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Rail News

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. 

Collaborative effort to unblock chronic congestion at SA’s busiest port

By: Irma Venter     19th June 2020 New equipment, improved access roads, synchronised, longer operating hours and a truck booking system are all in the works for the heavily congested Port of Durban, says Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) Port of Durban GM Moshe Motlohi. The country’s busiest port has long been criticised... 

Collaborative effort to unblock chronic congestion at SA’s busiest port

Transnet implements lifestyle audits

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     18th June 2020 State-owned Transnet has instituted a process of lifestyle audits for its employees, as part of its efforts to ensure high standards of ethics and integrity. Senior management, including executive management, are the first category of employees to undergo the initial phase of the audit. 

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

By: Irma Venter     12th June 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... 

Expected decline in safety related rail incidents

By: Darren Parker     12th June 2020 The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) expects that an analysis of railway safety incidents in April and May will reveal a declining trend in some categories of operational occurrence since some railway operations were suspended during levels 4 and 5 of the Covid-19 national lockdown. As legislated,... 

Expected decline in safety related rail incidents
Photo by Creamer Media
WALKING THE LINE Although there have been less operational occurrences throughout the lockdown, safe railway behaviour promotion has been augmented for rail employees and the general public

Rail needs innovative risk-sharing structures

By: Darren Parker     12th June 2020 African railway owners and operators should consider linking freight and passenger rail services as a way of diversifying the risks and rewards that have become evident in these systems on the back of the Covid-19 crisis, says Development Bank of Southern Africa transport, logistics and bulk... 

Rail needs innovative risk-sharing structures
Photo by Creamer Media
SHOULDERING THE LOAD While passenger rail suffered losses, freight rail enjoyed increased demand throughout the Covid-19 lockdown

Gautrain takes a knock to protect customer base

By: Darren Parker     12th June 2020 Gautrain rapid-rail network operator Bombela Concession Company has maintained or, in some cases, increased Gautrain operational capacity despite low passenger numbers. “While maintaining or even increasing capacity at a time when demand has reduced goes against commercial logic, it makes perfect... 

Gautrain takes a knock to protect customer base
STAYING ON TRACK The Gautrain has continued to operate at full capacity despite experiencing a significant reduction in paying customers during lockdown

Trucking regulations harmonisation, digitalisation to aid Covid-19 fight, says World Bank 

By: Irma Venter     10th June 2020 The World Bank Group advises ports to rapidly increase their digitalisation efforts over the short to medium term – one to six months – in an effort to reduce the frequency of people- and paper-based contact, says World Bank Group global lead for transport connectivity and regional integration,... 

Trucking regulations harmonisation, digitalisation to aid Covid-19 fight, says World Bank

National Planning Commission proposes SOE holding company model to help shield entities from political meddling 

By: Terence Creamer     10th June 2020 South Africa’s National Planning Commission (NPC) is recommending the creation of a comprehensive State-owned enterprise (SOE) holding company, with a commercial company structure, to help protect SOEs from political interference. The recommendation is contained in a draft position paper that... 

National Planning Commission proposes SOE holding company model to help shield entities from political meddling
The NPC position paper makes recommendations following an assessment of the contribution of Eskom, Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa to the NDP's Vision 2030

Transnet reopens Pretoria freight line

By: Simone Liedtke     8th June 2020 State-owned Transnet has reopened its freight line from the Pretoria complex to Pyramid station, following years of closure owing to challenges with cable theft and sabotage. The line has been out of operation since August 2014 owing to the theft of signaling equipment and overhead track... 

PRASA dismisses four senior officials over procurement irregularities

By: Donna Slater     8th June 2020 Following allegations of impropriety in the awarding of security-related tenders, and a disciplinary inquiry, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has dismissed four senior officials in its protection services department, who have been found guilty of alleged procurement... 

PRASA raids illicit scrap metal trader, makes arrests

By: Donna Slater     3rd June 2020 Having been victim to an alarming increase in cases of infrastructure vandalism to its overhead electrical lines, electrical substations and station buildings, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) security team has seized about R10-million worth of stolen cables and other rail... 

Transnet meets with AMSA to talk freight issues, unlocking more value

By: Marleny Arnoldi     2nd June 2020 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has met with ArcelorMittal South Africa to address concerns raised by the steel producer regarding TFR’s impact on its business operations. This forms part of TFR’s efforts to improve efficiencies and productivity, especially when freight issues are contributing to... 

Gautrain extends operating hours

By: Donna Slater     1st June 2020 The Gautrain will, from June 1, expand its operating hours for the train service, in line with the easing of travel restrictions. Trains will operate daily, with the first trains departing from end stations at 05:30 and the last trains departing from these stations at 20:30. 

Gautrain extends operating hours

PRASA not ready to resume commuter operations under Covid-19 level 3, says Mbalula

By: African News Agency      1st June 2020 While the Gautrain will resume its OR Tambo International Airport service when the coronavirus (Covid-19) level 3 regulations come into effect on June 1, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is not yet ready to resume Metrorail commuter services, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula... 

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