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Rail News

Attaining port efficiency requires purpose rethink, says law firm

By: Donna Slater     24th June 2021 South Africa’s maritime ports, known to be highly inefficient, need to be repurposed and redesignated to increase their efficient use, says law firm Norton Rose Fullbright South Africa chairperson Andrew Robinson. Speaking during an Infrastructure Africa panel discussion on transformation in the... 

Nearly 8 000 living on or around Cape Town's central train line - Metrorail

By: News24Wire      23rd June 2021 Nearly 8 000 people living on and around the railway lines on Cape Town’s central line have been fingered as the spanner in the works in the battle to get the defunct route back up and running. Metrorail Western Cape manager Richard Walker on Tuesday told the Western Cape legislature's Standing... 

Batteries can help improve South Africa's rail network, says First National Battery

By: Simone Liedtke     21st June 2021 Reliable and well-maintained infrastructure is needed for passenger and freight trains to reach their destinations safely, and a key part of this infrastructure includes reliable and resilient railway batteries that powers trains and rail systems, says battery manufacturer First National Battery.... 

DP World Maputo launches rail service between Maputo and Harare

By: Irma Venter     17th June 2021 DP World Maputo, which has the concession to manage, develop and operate the Maputo container terminal, in Mozambique, earlier this month launched its first dedicated container train service connecting Maputo and Harare, in Zimbabwe.  The company says the new service is part of its focus to... 

DP World Maputo launches rail service between Maputo and Harare

Deputy Minister applauds women taking charge in the rail sector

By: Yvonne Silaule     11th June 2021 Transport Deputy Minister Dikeledi Magadzi this week accompanied the Railway Safety Regulator in its inspection of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Wolmerton depot, in Pretoria. The inspection was held to assess the condition of the depot against scheduled and unscheduled... 

Association highlights third-party access benefits

By: Cameron Mackay     11th June 2021 Local industry body the African Rail Industry Association (ARIA) CEO Mesela Nhlapo says structural changes, as a result of allowing third-party access to State-owned freight utility Transnet’s rail network, will provide a significant boost for the local economy. “Third-party access will enable... 

Association highlights third-party access benefits
NO TRAIN, NO GAIN Third-party access will unlock a range of positive effects upstream and downstream through extra train capacity that is generated

Product ensures bolt security for safer railways

11th June 2021 Bolt security is essential for optimum safety in all industries, particularly in the railway sector, where demands on rail lines and train components are under increasing pressure, as trains and railway networks become more sophisticated. “Bolt loosening anywhere on railway infrastructure and... 

Product ensures bolt security for safer railways
ADVANCED WEDGE-LOCKING BMG’s Nord-Lock bolt securing system is based on wedge-locking technology, designed to secure bolted joints exposed to severe vibration and dynamic loads in extreme conditions

Association encourages use of zinc to boost rail

By: Cameron Mackay     11th June 2021 International Zinc Association (IZA) Africa Desk head Simon Norton says there is significant opportunity right now to increase the use of refined zinc for hot dip galvanising of steel, with the steel used for new rail infrastructure projects in South Africa. “This would guarantee a long life for... 

Association encourages use of zinc to boost rail
PROTECTING RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE Zinc has significant capacity to protect uncoated steel structures against premature corrosion

Transnet reports increase in cable theft; 600 arrests made

By: Schalk Burger     10th June 2021 State-owned logistics company Transnet on June 10 reported that there was an average of 650 incidents of cable theft a month in the first five months of this year, while more than 600 arrests have been made since the beginning of the year. Transnet loses about 120 km of overhead cables a month... 

Track S Africa’s economic recovery on Operation Vulindlela dashboard

By: Sashnee Moodley     10th June 2021 South Africans can now track government’s progress in economic and employment growth with up-to-date information on the new Operation Vulindlela dashboard, launched this week. The new dashboard presents an overview of the milestones in 19 focus areas identified by government as priority reforms,... 

Track S Africa’s economic recovery on Operation Vulindlela dashboard

Transnet doubles Bethlehem grain rail haulage capacity, launches 2021 grain export season 

27th May 2021 State-owned logistics company Transnet Freight Rail has increased its planned haulage of grain through the Bethlehem silo facility of VKB Agriculture by 133%, with 550 000 t of grains planned to be moved to South Africa’s ports for export. Creamer Media contributing editor Donna Slater tells us... 

Transnet doubles Bethlehem grain rail haulage capacity, launches 2021 grain export season
Transnet doubles Bethlehem grain rail haulage capacity, launches 2021 grain export season

City of Joburg tries to strike balance between revenue, relief in new budget 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th May 2021 In its R73.3-billion budget statement for the 2021/22 financial year, the City of Joburg (CoJ) has attempted to strike a balance between the needs of residents and the institution’s ability to provide services, considering continued Covid-19 impacts. The budget comprises of R65.1-billion in... 

City of Joburg tries to strike balance between revenue, relief in new budget
Finance MMC Jolidee Matongo presents the City of Joburg budget for 2021/22 and the medium-term

McKinsey to repay R870m to Transnet

By: Marleny Arnoldi     25th May 2021 State-owned utility Transnet and management consulting company McKinsey & Company have finalised the settlement on the fees McKinsey committed to return to Transnet during the Judicial Commission of Inquiry in December 2020. The full settlement of R870-million due to Transnet includes fees paid... 

Transnet aims to implement three private sector participation projects this year  

By: Terence Creamer     25th May 2021 Freight logistics group Transnet expects to proceed with three private sector participation (PSP) projects before the end of the year, with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan confirming that the State-owned group’s new strategy is to drive volume growth “by developing key strategic... 

Transnet aims to implement three private sector participation projects this year

Department of Transport identifies priority corridors for PRASA service recovery

By: Yvonne Silaule     24th May 2021 The Department of Transport has identified priority corridors across provinces for a service recovery by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) in the financial year, Minister Fikile Mbalula said on May 24. PRASA will, over the medium term, be allocated 27.2% or about R57-billion of... 

Transnet doubles capacity as it gears up for grain season

By: Marleny Arnoldi     17th May 2021 State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has doubled the capacity available to transport grain from Bethlehem, in the Free State, by rail to the country's ports for export. The State-owned freight utility plans to move 550 000 t of export grain this season – which will be a 133% increase on the... 

Transnet doubles capacity as it gears up for grain season
Photo by Creamer Media's Donna Slater
VKB Agriculture loads Transnet grain wagons at its Bethlehem silo rail siding at the start of the grain export season on May 17

GMA seeks transaction adviser for feasibility study

By: Marleny Arnoldi     10th May 2021 The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) has published a request for proposals (RfP) for a transaction adviser to develop a detailed feasibility study for the procurement of the Gautrain Rapid Link system. The current concession agreement will expire in 2026. 

Germany to use hydrogen fuel cell trains on reactivated historic Heidekrautbahn line

By: Schalk Burger     4th May 2021 The German Federal Ministry of Transport has provided €25-million in funding for a project using green hydrogen in rail transportation in Brandenburg. The total cost of the project to connect the surrounding area with the metropolis of Berlin was €100-million, said Federal Transport Minister... 

Enza Construction acquires rail rehabilitator Tractionel Enterprise

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd May 2021 Construction company Enza Construction has completed the acquisition of Tractionel Enterprise, an electrical infrastructure construction company in South Africa. Tractionel Enterprise has since 1982 been specialising in electrical infrastructure projects, with a focus on railway and power... 

Transnet wage negotiations stall

By: Donna Slater     23rd April 2021 Following a second round of talks, wage negotiations between State-owned freight logistics group Transnet and its affiliated labour unions have reached a deadlock. The negotiations took place with the South African Transport and Allied Union (Satawu) and the United National Transport Union... 

Vaccination success key to igniting SA’s infrastructure roll-out

By: Darren Parker     2nd April 2021 Despite the strain that the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccinations is placing on the fiscus, industry body Consulting Engineers South Africa (Cesa) believes that it needs to be prioritised in concert with the fast-tracked implementation of infrastructure projects for the recovery of South Africa’s... 

Vaccination success key to igniting SA’s infrastructure roll-out

Backed-up infrastructure pipeline a concern

By: Darren Parker     2nd April 2021 The Covid-19 pandemic has had a worrying impact on the outlook for infrastructure projects, with the expected “backed-up pipeline” a growing concern, says engineering and infrastructure consultancy company SMEC South Africa structures functional GM John Anderson. “While there are obvious... 

Backed-up infrastructure pipeline a concern
GETTING OVER IT Over the past few months, there has been an uptick in the number of tenders put out by State-owned entities, particularly in the transportation sector

Rail transport holds untapped potential that could be unlocked through third-party access – Gordhan 

By: Donna Slater     31st March 2021 South Africa’s rail network, which currently represents about 20% of general freight market share and less than 10% of the passenger market share, presents an opportunity for role-players, both public and private, to reposition themselves and the industry in a way that contributes to its... 

Nigeria Minister pushes timeous project completion

26th March 2021 Nigeria Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi tasked the promoters of the Lekki Deep Sea Port project situated in Lekki, Nigeria, with timely completion to ensure commencement of commercial activity by 2022. Amaechi made this known during a monitoring visit to the Lekki Deep Sea Port site on... 

Nigeria Minister pushes timeous project completion
MINISTERIAL MOTIVATION The Minister of Transportation in Nigeria has pushed promoters for the on-time completion of the Lekki Deep Sea Port

Grindrod aims for completion of northern Mozambique logistics hub in H1

By: Irma Venter     26th March 2021 Grindrod aims to have its logistics hub in Palma, in northern Mozambique, “up and running” by the end of the first half of this year, says Grindrod Freight Services CEO Xolani Mbambo. Palma is currently serving as a focal point for oil and gas developments in that part of the country.  

New straddle carriers now available in Africa

26th March 2021 Earlier this year, South Africa-based equipment supplier BLT World announced the launch of its new Mobicon 2HL series mini straddle carriers in Africa. Mobicon container handlers – key machines in BLT World’s range of container handling equipment – are designed for lifting containers securely... 

New straddle carriers now available in Africa
UPLIFTING The mini straddle carriers are capable of lifting containers two high for efficient stacking

Norway bans sale of Rolls-Royce subsidiary to Russian group

By: Rebecca Campbell     23rd March 2021 The Norwegian government has vetoed the sale, by UK-based global major industrial technology group Rolls-Royce, of its Norwegian subsidiary company Bergen Engines to Russian locomotive and railway equipment manufacturing and services company TMH Group. Rolls-Royce Bergen produces medium speed... 

Mbalula joins PRASA launch of People’s Responsibility to Protect initiative

By: Yvonne Silaule     15th March 2021 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on March 15 joined Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane in Pretoria for the launch of the People’s Responsibility to Protect project. The project is aimed at creating partnerships between PRASA and local communities living near... 

Mbalula joins PRASA launch of People’s Responsibility to Protect initiative

Transnet approaching the courts over controversial contracts to procure 1064 locomotives

By: News24Wire      9th March 2021 Transnet officials have worked until midnight to finalise a review application on the controversial contracts related to the procurement of 1064 locomotives, members of Parliament heard. The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday was briefed by Transnet officials, including... 

South African freight will finally shortcut through Eswatini – if a decades-old plan can find R29bn

By: News24Wire      9th March 2021 Transnet and its counterpart Eswatini Railways have formally called for potential funders, those who need to move freight, construction managers, and builders of rolling stock to get in touch – as the long-planned Eswatini Rail Link (ESRL) project inches towards breaking ground. Late last week... 

PRASA infected by a leadership 'pandemic' says furious former exec

By: News24Wire      9th March 2021 In a scathing 12-page exit letter, a top Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) lawyer, Fani Dingiswayo, accuses the agency's former and current leadership of paying lip service to the fight against corruption while in practice sidelining those who have kept the company from imploding.... 

Shock new numbers show how South Africa’s train service went off the rails – even before Covid hit

By: News24Wire      8th March 2021 The total number of daily train commuters in South Africa has dropped to its lowest level on record since the National Household Travel Survey (NHTS), compiled by Statistics SA, was first introduced in 2003. The latest study shows that travelling by train is by far the least popular mode of... 

Egypt gets $440m World Bank loan to support rail network

By: Reuters     8th March 2021 The World Bank has approved a $440-million loan to modernise signalling and upgrade track on 763 km of Egypt's 5 000 km rail network, the bank said in a statement. Egyptian National Railways (ENR) will put $241-million into the project on the Cairo-Giza-Beni Suef section of the network, bringing... 

President addresses need for efficient rail and ports network

By: Halima Frost     5th March 2021 South Africa’s ability to compete in global markets depends on the efficiency of its ports and rail network, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his State of the Nation address held in Cape Town last month. He suggested that key infrastructure projects currently underway, including establishing... 

President addresses need for efficient rail and ports network
ON TRACK In order for South Africa to compete globally its rail and port infrastructure needs to be addressed

Company secures distributor deal

By: Halima Frost     5th March 2021 Engineering solutions provider BMG has been appointed as the exclusive distributor of Swagefast fastening systems in Africa, including South Africa. “This means that BMG will have the capacity to supply heavy industrial pin and collar fastening solutions directly to the rail industry,” says BMG... 

Company secures distributor deal
PIN AND COLLAR The Swagefast heavy industrial pin and collar range will now be supplied by BMG

Increase in feasibility studies bodes well for rail sector

By: Halima Frost     5th March 2021 There has been a significant increase in commissioned feasibility studies over the past 18 months in terms of reviewing possible rail infrastructure interventions along the North–South Corridor, says financial advisory firm Cresco Project Finance executive director Robert Futter. The corridor... 

Increase in feasibility studies bodes well  for rail sector
CORRIDOR CARRIER Rail infrastructure throughout the North-South Corridor is making steady progress

Grindrod aims for H1 completion of logistics hub in northern Mozambique 

By: Irma Venter     4th March 2021 Grindrod aims to have its logistics hub in Palma, in northern Mozambique, “up and running” by the end of the first half of this year, says Grindrod Freight Services CEO Xolani Mbambo. Palma is currently a focal point in terms of oil and gas developments in this part of the country.  

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