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Rail News

Transnet reports recovery in some units, but still expects big Covid-19 revenue hit 

By: Terence Creamer     Updated 7 hours ago State-owned freight logistics group Transnet reports that there has been a recovery in some of its operations since the easing of lockdown restrictions and is increasing tending towards an “optimistic” recovery scenario for many of its units – a scenario that assumes a ramp-up to full operations... 

Transnet converts healthcare trains to bolster Covid-19 testing in underserviced areas

By: Donna Slater     14th May 2020 State-owned Transnet’s corporate social investment unit Transnet Foundation has converted two of its healthcare trains, Phelophepa I and II, into mobile Covid-19 testing stations, The trains will be used to increase testing for Covid-19 in some underserviced areas in the Eastern Cape and... 

Transnet converts healthcare trains to bolster Covid-19 testing in underserviced areas

Gautrain delays yearly fare increase owing to Covid-19

By: Simone Liedtke     13th May 2020 The Gautrain will not be increasing its fares in June this year, as would normally have been the case. Instead, the Gautrain Management Agency and Bombela Concession Company will be delaying the fare increase to later in the year once more accurate information is available as to when the lockdown... 

Gautrain delays yearly fare increase owing to Covid-19

DoT unveils plans for new auto terminal at Durban, branch line concessioning 

By: Irma Venter     12th May 2020 The Department of Transport (DoT) intends to take over the functioning of struggling integrated public transport networks (IPTNs) in five cities, with six cities currently operating these systems, says Department of Transport director-general Alec Moemi. IPTNs should, ideally, incorporate bus... 

DoT unveils plans for new auto terminal at Durban, branch line concessioning

Five things public transport can do to help flatten the curve 

By: Irma Venter     8th May 2020 Public transport has emerged as a central concern in the fight against the transmission of Covid-19, says University of Pretoria Centre for Transport Development’s Christo Venter. Vehicles and transport hubs are ideal places for infections to spread, leading to the shutdown of transport services... 

Five things public transport can do to help flatten the curve
Christo Venter

PRASA turnaround under way despite delays

By: Simone Liedtke     7th May 2020 The turnaround of State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is on track, albeit with delays, in part owing to the situation brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo has revealed. In a webinar on May 7, he lamented that the passenger rail agency had... 

PRASA turnaround under way despite delays

PRASA operations to resume under lockdown Level 3 

By: Simone Liedtke     7th May 2020 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) operations are set to resume under Lockdown Alert Level 3, administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo confirmed in a webinar on May 7. The passenger rail agency terminated all services during the initial lockdown period (Level 5), and has continued to do... 

PRASA operations to resume under lockdown Level 3

Resgen enters into debt deal to fund rail link for Boikarabelo

By: Donna Slater     5th May 2020 JSE-listed energy resources company Resource Generation (Resgen) reports that its subsidiary, Ledjadja Coal has entered into nonbinding equity and debt term sheets with Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund 2 SA (PAIDF2SA) and Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund 2 limited liability... 

Gautrain reopens with disinfectant spray booths, regular sanitising  

By: Irma Venter     4th May 2020 The Gautrain resumed service, albeit limited, on May 4, following the suspension of all services at the end of March owing to the national Covid-19 lockdown.  Trains will operate daily between 05h30 to 09h30 and 15h00 to 19h00.  

Gautrain reopens with disinfectant spray booths, regular sanitising
Gautrain acting COO Tshepo Kgobe on the operations of the Gautrain as from May 4

Blue Train suspends operation until end June, offers ticket deferral options

By: Donna Slater     30th April 2020 Luxury train service, The Blue Train, is extending its current suspension of services, which were supposed to resume on April 30, to June 30, amid the nationwide lockdown in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Blue Train decided on the further suspension after a further analysis of the... 

TMH's Ivolga trains equipped to help curb spread of Covid-19

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th April 2020 The technical solutions implemented in Ivolga passenger trains, made in Russia by rail and urban transport manufacturer Transmashholding (TMH), are helping to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and other infections. All Ivolga passenger electric trains feature a heating, ventilation, and air... 

TMH's Ivolga trains equipped to help curb spread of Covid-19
TMH Ivolga Passenger Train

Saipem-led consortium picked as preferred bidder for Egypt rail project

By: Reuters     9th April 2020 Italian energy contractor Saipem has been chosen as preferred bidder to head a consortium to rebuild a railway line in Egypt, Egyptian phosphorus group Waphco said in a statement. If the contract is awarded, the project would involve developing a cargo and passenger railway line to connect a... 

TFR appoints new CEO  

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     6th April 2020 University of Free State chancellor Bonang Mohale has welcomed the appointment of Sizakele Mzimela as CEO of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), as of April 1. Mohale indicated that “a better person could not have been found for the job”, noting Mzimela’s successful time at South African Airways and SA... 

UNTU calls for PPE for Transnet employees as iron ore line reopens

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     30th March 2020 The United National Transport Union (UNTU) has acknowledged the decision of Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe to reopen the iron ore rail line operated by State-owned Transnet. This will require Transnet employees from various divisions to be ready to report for duty from March... 

UNTU calls for PPE for Transnet employees as iron ore line reopens
Transnet

Transnet scales back to only essential services, operations

By: Simone Liedtke     27th March 2020 In line with government’s implementation of a three-week lockdown of the country to reduce the spread of the Covid-19 virus, State-owned entity Transnet will be scaling down its transportation services and operations of non-essential cargo during this period. After consultation with various... 

Transnet appoints new acting CFO

By: Marleny Arnoldi     26th March 2020 State-owned freight utility Transnet has appointed Mark Gregg-Macdonald acting CFO following the resignation of acting CFO Mohammed Mahomedy. The utility is in the process of recruiting a permanent group CFO. 

Train services suspended for duration of lockdown - Mbalula

By: African News Agency      25th March 2020 All commuter rail services will shut down for the duration of South Africa's national lockdown, transport minister Fikile Mbalula said on Wednesday. "All long-distance passenger rail services, both public and private, will stop operations for the duration of the lockdown. Services of Shosholoza... 

Blue Train halts trips until end-April

By: Marleny Arnoldi     19th March 2020 The Blue Train has announced the suspension of its transport service between Pretoria and Cape Town effective immediately, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The company, owned by State-owned freight utility Transnet, on Thursday said the suspension would be effective until April 30, as... 

Blue Train halts trips until end-April
Photo by Creamer Media
The Blue Train at Pretoria Station

Hearing into PRASA administrator’s appointment postponed

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th March 2020 An urgent court application to set aside Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula’s decision to appoint Bongisizwe Mpondo as administrator of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has been postponed to April 21. The court application was lodged by civil society coalition UniteBehind, which... 

Coronavirus in SA: Gautrain exec tests positive, staff self-isolated, station deep clean

By: News24Wire      18th March 2020 A Gautrain business unit director who travelled from France has tested positive for Covid-19. According to the company, the executive visited its Midrand offices between 12 and 14 March, as well as the Gautrain Park and Sandton stations. He is currently in self-isolation. 

Coronavirus in SA: Gautrain exec tests positive, staff self-isolated, station deep clean

Union calls on Minister to dissolve RSR board

By: Marleny Arnoldi     16th March 2020 The United National Transport Union (Untu) has asked Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula to dissolve the board of Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) with immediate effect. Untu general secretary Steve Harris says the union is concerned about the ongoing breaches of rail safety at Metrorail – a... 

Union calls on Minister to dissolve RSR board

Tanzania set to launch tender for single gauge railway to Rwanda, DRC

By: African News Agency      12th March 2020 The Tanzanian government has announced that it will soon invite international tenders for the construction of a standard gauge railway (SGR) to Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), building and construction magazine, Construction Review Online reported. Tanzania's chief government... 

Transnet bemoans cable theft at Pretoria Complex, rolls out diesel locos 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th March 2020 Another incident of overhead cable theft at State-owned Transnet’s Pretoria Complex has further crippled the group’s Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) subsidiary’s ability to deliver goods to customers on time. It said in a release on Wednesday that the Pretoria Complex, which is one of the country’s... 

Cape Town cuts water to PRASA, electricity to follow

By: African News Agency      10th March 2020 The Cape Town municipality has cut water supply to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and will do the same with electricity supply to the troubled entity on Tuesday, deputy mayor Ian Neilson said on Monday. The disconnection comes after PRASA missed a deadline of Friday imposed by... 

Companies sign MoU for rail development on the continent

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     6th March 2020 Multilateral development finance bank African Export-Import Bank and local railway services company Thelo DB signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop, finance and operate railway projects in Africa. Thelo DB is an incorporated partnership between Thelo Ventures and Germany-based... 

Companies sign MoU  for rail development  on the continent
Photo by Ben Bergh
GREATER COLLABRATION Thelo DB and African Export-Import Bank will collaborate to support the modernisation of Africa’s railways

South African rail manufacturing sector needs to reinvent itself

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     6th March 2020 Despite South Africa’s having a strong presence on the railway scene – claiming almost 30% of the continent’s kilometres and more than 60% of its rail freight – the country’s rail manufacturing sector has not leveraged this position to lead in the manufacturing of rolling stock on the continent,... 

South African rail manufacturing sector needs to reinvent itself
Photo by Creamer Media
CONTINENTAL BENEFITS Through the AfCFTA, the benefits for South Africa and its African peers will be easier distribution, new export markets and new business opportunities

Need for change to address challenges in rail sector

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     6th March 2020 Despite the local rail industry in South Africa constituting a sizeable and critical portion of the economy, and being well developed, compared with the rest of Africa, the rail infrastructure is not properly maintained, says rail equipment manufacturer Evorail GM Daniel Tchengoue. “The biggest... 

Regulator plans to increase safety awareness

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     6th March 2020 Owing to various safety-related challenges that the South African rail industry has faced in the past year, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) plans to increase its safety awareness activities to mitigate the risk of operational occurrences. According to the ‘State of Safety’ report 2018/19, a... 

Regulator plans to increase safety awareness
SAFETY FIRST improved maintenance systems are crucial in addressing the current safety challenges within rail sector

Massive R1.4bn boost to get Cape Town central line back on track

By: News24Wire      5th March 2020 The Department of Transport budgeted a massive amount of money to get the problematic Cape Town Central train line back on track. Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Thursday said there would be a phased re-introduction of the train service for the central line which served commuters in... 

Transnet, Minerals Council to discuss smart rail at Heavy Haul Conference

By: Marleny Arnoldi     4th March 2020 The Heavy Haul Conference will again this year draw from international best practice to find ways of making South Africa’s railway industry more resilient and better prepared for the future. Conference organiser, the South African Heavy Haul Association (Sahha), confirmed in a statement this... 

Transnet, Minerals Council to discuss smart rail at Heavy Haul Conference

Focus on corridor solutions yields results for Grindrod 

By: Irma Venter     4th March 2020 It seems as if driving corridor solutions for specific customer requirements has yielded positive results for freight and logistics group Grindrod. Releasing its financial results for the year ended December 31 in Johannesburg on Wednesday, Grindrod reported a 12% growth in revenue, to... 

Focus on corridor solutions yields results for Grindrod

Zambia awards China Railway $825m deal for line upgrades

By: , Bloomberg     4th March 2020 Zambia signed an $825-million contract with a China Railway Construction Corporation unit to upgrade tracks in the south of the country, the company said. The project will last eight years and will cover nearly 650 km of lines, China Railway said a statement, without saying how it will be... 

Eskom power cut derails Western Cape train service, Mbalula not impressed

By: African News Agency      27th February 2020 Commuter trains throughout the Western Cape came to a halt on Thursday as Eskom disconnected power to Metrorail due to unpaid bills, causing transport chaos in the province. Limited service was restored by late afternoon after the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), which owns... 

The night a Van der Merwe and Ledwaba took gold in London  

By: Irma Venter     27th February 2020 After twenty years of first finding ways to kickstart the Gautrain project, then building and running the urban rapid-rail system, Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe has retired. His skills are not lost to Gauteng, however, as he is set to lead the newly established Transport... 

The night a Van der Merwe and Ledwaba took gold in London
Jack van der Merwe

Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth 

By: Simone Liedtke     26th February 2020 With a weak economic outlook characterised by a real gross domestic product that is expected to grow at 0.9% in 2020, 1.3% in 2021 and 1.6% in 2022, South Africa is in dire need of far-reaching structural reforms to achieve faster economic growth. In contrast, global economic growth is expected... 

Private electricity generation identified as most urgent structural reform for reigniting growth

TFR says cable theft resulting in 21 trains a day being cancelled  

By: Marleny Arnoldi     21st February 2020 Between April 2019 and January 2020, 354 227 m of overhead cables on rail lines had been stolen. State-owned freight utility Transnet and its Transnet Freight Rail subsidiary say the theft of overhead cables on rail lines had reached unprecedented levels, with, on average, 21 trains being... 

TFR says cable theft resulting in 21 trains a day being cancelled

'Speeding' Shosholoza Meyl stopped in its tracks following fatal crash

By: News24Wire      19th February 2020 The Shosholoza Meyl, a long-distance train service operated by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), has been ordered to stop operating with immediate effect. This follows a fatal train crash on February 12, which left one man dead and several others injured when a goods and... 

'Speeding' Shosholoza Meyl stopped in its tracks following fatal crash
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