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Rail News

Public transport subsidy policy to go to Cabinet at end of 2020 

By: Irma Venter     5th August 2019 Future of Transport (FOT) Consulting expects the new policy on South Africa’s public transport subsidy regime to be finalised and presented to Cabinet for approval by the end of 2020. FOT Consulting strategic planning and transformation specialist Rehana Moosajee says a draft policy document... 

Operator provides rail haulage services for project

2nd August 2019 Australian strategic metals company TNG has entered into a binding heads of agreement (HoA) with railroad owner and operator Genesee & Wyoming Australia (GWA), for the provision of rail haulage services for its flagship 100%-owned Mt Peake vanadium/titanium/iron project, located 235 km north of... 

Freight utility breaks record, tests 375-wagon manganese train

2nd August 2019 State-owned freight utility Transnet recently broke its own record by testing a 375-wagon manganese train representing the production train with the highest number of wagons globally. Transnet operates more than 30 000 km of rail network across the country and as reported last month holds the... 

Freight utility breaks record, tests 375-wagon manganese train
Photo by Creamer media
STEAMING AHEAD Transnet is steaming ahead with its vision of being one of the top five railway companies in the world

Intervention in place to improve agency’s operational performance

2nd August 2019 A decisive intervention to turn around Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and improve its operational performance while rebuilding its engineering capacity to drive the modernisation programme is in place, said Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula in his first Budget Vote speech last... 

Intervention in place to improve agency’s operational performance
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
FIKILE MBALULA Achieving efficiencies in rail will go a long way towards addressing challenges brought about by congestion on our road network

Railway company receives €45-million order

2nd August 2019 Rail transport company Alstom has received an order of about  €45-million for the delivery of eight Coradia Lint regional trains from passenger railway operator Ostdeutsche Eisenbahn. The trains will be built at Alstom’s site in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony, and will be delivered in the second half... 

Digital twinning, robotic testing, hydrogen trains and the railways 

By: Irma Venter     30th July 2019 There are numerous digital technologies available to help develop the railway systems of the future, says University of Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education director Professor Clive Roberts. Roberts also leads the UK Rail Research and Innovation Network (UKRRIN) digital systems... 

Digital twinning, robotic testing, hydrogen trains and the railways

Former PRASA CEO Lucky Montana readies himself for State capture inquiry

By: News24Wire      29th July 2019 Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana says he is "ready to testify before the Zondo commission" of inquiry into State capture. On July 26, Montana submitted a letter, notifying the commission of his intention to make a submission and testify in August. 

Former PRASA CEO Lucky Montana readies himself for State capture inquiry
Photo by Creamer Media
Former PRASA CEO Lucky Montana

This is why Metrorail employees are striking

By: News24Wire      26th July 2019 Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA) employees – or at least some of them – is holding a one-day strike on Friday. The United National Transport Union (Untu) will hold marches in several cities "to fix our trains". 

Passenger railway services running despite strike action – PRASA

By: African News Agency      26th July 2019 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) said on Friday train services were running smoothly despite Fedusa and Untu union members embarking on a strike. PRASA spokesperson Nana Zenani said employees not affiliated to Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) and United National... 

New transport DG to prioritise PRASA security 

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     24th July 2019 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula on Wednesday announced Alec Moemi as the new director-general of the Department of Transport, effective August 1. Moemi was the former Department of Sports and Recreation director-general. 

New transport DG to prioritise PRASA security
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Mbalula names new transport director general who will tackle e-tolls, Prasa  

By: News24Wire      24th July 2019 Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula has named Alec Moemi as Director General of the Transport Department. The Department of Transport has been without a DG since May 2016, after the suspension and passing of former DG Godfrey Selepe. Moemi will also focus on addressing challenges at the Passenger... 

Mbalula names new transport director general who will tackle e-tolls, Prasa
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Transport society wants Mbalula to draft planning progamme to 2050 

By: Irma Venter     24th July 2019 A large number of people believed South Africa would never be able to host the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup, yet the country organised this global event to international acclaim, says Intelligent Transport Society South Africa (ITSSA) CEO Dr Paul Vorster. How did this happen? 

Transport society wants Mbalula to draft planning progamme to 2050

Two take empty passenger train for Friday night joyride

By: News24Wire      23rd July 2019 Two unknown suspects went off the rails on Friday night and stole an empty passenger train before driving it from eMkhomazi to Umgababa in KwaZulu-Natal – a distance of 12 km. Passenger Rail Agency Agency of South Africa (PRASA) spokesperson Zama Nomnganga confirmed the incident to News24, saying... 

AFRO4000 locomotives to be auctioned off 

By: Marleny Arnoldi     22nd July 2019 Online auction house WH Auctioneers will, in September, auction off 13 AFRO4000 locomotives that were initially procured for use on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) long-distance network. The auction will open on September 1 and close on September 12.  

AFRO4000 locomotives to be auctioned off
PRASA AFRO4001

City's business plan to take over passenger rail service in Cape Town approved

By: African News Agency      19th July 2019 A business plan has been approved to incrementally take over the management of the failing rail network in Cape Town, Mayor Dan Plato said. Speaking at the Integrated Urban Transformations South-South Knowledge Exchange, hosted by the City of Cape Town this week, Plato said that over the last few... 

Bahrain composites group aiming to use PRASA contract as platform for expansion into other sectors  

By: Terence Creamer     18th July 2019 Composites multinational BFG International, of Bahrain, has officially opened a R50-million factory in Ekurhuleni, South Africa, to supply fibreglass components for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) new trains. The investment, which is the first-ever by a Bahraini... 

Bahrain composites group aiming to use PRASA contract as platform for expansion into other sectors
BFG International group president Dr Samer Aljishi in conversation with Engineering News Editor Terence Creamer about the company's investment in South Africa and prospects for future growth. Camera Work & Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 18.7.2019

Gautrain looks at procuring pre-owned trains from the UK  

By: Irma Venter     18th July 2019 The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) is investigating the procurement of pre-owned rolling stock from the UK to address peak-hour congestion on the Gautrain system. This follows as a tender process to secure 12 new four-car train sets for the Gautrain system failed to deliver the desired results... 

Gautrain looks at procuring pre-owned trains from the UK

Fedusa, Untu to shut down commuter train services nationwide on July 26 

By: Nadine James     16th July 2019 The Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa) and its commuter rail transport affiliate, the United National Transport Union (Untu), plan to shut down Metrorail’s commuter train operations across the country on July 26. Fedusa says the shutdown is part of a national day of protest against... 

Gautrain adds R6.4bn to the Gauteng economy a year, says new study   

By: Irma Venter     15th July 2019 A new study on the socio-economic impact of the Gautrain indicates that the rapid-rail system adds R6.64-billion to Gauteng economy’s gross domestic product (GDP) – or 0.56% ­– during a typical year of operation. The newest study – the second – was conducted by consulting engineering firm Hatch. 

Gautrain adds R6.4bn to the Gauteng economy a year, says new study
Photo by Creamer Media's Irma Venter
Gauteng Roads and Transport MEC Jacob Mamabolo and Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe

Heavy haul industry business models to be modelled under 4IR – Monakali

By: Simone Liedtke     12th July 2019 The official 40-page-long International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) Vision 2030 Strategy will be published next month. The strategy, which took about 15 months to compile, is expected to unpack what the future will look like for the global heavy haul industry in terms of customer experience,... 

Heavy haul industry business models to be modelled under 4IR – Monakali
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Transnet Freight Rail GM Brian Monakali

Product series launched for rail industry

12th July 2019 Telecommunications and data company Telegärtner’s range of connectors for railway and vehicle applications has been expanded with the introduction of a new product series. The company explains that, an add-on to the previous M12 connector series, the new series contains M12x1 X-coded connectors... 

Longest Production Train in the World

11th July 2019 In an unprecedented move, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) successfully ran a 375 wagon manganese train. The testing of the train took place on Wednesday, 05 September 2018 over a distance of around 861 km, from Sishen to Saldanha. The test train is four (4) kilometres long and will be a production... 

Longest Production Train in the World

Durban rail corridor to benefit most from addition of standard gauge track 

By: Irma Venter     9th July 2019 The freight corridor between Durban and Gauteng would benefit most from a standard gauge railway track being constructed next to the current narrow gauge track. The addition of the line would aid in the transport of mainly double-stacked containers, as well as various other commodities. 

Durban rail corridor to benefit most from addition of standard gauge track

Audits, partnerships important for increasing rail market share

By: Simone Liedtke     8th July 2019 A study by a group of students from the University of Johannesburg’s College of Business and Economics suggests that Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) – which has positioned itself as a low-cost freight transport solutions provider in South Africa – conduct an audit of the organisation’s skills, and... 

Aurecon highlights potential of tech to transform the transport industry

By: Marleny Arnoldi     8th July 2019 Many stakeholders believe the transport industry is on the cusp of disruptive transformation, as big as with the advent of the motorcar in the early 1900s. The only way for the South African transport industry to compete would be to embrace innovation and adapt to the disruption accordingly,... 

Aurecon highlights potential of tech to transform the transport industry
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Aurecon COO Dr Gustav Rohde

Task team to look at future of e-tolling, completion date set for August  

By: Irma Venter     8th July 2019 A governmental task team will produce a report on the future of electronic tolling in Gauteng by August. Speaking at a media conference at the Southern African Transport Conference in Pretoria, on Monday, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula said this report will be presented to President Cyril... 

Task team to look at future of e-tolling, completion date set for August
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula

Infrastructure backlog provides growth opportunities for company

By: Cameron Mackay     5th July 2019 There is a backlog of sufficient planned new bulk water infrastructure projects in South Africa which could potentially provide increased opportunities for engineering consultants, such as AECOM, to become involved in more infrastructure development, says AECOM water business line director Werner... 

Infrastructure backlog provides growth opportunities for company
WERNER COMRIE Collaboration between the public and private sectors is long overdue. We have to use our collective knowledge to solve the challenges going forward

SA invests in its passenger rail services 

3rd July 2019 Creamer Media's Chanel de Bruyn speaks to Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Irma Venter about government’s investment in Metrorail, the theft and vandalism that continues to plague Metrorail and the Gautrain Management Agency’s proposals to increase non-fare revenue. 

SA invests in its passenger rail services
SA invests in its passenger rail services

Transport conference to feature latest research, expert speakers

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd July 2019 The Southern African Transport Conference (SATC) will for the thirty-eighth time host internationally-lauded plenary speakers and welcome around 700 transport professionals, academics, students and engineers. The premier transport conference will be held at the Council for Scientific and... 

South Africans to prepare ‘smart heavy haul industry’ roadmap

3rd July 2019 The South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) hosted a three-day technical workshop in Johannesburg in late 2018 as part of preparations for the 2019 International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) conference to be held in Narvik, Norway, from June 10 to 14. Ten countries are a part of the IHHA... 

South Africans to  prepare ‘smart heavy haul industry’ roadmap

Theft of R1m critical components derailed train in Ekurhuleni, says Metrorail

By: African News Agency      2nd July 2019 Metrorail Gauteng said on Tuesday that its preliminary investigation shows that the train derailment in Ekurhuleni was caused by theft of critical infrastructure components worth R1-million – namely the points rods, points machine and clamps. Train 0304 traveling from Springs en route to... 

New railway app allows commuters to travel today, pay tomorrow

By: Irma Venter     2nd July 2019 International rail companies are implementing numerous new, innovative ways for commuters to fund their journeys. One such method is a smart phone app, called Lezzgo, that operates under the get-on, get-off, pay-later principle – no travel card or ticket required. 

 New railway app allows commuters to travel today, pay tomorrow

Gautrain looks at expanding non-fare revenue with Centurion pilot project 

By: Irma Venter     1st July 2019 While “doing okay” in terms of non-fare revenue from advertising, the “one big trick” the Gautrain system has missed out on has been to participate in the rise in property value around Gautrain stations, says Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) COO William Dachs. Since the establishment of the... 

 Gautrain looks at expanding non-fare revenue with Centurion pilot project
Photo by Dylan Slater
Centurion station

South Africa's entire coal line to be shut for maintenance – Transnet

By: Reuters     28th June 2019 South Africa will shut down its entire rail network transporting coal from pits to customers for almost two weeks to undertake scheduled repairs, State-owned freight rail logistics firm Transnet said on Friday. Transnet Freight Rail said the shutdown, from July 2 to 11, would cover the entire... 

Transport Minister dreams of bullets trains ... but commuters want Metrorail to work now

By: News24Wire      27th June 2019 To see first-hand what commuters face in the Western Cape, Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula planned to take a train from Khayelitsha to Langa on Tuesday morning. The trip did not go as planned, reports GroundUp. After a long delay and with further delays expected because of two deaths on the... 

Defining the heavy-haul railway of the future

26th June 2019 Heavy-haul railways are under constant pressure to optimise operational efficiency, a factor that has led the sector to spearhead many new technologies. Michael Roney, special advisor to the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA), explains in this article, originally published in the... 

Defining the heavy-haul railway of the future

Resgen says final member confirms participation in lending syndicate for Boikarabelo

By: African News Agency      24th June 2019 Energy resources firm Resource Generation (Resgen), which is listed on the ASX and the JSE, on Monday said the third and final member of the proposed lending syndicate for the construction of its Boikarabelo mine in South Africa had confirmed its participation in writing. It said the combined... 

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