construction gets under way for the proposed 360 000-bl/d project Mthombo oil refinery project, national oil company PetroSA spokesperson Thabo Mabaso says. 

Multibillion-rand signalling upgrade project for 2011 

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th December 2010 The planned five-year nationwide implementation and installation of a new, modern railway signalling system, as well as the Gauteng Nerve Centre (GNC) on Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa's) commuter rail network is scheduled to start in January 2011. 

On track for completion in 2013

3rd December 2010 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet’s new multiproduct pipeline (NMPP), which is being built between Durban and Johannesburg, has had its deadline extended to December 31, 2013, and is on track for completion. 

Durban to Joburg pipeline to help with security of supply

By: Schalk Burger     3rd December 2010 The delays on the State-owned freight logistics group Transnet’s new multiproduct pipeline (NMPP) will require the Durban to Johannesburg pipeline (DJP) to continue running for nine months beyond March 31, 2011, to cope with security of supply challenges to Gauteng. 

Technological innovations in use

By: Schalk Burger     3rd December 2010 State-owned freight logistics group Transnet’s new multiproduct pipeline (NMPP), being built between Durban and Johannesburg, will use a number of technological innovations including cathodic protection against rust and, as the name implies, multiple product transportation through one line, says... 

Progress being made on R240m pipeline project

By: Eleanor Seggie     3rd December 2010 Civil engineering construction company Esorfranki is making progress on its flagship R240-million BG3 pipeline project, having further excavated the trench, and is expecting to lay pipes down imminently, says Esorfranki CEO Bernie Krone. 

Five extensions planned for the Gautrain 

By: Tracy Hancock     25th June 2010 The Gautrain rapid rail project is planning an additional five new extensions to the railway line in addition to its nine existing links, which connect ten stations from Johannesburg to Pretoria. The new links are being planned from Park station, in Johannesburg, to Soweto, Rhodesfield station... 

More to project than development of public transport

By: Tracy Hancock     25th June 2010 A critical role of the Gautrain project is the socioeconomic development (SED) of the Gauteng province through skills transfer and training, which is an integral aspect on which the success of the project is based. The Gautrain Management Agency Socioeconomic Development Progress brochure for... 

procedures for SA

By: Tracy Hancock     25th June 2010 Being the first project of its kind in South Africa, the Gautrain rapid rail link’s independent environmental control person and original environmental-impact assessment (EIA) manager Mark Freeman says that the project assisted in pioneering groundbreaking environmental procedures for the country. 

Rail link assists 
airport with regular departure times

By: Tracy Hancock     25th June 2010 Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) spokesperson Unathi Batyashe-Fillis says that the Gautrain rapid rail link between Sandton and the OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) will assist the airport with its focus on predictable departure times.

As traffic volumes continue to increase, the... 

High-speed rail system envisaged for the UK

9th April 2010 There is a broad political consensus that Britain must have a high-speed rail system in the future, says British rail operator Network Rail CE Iain Coucher. This follows the publication of a white paper, by the UK government, that mandates the need for a high-speed rail system. 

Software for increased efficiency

9th April 2010 Train scheduling software, design software and simulations enable high-quality designing and modelling of railway processes. Design software enables detailed drawings to be done on any gauge railway and makes repetitive work fast and efficient. Simulation software means that companies can model... 

Moses Mabhida rail 
commuter station 
construction on track

9th April 2010 Engineering consultants Grinaker-LTA is building the R126-million Moses Mabhida rail commuter station, situated 2 km north of the main Durban station, for newly established rail transport body Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). Construction of the Moses Mabhida rail commuter station... 

Conference will focus on key rail issues

9th April 2010 Improved railway infrastructure will be necessary to meet the growing demand for efficient transport links to ports and between countries. Railways are cheaper and have greater capacity than roads, providing abundant opportunities for operators, which can deliver the required services, says... 

Sishen–Saldanha railway line upgraded

9th April 2010 The single, heavy-haul railway line between Sishen, in the Northern Cape, and Saldanha, in the Western Cape, has been upgraded with double lines at loops at railway line intersections. This was done to reduce delays when trains have to cross each other and to relieve traffic blockages in parts of... 

Sealing solutions contract awarded for freight cars

9th April 2010 The national Indian Railway company is refurbishing its freight cars to cope with the demand of transporting two million tons of freight around the country each day. Bearings, seals and lubrication company SKF has received a contract to supply the seals to be used in the refurbishment of tapered... 

Transnet to spend 
R52bn on rail unit 
over next five years

By: Terence Creamer     9th April 2010 The rail unit within State-owned freight logistics group Transnet will spend R52-billion between 2010/11 and 2014/15 on locomotives, wagons and infrastructure projects, says acting Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) CEO Tau Morwe. 

Reducing environmental impacts of transport

9th April 2010 Developing and investing in South Africa’s rail industry will reduce the environmental impact of transport, in certain instances, and also reduce the wear on roads as a result of transporting heavier commodities over long distances, says PD Naidoo & Associates rail division director Chris... 

Tackling the skills challenge

By: Schalk Burger     9th April 2010 The shortage of skills and the difficulty in retaining skilled employees mean that the rail industry should use the capabilities found in the contracting and consulting sectors to supplement its in-house skills, says consulting engineering firm PD Naidoo & Associates rail division director... 

Gautrain project meeting socioeconomic targets

By: Jacqueline Holman     26th June 2009 The Bombela Concession company, which holds the 20-year concession to design, build, part-finance and operate the Gautrain, has over performed in terms of its socioeconomic development (SED) requirements by an average of 50%, says Gautrain project leader Jack van der Merwe. 

Water management proves difficult for rapid rail link project

By: Jacqueline Holman     26th June 2009 Full compliance with the Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and water use licence, including their associated conditions, has proved a major challenge for the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project, says SSI environmental specialist Mark Freeman. 

R418-million station facelift ahead of 2010 

By: Carla Thomaz     10th April 2009 The Cape Town railway station complex, which was built in 1961 and covers between 25 and 35 city blocks, is undergoing a multibillion-rand redevelopment. 

Railway consulting firm tackles skills shortage

By: Carla Thomaz     10th April 2009 Railway engineering and consulting company Seporo Railway Consultants is offering track appreciation courses for underground track supervisors and development personnel, as well as looking into the possibility of broadening its scope to include accredited courses for surface track platelayers and... 

Aggregate producer scoops Gautrain south section 
supply contract

10th April 2009 Aggregate producer Afrisam has been awarded the contract to supply aggregate and 200 000 t of cement to the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project south section by construction company Bombela Civils Joint venture (CJV). 

Locomotive drivers keep their cool

10th April 2009 Heating, ventilation and air conditioning company Booyco Engineering has secured the contract to engineer, manufacture and supply the climate control systems for the upgraded 7E1 locomotives, which operate on the Richards Bay/Ermelo coal line. 

R21-million worth of rail coaches unveiled

By: Carla Thomaz     10th April 2009 The Eastern Cape Department of Roads and Transport’s flagship Kei Rail project has unveiled new rail coaches, worth R21-million, to be used as part of the province’s daily passenger train service. 

State-owned logistics group pursues capex projects

By: Carla Thomaz     10th April 2009 The marked slowdown in international and domestic economic growth has resulted in state logistics group Transnet transporting reduced volumes for several of its customers. 

R250-million overhead contact distribution system installation on track

By: Carla Thomaz     10th April 2009 The installation of the overhead contact distribution system (OCDS) for the Gautrain is well under way, with some 20 km of the 80 km track having been electrified to date. 

Railway maintenance company turns unemployed talent into skilled labour

By: Carla Thomaz     10th April 2009 Railway maintenance and construction company Ramutsa Rail is tackling the current unemployment crisis by hiring unskilled labourers for railway maintenance work, turning untapped talent into skills. 

Global economic slowdown not a concern for Gautrain project 

By: Loni Prinsloo     12th December 2008 The current global economic slowdown will not significantly influence the budget of the Gautrain project, assures Gautrain project leader Jack van der Merwe. 

Gautrain electrical, mechanical work on track

By: Loni Prinsloo     12th December 2008 Bombela Electrical & Mechanical Works, responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of railway components and deliverables, expects the first train sets to run under their own power on the railworks at the Midrand depot in the early parts of next year. 

Gautrain BEE shareholder secures contracts

By: Loni Prinsloo     12th December 2008 Black economic-empowerment shareholder in the Bombela Concession Company, the Strategic Partners Group (SPG), reports that it has successfully negotiated eight contracts for the Gautrain project since its inception 18-months ago. 

Protective equipment supplied to company ensuring Gautrain workers’ safety

By: Loni Prinsloo     12th December 2008 A joint venture (JV) between Nu Tog and the Strategic Partner Group (SPG), Shingzele, has successfully supplied the Gautrain project with personal protective equipment (PPE) with a contract value of close to R15-million a year.  

Gautrain a stepping stone for rail service company

By: Loni Prinsloo     12th December 2008 The company subcontracted by Bombardier Transportation UK to be responsible for tracklaying on the Gautrain project, Isitimela Rail Services, reports that it has completed the tracks at the Gautrain Midrand depot and will now start the track work along the main line of the train system.  

Tipper trucking company supports Gauteng project

By: Loni Prinsloo     12th December 2008 The joint venture (JV) between the Strategic Partners Group (SPG) and transport company Unitrans Supply Chain Solutions, Induna Tippers, has supplied the Gautrain project with 38 Nissan diesel tipper trucks to date.  

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