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Affiliated Associations & Societies
We commented last month on South There is a bigger potential problem. Our
Africa’s newly permitted “performance- railway’s capacity to take over substantial
based” 27-metre-long road truck/trailer volumes of traffic at relatively short
combinations (5m longer than the previous notice - short in railway time, that is - is
limit), with a gross loaded mass of 67 tons questionable. It is one thing to run down
(normal maximum, 56). Agreed, these infrastructure and rolling stock but another
monsters will only be allowed by special altogether to get it up and working again.
permission of the Department of Transport DoT is looking to use existing branchlines
(DoT), but examples are already running in - it mentions them specifically - but the
KwaZulu-Natal, in an area where several condition of some of those is dicey, and the
railway lines are under threat of closing. roads, apparently, are in much the same
Only a week or two ago, one was spotted on shape. The department is understandably
the old M13 route near hillcrest, cunningly concerned at this, worrying that they may
bypassing the N3 toll plaza at Mariannhill. fall apart within five years, due to lack of
funds for maintenance.
Now, less than a month later, new
strategy has been announced to limit the So which comes first - fixing the railway or
conveyance by road of commodities (as banning the behomoths? I tell you what -
yet unspecified), the broad objective being we left the stable door open far too long
to force the use of rail instead. One says ago. It’s going to be one heck of a job
“broad”, because the implications are getting those iron horses back.
probably more complex than the authors
realise. Predictably loud opposition is
already audible, mainly from the road
freight industry, which has been allowed -
and encouraged - to grow so large that the
jobs of hundreds are feared to be at stake.
Brake Solutions 2
Opinion: Pete the Pundit 4
Africa UpDate 10
SA RailNews 18
Namibian Interlude 24 Mobile Police stations Ngqura rail
Gautrain UpDate 26 > Page 2 for long-distance operations begin
trains > Page 18
Company News: Actom 32 > Page 18
Mishaps & Blunders 34
Book Review 36
Middle East UpDate 38
Railway Heritage 39
End of the Line 40
Class 39-200 Namibian interlude Actom Failsafe Data
> Page 22 > Page 24 Transmission (FSDT)
> Page 32
www.railwaysafrica.com September 2009 RAILWAYS AFRICA 1
Brake Solutions, World-Class Technology
The Knorr-Bremse Group is the world’s leading manufacturer Engineering and production facilities for adapting both
of braking systems for rail and other commercial vehicles. It AAR and UIC products to suit local conditions are also
has pioneered the development, production and marketing of
modern braking systems for a variety of applications over the Knorr Bremse will be introducing the manufacture and
supply of the VV64/100-3 air compressor, purposely
last 100 years. The company also produces on-board systems
designed for production of compressed air on vehicles
for rail vehicles such as doors, toilets, air-conditioners and such as electric locomotives and motor coaches. This
passenger information systems. Knorr-Bremse compressor has been used successfully
on Metrorail motor coaches for the last three decades.
The SA subsidiary was opened in 1969 as a sales office and The decision was based on the reliability of the VV64 -
expanded in 1973 to include local manufacturing for the the compressor that the Passenger Rail Agency of South
domestic market. It has been successful in supplying brake Africa (Prasa) uses as its benchmark when testing other
systems for all types of rolling stock, including both vacuum compressors for use on metro coaches.
and air systems.
The components for the VV64 will be produced at and
Today the KBSA factory is a well-equipped manufacturing supplied from the Knorr-Bremse manufacturing facility in
plant based in Kempton Park, Gauteng. The DB60 freight Spartan, Kempton Park, ensuring that this product is 100%
wagon valve is its primary export. As one of only two KB proudly South African.
factories around the world to manufacture this AAR approved
valve, the KBSA product is now included in rolling stock
inventories on six continents
Knorr Bremse (SA) (Pty) Ltd launched its first new high-tech
electronic braking solution (type hSM) on the class 14E
dual voltage electric locomotives in SA in the late 1980s.
Today, the CCB2 electronic brake system and full ECP/
WDP (Electronic Control Pneumatic Brake/Wired Distributed
Power) train control is the new way forward for heavy-haul
trains. Various electric and diesel locomotives have been
fitted with the Knorr-Bremse CCBII brake systems, either by
upgrading or on new-build locomotives.
When Knorr Bremse (SA) (Pty) Ltd became IRIS certified it
was the first South African company to achieve this quality
system standard. The IRIS (International Rail Industry
Standard) was specifically established to address the
requirements and disciplines pertinent to the rail industry.
IRIS is an initiative led by UNIFE (Association of the European
Rail Industry) and is actively supported by companies
such as Knorr-Bremse, Bombardier, Swissrail, holland Rail
Industry and Swedtrain - to name but a few.
Other rail brake solutions available on the SA market The primary reason for initiating the establishment of the
include the modern EP Compact® brake control system for IRIS standard was that ISO 9001 certification was too easily
electric multiple units (emus) and oil-free compressors (as obtained, coupled with the need to ensure higher safety
used on Gautrain), for both locomotives and emus. Oil-free standards for the rail industry.
compressors based on the latest technology in compressed
air are extremely efficient and maintenance-friendly. The following are benefits that customers can expect
from a company that has successfully implemented the
IRIS quality system:
A greatly improved focus in ensuring that products are
fully compliant with the RAMS (Reliability, Availability,
Maintainability and Safety) requirements:
• Establishment of project management within the
Quality Management System,
• Greater focus on process and product non-
• Greater focus on commissioning aspects and
customer service and
• Greater focus on production and service provision.
2 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
electronic vigilance computer
The purpose of the electronic vigilance computer is to monitor
the alertness of a driver while in control of a moving locomotive
or train, and to bring it to a standstill if he or she fails to respond
to certain vigilance alarms prompting driver action.
KBSA have field service teams available 24/7 at various
locations to provide backup service. The alertness test is based on a random timer that runs
out and then requires the driver to take appropriate action
These teams also carry out system upgrades to freight to “prove” his or her alertness.
wagons, as well as Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) electric and
diesel-electric locomotives of various classes. Knorr-Bremse has successfully integrated the electronic
vigilance computer on older TFR locomotives such as
Knorr Bremse has secured contracts from Transnet for the classes 6E1 and 8E, as well as on all new electronic
supply of LPS 54 Exhausters and Slack Adjusters for use on locomotives. For example, TFR’s new class 15E and 19E
passenger vehicles. locomotives have been so equipped.
Knorr-Bremse in-house service repair centre involvement in the iron ore rdp upgrade
KBSA have an in-house CCBII service centre for all electronic programme
equipment: EPCU, EBV, electronic vigilance computers and Knorr-Bremse (SA) (Pty) Ltd is honoured to be playing an
other electronic equipment. important role in helping Transnet set new records. KBSA
has been and is responsible for upgrading all 31 of the
Compressors and exhausters are repaired in the KBSA class 9E electric locomotives and 30 of the class 34 diesel
mechanical service centre for all mechanically operated locomotives - 24 of which have been completed - to an
equipment: LPS 54, VV64, VV450, various air equipment electro-pneumatic brake system. This project included the
frames, and tread brake units. integration of vacuum brakes into the electro-pneumatic
brake system on the diesel locomotives.
KBSA is also responsible for the installation and
commissioning of the radio-distributed power (RDP) system
supplied by GE Transportation. KBSA is currently acting as
support for GE Transportation and assists with field support
for the RDP wherever necessary.
To deal with locomotive upgrades, KBSA has been in
Saldanha - where it has established a site office - for the
past two years. This office will contribute field support
for the new class 15E locomotives, being delivered in the
course of 2009.
involvement in the 19e and 15e locomotive
Knorr-Bremse (SA) (Pty) Ltd is proud to be the sole
supplier for all air supply and brake equipment, including
The Knorr-Bremse Group was chosen to provide the door tread brake units, fitted to the new class 19E and 15E electric
and brake control systems for the Gautrain project rolling locomotive building programme.
stock – the Electrostar series. Designed in England and
adapted to suit local conditions, the Electrostar boasts the The class 19E locomotives (dual voltage 3kV DC and 25kV
latest technologies in brake control from Knorr-Bremse UK AC) are for use on the heavy-haul line transporting coal from
mines in the Witbank area to the port in Richards Bay. These
locomotives are being fitted with the latest in computer-
controlled brakes. The trains boast both electronically
controlled pneumatic brakes for the wagons and wire-
distributed power for distributed locomotive control.
The class 15E locomotives (50kV AC) are to complement
the existing class 9E locomotive fleet on South Africa’s
second heavy-haul line, transporting iron ore from Sishen in
the Northern Cape Province to the port in Saldanha. These
locomotives also include the latest in computer controlled
brakes and include radio-distributed power.
For these locomotives, KBSA has developed two functional
stand-alone modules. One is for air supply, the other for air
brake equipment. This means that an all-inclusive module
has been developed for locomotive air supply, including
(Westinghouse) and door systems from IFE in Austria. Knorr- compressed air and conditioning of air; and that a second
Bremse SA will be responsible for providing on-going support all-inclusive module is fitted for air brake equipment,
to Bombela and Bombardier for these products during the including the brake system with all electronics, wheel-slide
warranty period and for the duration of their service. and auxiliary equipment.
www.railwaysafrica.com September 2009 RAILWAYS AFRICA 3
PETE THE PUNDIT laments
LINESIDE MISERY IN EAST AFRICA, marvels at
THE WONDERS OF SWISS METRE GAUGE and hears of
SOME SHAKY REPORTING IN THE US OF A
LINESIDE MISERY IN EAST AFRICA railway that does not run efficiently
“Africa’s freedom railway” by loses traffic, its bread and butter.
Professor Jamie Monson - This means it earns less income
reviewed elsewhere in this issue and has difficulty meeting bills.
- is noteworthy not for rail-related Worse: inability to pay staff wages –
content in the usual sense but for and pensioners - is all too common
drawing attention to some widely today in far too many countries.
unappreciated side effects of
building rail systems. her interest Worse still: less traffic implies less
is predominantly that of people work to be done– a reality that few
who live along the Tazara route in government-owned entities care
Tanzania, whose fortunes – and This “manual track recording device” appeared (by courtesy of to face head-on, with personnel
misfortunes – are intertwined with Plasser) in the August 1982 issue of this magazine, then known complements trimmed down all
those of the railway. These rural simply as “Railways”. It was in its 25th year of publication, the too slowly. Nevertheless, in the
villages prospered more, she editor – A E (“Dusty”) Durrant. Vanguard (published in Lagos) on
suggests, than those living beside 29 August 2003, harry Nwana
more conventional “colonial- In a foreword to the 25th anniversary issue, general manager quoted Nigerian Railway
era” railways, whose principal of South Africa’s railways Dr Kobus Loubser had written Corporation (NRC) managing
appreciatively of “South Africa’s only independent railway director Alhaji Abdulrahman
objective was to “connect settler
journal”. Since its first appearance in 1957, it had grown to be Abubakar saying that the 50,000
communities” (and – of course – to
recognised for its “authoritative” content.
tap and export minerals). formerly on the payroll had shrunk
to about 14,000. “Even this number cannot be paid their
Wherever railways are constructed, however, and for salaries most of the time. Unpaid pensioners are about
whatever purpose or political connotation, those living 20,000 strong who, only when the Federal Government
beside them will always benefit. Compare the countryside makes due subventions, can receive their pension. And it
paralleling Kenya’s line from Mombasa to Nairobi - and does so at intervals of six to nine months. Exactly a year
beyond - with the railless areas to the north. Passenger ago, the NRC was owing pensioners over N3 billion little
trains, by no means confined to the British expatriate prospect of redemption. It is a lot more than that by now as
elite, were widely used and exploited by the locals, whose staff continue to retire.”
horizons and opportunities were enormously expanded.
And just as the Tanzanians suffered when economic Nwana wrote that six
realities obliged the Tazara line to hike fares and close down years ago. Exactly four
stations, the similar faltering of lines in Kenya and Uganda years later, on 29 August
– after the colonialists left, one has to point out - impacted 2007, the president of the
severely on the locals. Without a Professor Monson to Nigeria Labour Congress
champion their cause however, one hears only of the (NLC) appealed to Nigerian
detriment to the Ugandan import trade, and the failure of President Umaru Musa
trains to clear backlogs in Mombasa harbour. Yar’Adua to direct the
immediate payment of
EMD 1,310hp Nigerian class 1100 the entitlements of railway
diesel, built 1958. pensioners: “Let me also
crave Your Excellency’s indulgence to appeal for your
compassionate consideration of the plight of the pensioners
of the Nigeria Railway Corporation. “The situation of railway
pensioners is desperate and pathetic, resulting in frequent
deaths among them and their dependents.”
Similar appeals have been made to a succession of
Nigerian presidents over the years. Meanwhile, there
has been no Professor Monson to chronicle the plight of
peasant communities living along the country’s 3,783km
of largely dilapidated track, which has seen very few trains
in recent times.
Chinese-built Tunduma station on the Zambian-Tanzanian border.
Photo: Richard Grönstedt. STANDARD GAUGE: THE AFRICAN OBSESSION
In the old days, the lines of East Africa – Kenya, Uganda and Current plans to convert thousands of kilometres of African
Tanganyika – were highly regarded internationally, not least lines to standard gauge are based on a conviction that metre-
for the biggest Garratt steam locomotives in Africa. Whatever gauge inhibits capacity and speed. If one is in the happy
the colonialists’ motives for providing railways, they looked position of being able to afford a completely new railway,
after their infrastructure. Post-colonial railways throughout and completely new locomotives and rolling stock to run
the continent – in these countries as well as Nigeria, Ghana, on it, well and good – but it doesn’t sound like a scenario
Zambia and elsewhere – are conspicuous for lamentable widely found in Africa. It is rather like an urban shack-dweller
shortcomings in maintenance. Everywhere track and rolling observing that black plastic inhibits his lifestyle; in its place,
stock have been wretchedly neglected. Unfortunately, a he intends to put up a mansion.
4 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
SPECIALIST CASTINGS FOR
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operations are located in South Africa, South America, Canada and Australia. Smaller operations are in Namibia,
Zimbabwe and Zambia. Scaw’s specialist castings for the railroad industry include bogies used in freight cars,
locomotives and passenger cars. Other products manufactured include:
Freight car castings: Scaw has produced castings for the railroad industry since 1921
• Side Frames • Bolsters and is a technological leader in this field and has participated in the
• Yokes • Cast steel monobloc wheels development of unique designs such as the cast adaptor sub-frame
• Draw-gear components assembly used in the “Scheffel” radial axle truck.
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Scaw manufactures castings under licence to various licensors, but
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• Traction motor end shields and suspension tubes in cast thousands of sets of steel castings for freight cars for both the local
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[ Swiss Francs and US Dollars are approximately equal in
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INACCURATE US RAIL RECORDS
If you thought rail safety and associated records were a
problem only in Africa, take comfort. According to the Los
Angeles Times: “The official record of accidents and deaths
on the Metrolink commuter rail system is incomplete, marred
by inconsistencies and largely hidden from view. The record
makes train operations in the Los Angeles region appear to
be much less dangerous than they are.”
The paper has compiled an interactive database and map
Impeccably maintained metre-gauge trackwork (electrified) in a Rhatische by drawing on information from several sources, “many
Bahn (Switzerland) freight yard. Photo: editor’s collection. never before available to the public”. As far as was possible,
According to ancient wisdom, sensible people make the inaccurate or conflicting information was corrected and
most of what they have before rushing out to buy anew. In obvious omissions filled in. “The database suggests that
this context, instructive examples of what can be achieved the Federal Railroad Administration’s system for tracking
on metre gauge railways are to be found in Switzerland. And hazards is more suited to monitoring cross-country freight
it isn’t as though the going is easy: there isn’t more difficult haulers than high-speed [passenger] trains operating in
geography to be negotiated anywhere. Swiss tunnels and crowded urban corridors.
bridges are unsurpassed. Some of their rolling stock – like
that in much of Africa – is around 40 years old, but instead “Only about four of every 10 fatal accidents in Metrolink’s
of washing their hands of it and starting afresh on a different records have been reported to the federal agency, which
gauge, the thrifty Swiss are upgrading the existing metre- posts the information on its public website. At least 117
gauge track and buying new trains. On 17 September, for Metrolink system pedestrian deaths and six vehicle deaths
example, prominent operator Zentralbahn awarded Stadler do not appear in the federal record.
a SFr141m contract to supply 10 inter-regional electric
multiple-units as part of an ambitious double-tracking and “The federal agency requires train operators to file reports
modernisation programme. under broad circumstances: an accident at a grade [level]
crossing, an accident causing damage to railroad equipment
or an accident resulting in loss of life - except when the death
is ruled a suicide.” According to the paper, “Metrolink’s
reporting practice has been inconsistent. The agency
reported some deaths that were ruled suicide but often failed
to report deaths considered to be accidental.”
“The agency’s records are also inadequate for one of the
most basic forms of analysis: pattern mapping. A spokesman
for the agency said there is no plan to remedy the data, which
he conceded could be as much as 20% wrong.
“Metrolink staff in Los Angeles have done a better job of
mapping crossings and rail lines. In many cases, however,
they identified crossings incorrectly or in the wrong places.
Metre-gauge electric passenger trains crossing on Switzerland’s Rhatische
Bahn. Photo: editor’s collection.
Four seven-car and six three-car trains will be used on
Brünig Line services between Lucerne and Interlaken Ost
(74km). More than 20 trains serve this busy route daily, in
addition to a number of short workings. The seven-car sets
will comprise two three-car units back-to-back, with cabs
at the outer ends only and a centre car containing a bistro
offering hot and cold food.
Testing of the first set is scheduled for January 2012, with
deliveries running from September 2012 to July 2013. They
will be in full service from December 2013, allowing the
replacement of stock dating back 40 years. Metrolink double-deck suburban trains in Los Angeles are hauled by diesel
locos on outward trips, then pushed back to town with a driving trailer leading.
www.railwaysafrica.com / / /
6 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
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LEVEL CROSSINGS IN THE PACIFIC OCEAN
“Electronic files of Southern California’s rail system can The Times perused paper records, called “Unusual
be downloaded from the Federal Railroad Administration’s Occurrence Reports” filed by train drivers for a variety of
website,” the Los Angeles Times says, “but are riddled with reasons. “These reports documented many accidents,
errors, placing hundreds of rail crossings at points far from some involving injuries and deaths, that did not appear on
any railroad tracks. Many are shown in the Pacific Ocean.” any electronic lists.”
The accident history of the Metrolink system is complicated Train drivers also used the paper forms to report numerous
by the fractured nature of the system itself. Metrolink owns near misses in which they applied emergency braking to
and maintains most of the right of way, but some portions avoid hitting a vehicle or pedestrian. Neither the Federal
of the track are owned by other operators. These include Railroad Administration’s nor Metrolink’s electronic records
another public agency, the North County Transit District in track these near-collisions.
San Diego, and two private freight operators.
“Last March, Metrolink’s environmental contractor billed
As the ownership of these lines changed, milepost more than $3,200 to clean the remains of two people who
designations along the track were reordered, so that records were on the tracks in Fullerton and Norwalk. Metrolink’s
from earlier years do not match with mileposts in use today. records show two pedestrian deaths in March but say one
of them occurred in San Clemente and the other in either La
Amtrak passenger trains use the same tracks Metrolink Mirada or Norwalk.
commuter trains use. So do freight trains operated by Union
Pacific Railroad and Burlington Northern Santa Fe. Older “According to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, Liber
records also name Southern Pacific, which was purchased Quinones, a 22-year-old from Baldwin Park, was killed by
by Union Pacific. a Metrolink train on 30 July. No Metrolink database reveals
an accident on that date. In more than 100 cases, Metrolink
“Electronic records that Metrolink provided to The Times do records had differing dates, times or victim names for what
not indicate which train operator was involved in an accident.” appeared to be the same accident.”
“Thus accidents in this database provide a profile of the Attempts to resolve apparently duplicate entries were
system as a whole, but not specifically Metrolink operations. often frustrated because the location or other key
In addition, the accident information was kept by Metrolink information was missing.
staff in different formats over the years.”
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The Algerian National Agency for Railway Investment
Research and Follow-up (ANESRIF) has issued tender
invitations nationally and internationally for carrying out
technical and financial project analyses relating to two
electrification projects. The first involves evaluation of the
130km Mechria to El-Bayadh line (130 km). The second is
related to the 210km Biskra to Touggourt electrification.
According to Angola’s National Institute of Demining
(INAD) director-general Leonardo Severino Sapalo, work
on the Luanda, Moçamedes and Benguela railways has
been completed. Altogether some 380km of the country’s
railways were demined. A certain amount of “segment
demining” remains to be done, in preparation for construction
of rail-related infrastructure. A total of 28,437km2 have been
cleared of landmines to permit extension of the country’s
optic fibre telephone network. The operation included
localisation, removal and destruction of explosive devices
over an area of 78,806km2 accommodating the electricity
transmission lines. In all, 51 demining brigades are working
in the country’s 18 provinces.
development (MINEPAT) on one hand, and the Korea Port
Engineering Corporation, Chung-Suk Engineering company
Limited, the Korea Transport Institute and the Korea Rail
Network Authority. The plan will be used as a guide in
modernising the country’s railways. According to ministry
secretary-general Roger Mbassa Ndine, the objective
is to build lines to all parts of the country. The project, he
explained, is in line with government intentions to “lift the
country’s railway system to international standards” by 2035.
The studies will be funded from Cameroon’s 2009 and 2010
public investment budget.
BOTSWANA-NAMIBIA FEASIBILITY STUDY
A pre-feasibility study for the proposed new Trans-Kalahari
railway from Botswana to the Namibian coast has begun,
after three years of preliminary planning. Expected to take
twelve months, the work is being funded by a $US463,000
grant from the World Bank and the equivalent of $US44,744
each from the two countries.
SOUTH KOREA TO HELP IN CAMEROON
A South Korean consortium is to undertake feasibility studies
and produce a national railway master plan for Cameroon,
in terms of a 13-month contract signed on 10 September
between the ministry of the economy, planning, and regional
10 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
UPGRADING & PLANS
In 2007, the Ethiopian Railway Corporation (ERC) was
formed as a subsidiary of the country’s ministry of transport
& communications, with a paid-up capital of $US750 million.
Its mandate is to build a national railway as well as an urban
light rail network in the capital, Addis Abeba. The main
task of the national system would be to support Ethiopia’s
agricultural sector, specifically the moving of export grain
and livestock. however, it is also intended to provide “high-
speed, high-capacity, competitive and affordable” transport
for passengers. ERC director Dr Getachew Betru envisages
a standard gauge network, electrified with power drawn from
hydroelectric resources. (Betru also serves on the board of
the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation.)
In the meanwhile, work continues on rehabilitating the
781km metre-gauge Chemin de fer Djibouti-Ethopien (CDE
– the Djibouti-Ethiopian Railway). The 18-month project is
being funded by a grant of €50 million from the European
Union. Train services at the western end of the line, including
the approach into Addis Abeba, are currently suspended
to facilitate the work, which is being undertaken by Costa
of Italy and Ineco-SPT of Spain. According to CDE general
manager To’om Terie, the line’s capacity is expected to rise
to ten trains per day. KRC managing director Nduva Muli promises an impressive
reduction in the cost of freight transport once the new
Work is currently concentrated around Metahara, where line is built from Mombasa via Nairobi (for completion by
embankments are being strengthened and new bridges 2013), to Malaba on the border with Uganda together with
built. Approximately 25,000 concrete sleepers are being a branch to Kisumu on Lake Victoria (2016). The line is to
laid to replace steel, and the remaining 20kg/m rail is being be of high capacity, with trains carrying a minimum of 4,000
replaced by 40kg/m on about a third of the route. The project tonnes travelling at an average speed of 120km/h. “This
is reportedly running three months behind schedule due to compares with 800 tonnes on the existing metre-gauge line
some track alignments being miscalculated. and a maximum speed of 45km/h,” he was quoted saying.
Passengers are to be conveyed in double-deck trains running
India’s Overseas Investment Alliance (OIA), which has been at ”an average” 160km/h.
supplying electrical transmission and distribution systems to
EEPCo in terms of a 2006 contract worth $US65m, signed “In India and China,” Muli pointed out, “railway transport
an agreement with the government of neighbouring Djibouti accounts for 90% of long-distance freight movement
in May 2009 to undertake feasibility studies for a standard- compared to a meagre 5% in Kenya, causing pressure on the
gauge line from the harbour – which functions as the main road network.” The line from Mombasa is one of three routes
port for Ethiopia. identified in the corporation’s national railway master plan.
The others would be entirely new railways from a proposed
new port at Lamu to Juba in the Sudan and from Nairobi to
Addis Abeba in Ethiopia. Construction plans for these are
at advanced stages, Muli said. he did not disclose how the
expected price of Sh320 billion ($US4bn) is to be financed.
[ Nor whether this figure includes the cost of locomotives,
double-deck passenger coaches and other rolling stock. –
REVAMPING MALAWI’S RAILWAY
During May 2009, the Malawian government applied to the
Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), a United States
government foreign aid agency, for financial assistance in
rehabilitating the country’s rail network. A nine-member MCC
team visited Malawi in July, to conduct a thorough appraisal
KENYA of this and other projects for which help was requested. A
STANDARD GAUGE TENDER five-year “compact grant” is envisaged.
Kenya Railways Corporation (KRC) has invited tenders to
construct a 1,082km standard gauge line from Mombasa via Millennium Challenge Account Malawi (MCA-Malawi),
Nairobi to Malaba on the Ugandan border, together with a according to public outreach coordinator Susan Banda, has
216km branch from Nakuru to Kisumu. It is hoped to reduce already embarked on preliminary arrangements, in conjunction
travel times between the capital and the sea (530km) from ten with Malawi’s ministry of transport and public infrastructure,
to three hours. Prospective transaction advisers and design to commence rehabilitation of the rail network.
consultants have until 15 January 2010 to forward their bids.
The project includes marketing, investor identification and Director of transport planning in the ministry of transport and
the selection of consultants to monitor detailed design, public infrastructure Victor Lungu explains that rail movement
building and commissioning of the railway. in Malawi and to neighbouring countries is currently very slow
www.railwaysafrica.com September 2009 RAILWAYS AFRICA 11
because of the poor condition of the infrastructure. “Trains ships - hence the need to use Nacala. Mozambique plans to
move at a speed of between 30km/h and 40km/h.” invest $US150 million in upgrading the Nacala line and port
in the course of the next five years.
The ministry’s principal secretary Francis Chinsinga says
the Malawi government has approached the World Bank NIGERIA
and the European Investment Bank for additional funds CONCESSIONING NIGERIA’S RAILWAY
or the rail rehabilitation project. According to newly appointed Nigerian Railway Corporation
(NRC) managing director Adeseyi Sijuade, his administration
MOROCCO is to “kick-start” the concession of train operations, while
NEW LOCOS ARRIVE pursuing and completing ongoing rehabilitation works.
The first of a fleet of 20 Alstom 160km/h electric locomotives Concessioning, he emphasises, does not mean the system
for Office National des Chemins de fer (ONCF – the national is being sold: “NRC remains the landlord and will be
railway of Morocco) arrived recently in Casablanca. It was responsible for monitoring and regulating the activities of the
shipped from Antwerp in Belgium. The Prima II Bo-Bo concessionaries.” Consultants appointed to resuscitate the
mixed traffic locomotive, the second of the class to be built, corporation are to start work shortly.
will undergo a period of testing across ONCF’s electrified
network before entering service in 2010. The first locomotive Sijuade holds a degree in civil engineering from the
of the order is undergoing trials at the Siemens Wildenrath University of Lagos and an MBA from Loughborough
test centre in Germany. University, UK. he is a chartered civil engineer and project
The remaining Prima IIs will be delivered between October
2009 and March 2010. ONCF became the launch customer RAILS TO ABUJA
for the Prima II when it placed a €75 million order for a According to Nigerian minister of information and
5mW, 3kV DC version of the design in November 2007. The communications Dora Akunyili, the country’s federal
locomotives are being assembled at Alstom’s Belfort plant executive council has approved outlay of $US874.3 million
in eastern France. towards implementation of phase 1 in the country’s railway
modernisation project. The amount includes a consultancy
MOZAMBIQUE fee of $24 million. She was quoted saying that this allocation
NEW LINE TO BE BUILT covers the segment from Abuja to Kaduna (a new line), to be
Mozambique plans to build a new $US500 million railway to followed by funding for rehabilitation of the existing section
connect the coal mines at Moatize with the existing route to from Lagos to Ibadan (175 km).
the port of Nacala. The project will entail linking the existing
Sena line (Moatize-Beira) either by way of a new railway [ Abuja, the capital of Nigeria, currently has no rail
entirely within Mozambique or one following a considerably connection. – editor ]
shorter route across Malawi. According to minister of
transport and communications Paulo Zucula, funding has
been secured from the Danish and Dutch governments.
Completion is envisaged by 2015.
US TEAM TO HELP NIGERIAN RAIL
The mandate for a team of railway construction experts from
the United States of America, presently in Nigeria, is “to work
out modalities that would assist the country to rehabilitate
existing railway lines across the country, rather than embark
on new construction. “This would go a long way in helping
the federal government to reposition the railway system
Rehabilitation of the 575km Sena line, currently nearing and reduce carnage on the roads. Team leader Jim Blaze
completion, will enable it to carry 6 million tonnes of coal – following initial evaluation of the line out of Lagos – told
a year. however, the Brazilian mining concessionaire Vale newsmen that the rails and sleepers in the first 20 to 28km
expects to produce 11 million tonnes of coal a year, and to Abeokuta need to be replaced completely because they
added to this, the port of Beira cannot accommodate large are“old, fatigued and fractured.”
12 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
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• Ballast Tamping, Open Line and Turnouts
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PO Box 103 Maraisburg, 1700
Tel: (011) 761-2400
Fax: (011) 474-3582
TRL director general Narasimhaswami Jayaram said that RVR commercial manager in results of engineering
November 2008. Dependent upon the Kampala, Geoffrey
two goods trains comprising 23 wagons would be conveying Tindimwebwa says thewill refurbish and construct rail and
studies, the company rates will still be lower than those
STUDY ON NEW LINE FROM DAR
various commodities including cement from the Tanga charged by road freight hauliers. iron-ore production and
port facilities to accommodate its “Our rates have been
Ministers of Infrastructure from Rwanda, Burundi and
Cement Company. steady since last October before the fuel prices rose and the
shipping capacity requirements and to provide third party
Tanzania met in late September to approve a “final study”
price of at commercial rates.
access steel spiralled,” he points out, whereas the truckers
carried out on the proposed 691km new standard-gauge
TAZARA raise rates every time the fuel price changes. “Also, we have
railway from Dar-es-Salaam to Kigali and Bujumbura.
TAZARA TARIFFS UPPED minister of infrastructure Linda had a negative result from AML reports, has formally ratified
Parliament in Sierra Leone, the weakening dollar as most of
According to Rwandan
New faresis hoped to on the Tanzania-Zambia Railwayend of our rates are the railway and port infrastructure, value, while
a lease over in that currency. It has been losing both vital to
Bihire, it applicable begin construction before the came
into effectcompletion in 2014. Trains operating at 120km/h the prices of ourthe project. The lease isup.” the Pepel port
the success of inputs have been going for
2009, for on 1 July. Ticket prices on ordinary passenger
trains as well as the Tazara Express went up 20% while
are envisaged. and for the Pepel–Marampa railway, and also covers the
parcels and luggage rates rose 30%. Travellers from Dar- ZAMBIA
redevelopment of this infrastructure. In terms of the lease,
es-Salaam in Tanzania to Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia now pay RSZcompany would undertake an engineering study into the
the TAKEN TO TASK
Tsh72,600 ($US72) in first class on the Tazara Express, up In an editorial, The Times ofport and takes Rail Systems of
upgrade of the deep-water Zambia the existing railway. If
from Tsh60,500 ($US60). Zambia (RSZ),viable, it would upgrade, operate andRailways,
these proved the concessionaire running Zambian maintain
to task for buying “brand new these available to other users
the port and railway and make motor vehicles worth $US1.4
To Makambako (Iringa) from Dar-es-Salaam now costs million”, while rates.
at commercial apparently falling short in service delivery.
Tsh29,000 ($US29) instead of Tsh24,200 ($US24). To Rujewa “While the company has every right to purchase vehicles for
(Mbeya) the fare is now Tsh29,900 ($US29) instead of The company is also investigating the possibility of
operations, we feel their priorities are misplaced,” the paper
Tsh24,900 ($US24). extending the railway (which it would operate itself) to
Tonkolili, to provide cost-effective transport of its iron-ore to
Tazara managing director Clement Subulwa Mwiya points the sea for export.
“Gone are the days,” it laments, “when the railway network
out that the company’s policy is to adjust tariffs annually. was the most reliable mode of transport in Zambia. “It was so
High operational costs are being experienced, notably in the reliable and cheap, that the rail line was heavy-haul railway
Further, studies are under way for a Zambia’s favourite
wage bill and the continually rising cost of diesel. Tazara is mode of transport, offloading goods is adjacent to Pepel.
linking Tonkolili to Tagrin Point, which and passengers in
upgrading its facilities at a cost of $US10 million, he says, remote Point would be developed into an iron-ore transport,
Tagrin areas where roads were inaccessible.
and 18 locomotives are being rehabilitated currently ore handling and ship loading facility, AML has indicated that
“Thefuture construction and safety and reliabilitythe system
the failure by RSZ to provide commissioning of has forced
UGANDA rolling stock will be needed for the new railway. The existing many Zambians to abandonmaterial engineering obstacles.
was unlikely to possess any rail transport in preference for
Completely new the faster and more reliable road transport. It was hoped that
MAIN-LINEvehicles use REOPENS African drop-hook couplers. Photo:
metre-gauge AT JINJA these old East
The main-line to Kampala from Kenya, closed near Jinja on when Zambia Railways was concessioned to RSZ, things
14 May following the collapse of an embankment due to a would change for the better.”
blocked culvert, was reopened to traffic on 16 June. During
the four weeks that the line remained inoperable, freight was [RSZ inherited a sorely run-down system which is taking a
NEW RAIL PROJECTS FORESEEN great deal of time and money to put right. The rosy past of
offloaded at Iganga and takenhave an by road. According
Sierra Leone is reported to forward untapped iron ore
to Rift Valley Railways (RVR) project manager world. African railways in the country dates back to the days when it was
resource that could rank as third largest in the Glenn Kleyn, called Northern Rhodesia – but nobody will want to remember
quoted by New Vision (published in Kampala) a new three-
Minerals Limited (AML), with an extensive portfolio of mineral
metre in the country, is currently workinghasbring its flagship that. – editor]
rights diameter galvanised iron culvert to been installed,
to provide adequate outletinto production about 150km Lake
project, Tonkolili iron-ore, for stormwater to drain into from
Victoria, about a kilometre downstream.
the Pepel deep-water port, which has good infrastructure.
Kleyn said the repair work was being the town of Marampa, 4 - 6 March 2009
An existing railway runs from Pepel to done at mile 323. In Cape Town
addition, the company is investigating potential exists for an Built by Beyer-Peacock in Manchester in 1955, Sierra Leone No 65 was one of
about 70km. According to AML, the a structure at mile 289
towards Busembatia.tonne resource over the 20km strike fourteen 4-8-2+2-8-4 Garratts. With a 5t axle load, they hauled 270t trains up
additional 5 billion
extension to the north at Kasafoni. Exploration activities at ZIMBABWE 760mm gauge line, until its closure in 1974.
1:50 grades on the
“It (mile 289) is notconfirmed the potential for but we are
Tonkolili have also in any immediate danger 800 million NEW NRZ SERVICE
investigating and drawing up designs,” he told the paper.
tonnes of hematite mineralisation. TANZANIA
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has introduced
a new weekly passenger CAPITAL” Chicualacuala, 500km
CONCESSIONAIRE “LACKS service to
UGANDA RATES INCREASE
The Marampa iron ore project, located approximately 80km south-east ofto TanzaniantheministerMaputo.infrastructure
According Bulawayo on line to for The existing
Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has increased freight Cape
from Tonkolili, is being managed and operated by rates Wednesday train to Chiredzi has been rescheduled to major
development Dr Shukuru Kawambwa, “one of the leave
between Iron Ore Ltd which has a 35% interest in thetonne to
Lambert Mombasa and Kampala from $US80 per project. Bulawayo at 14:00 on Wednesday instead and Engineering
shortcomings of Rail India Technical of 21:00. Arriving
$110. Former managing directorup toPuffet explainedtowards
Cape Lambert has committed Roy $US25 million in July: at 04:00 on Thursday, it returns at 05:00to run the country’s
Services (Rites) - the company contracted to Mbizi junction,
“The tariff adjustment was has assembled an upward costs
a feasibility study and driven by continued experienced and continues from of capital. At a press briefing he said the
railways - is shortage there to Chicualacuala. Following a
of energy, petroleum products and steel. The price of diesel
iron-ore team. 14:00 departure, formedback toforce to work on “problematic
government has it runs a task Bulawayo, arriving on Friday
has gone up by 24% in the last eight months and there is morning.inThe Chiredzi-Bulawayo service retains its former
issues” the contract. When these have been identified,
double digit inflation as agreement over key rail and port
AML signed a lease well as dollar revaluation”. timing on other daysdevised to rectify shortcomings. If these
measures are to be of the week.
infrastructure with the government of Sierra Leone in are found to be sufficiently serious to consider terminating
Thermitrex (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 (0)11 914 2540
14 RAILWAYS AFRICA
RAILWAYS AFRICA 3 | 2008
September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
the contract, he said, the government would not hesitate to the government, through the Railway holdings and Assets
take this course. Company (RAhCO), has made rolling stock available,
to enable TRL to continue supplying service. he was
disappointed, he said, with Rites’ decision to suspend use
of its equipment (which was imported from India on hire to
TRL), until payment for the leasing eventuates.
WORKERS REPAIR LOCOS
According to The Citizen (published in Dar-es-Salaam),
“TRL (Tanzania Railways Limited) workers at the Morogoro
workshop managed to rehabilitate two “defunct” locomotives
to show the government they can run the company without
“the foreign partner”. The engines had been idle, they told the
paper, since Rail India Technical and Engineering Services
(Rites) “partnered with the government to establish TRL after
the divestiture of the former Tanzania Railways Corporation
(TRC).” Tanzania Railway Workers’ Union (Trawu) secretary-
General Silvester Rwegasira said the two engines were
Tanzania Railways Limited is the Rites-led concessionaire of the country’s among five that had been revived by TRL technicians and
national system. Photo: Richard Grönstedt. were now in use. There are four others lying idle which could
be revived if the necessary facilities and spare parts were
On the $US44 million loan which Tanzania Railways provided. Two Rites engines taken to India for repairs, the
Limited (TRL) had requested from the International Finance workers said, failed to work when they returned. “They were
Corporation (IFC), an arm of the World Bank, Dr Kawambwa tested twice in a trip from Morogoro to Dodoma and they
said the latter had initially agreed to provide $14 million to could not make it... they are still lying idle.”They asked the
TRL and had already disbursed $7 million. The government government to provide them with required facilities and
however requested IFC to withhold the remainder pending spare parts so that they could rehabilitate all engines and
the outcome of its discussions with Rites. wagons that have been grounded.
Minister Kawambwa gave the assurance that train services ZAMBIA
will not come to a halt as a result of Rites’ decision to ZAMBIAN CONCESSION UNDER FIRE
suspend the use of its own locomotives, coaches and Zambian presidential special assistant for policy
other equipment, pending payment of its dues. he said implementation and monitoring Ben Kapita has urged
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the government to take over operations of concessionaire doubt committed to continue to run the line. If we were not,
Railways Systems of Zambia (RSZ), even if cancellation of we wouldn’t have been investing up to now. RSZ is proud
the concession agreement means a cost to the taxpayer. of the way it is dealing with the challenges of vandalism,
Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) quoted competition, the bad condition of the line and the world
Kapita saying that investor NLPI Limited “has failed to economic crisis.”
operate the line”.
he pointed out that RSZ had continued to grow without the
Commenting to the press, RSZ CEO Benjamin Even said support of the government, hauling one million tonnes of
the company has invested about $US25 million to date, cargo annually in the last five years. “This trend is growing
compared to the contractual obligation of $15 million with more wagons, locomotives and other means being
specified in the agreement signed in 2003 (with which RSZ injected into the system. however, without the support of
is fully complying) and that a further $30 million is being government in respect of security and transport policies such
put in to enhance operations. he was quoted saying: “One as road levy, and unfair competition, it will be very difficult to
must understand that every business venture must include increase tonnages.”
the components of investment and return. If the return is
not in proportion to the investment, the business will simply ZIMBABWE
collapse - as was the case with certain other regional $US1 TO ENTER STATIONS
railways. The concession agreement did not specify that National Railways of
RSZ is required to bring the rail line to European standards Zimbabwe (NRZ) spokesman
as this would be completely non-commercial without very Fanuel Masikati explains that
heavy investment from government.” the $US1 fee now charged
to vehicles and pushcarts
RSZ, he pointed out, had continued to pay taxes, despite the entering the stations at
difficult operating environment. “RSZ is still investing in the Bulawayo, harare and Mutare
rail line, locomotives, wagons communications and security is a move to reduce congestion
- but still in proportion to the return which can be generated; and create parking space
all this at a time when parastatal companies in the region are for genuine customers. “The
collapsing. RSZ is paying taxes and sustaining itself without pushcart operators should
creating any burden on the Zambian government or taxpayer, pay the fees because they
and is at the same time still investing and maintaining its are making brisk business,
obligation to its employees and suppliers.” dealing with NRZ passengers
boarding or disembarking
RSZ is firmly committed to running the railway, Even from the trains.”
said, despite the difficult policy environment and unfair
competition from road transport. “We are 100% without any Garratt used for shunting at the coal stage in Bulawayo. Photo: Geoff Cooke.
16 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
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South African Rail News
TRANSPORT MONTH IN SOUTH AFRICA NGQURA RAIL OPERATIONS BEGIN
On 30 September, Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele In September, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) successfully ran
officially launched South Africa’s annual Transport Month. a test train on the new Ngqura connecting line, declaring it
he was accompanied by deputy transport minister Jeremy safe for operations. The rail route links the new port to the
Cronin, provincial transport MECs, senior government City Deep rail terminal in South Africa’s Gauteng Province
officials and key transport stakeholders as well as members via Beaconsfield (Kimberley). A shorter route exists but the
of the community. The campaign, themed “Safety in all Bloemfontein-Noupoort section (398km) is not electrified.
modes of transport: systems readiness for 2010, Sisonke Transnet has refurbished some 400 container wagons and
siyaphambili akujiki,” focuses on the user, operator and will deploy class 7E electric locomotives (25kV AC) on the
infrastructure with a strong emphasis on safety. line, which has a designed capacity of six 50-wagon trains
TRAVELLING RAIL POLICE STATIONS
On 30 September 2009, the Department of Transport’s (DoT) TFR is on target for completion of the port rail terminal,
Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) launched a marshalling yard, and the connection to the main-line into
new “mobile police station coach initiative” associated with the hinterland. Rail-mounted container cranes are now in
long-distance rail travel on Shosholoza Meyl. It is aimed operation and there are presently four operational lines in the
at improving and ensuring the safety of travellers and in marshalling yard with the remaining five due to be available
particular soccer fans in 2010. by March 2010. The yard will accommodate up to six trains
per day per direction. The hinterland capacity of two trains
daily will be increased as volumes grow, subject to financial
and business viability.
The commercial launch of the port and associated container
terminal was scheduled for October.
The Port of Ngqura and its 60,000 hectare container terminal
represent Transnet’s solution to South Africa’s long-time
lack of sufficient container capacity. To date, in excess of
R10 billion has been invested in developing this state-of-the-
art port and associated infrastructure. This includes a world-
class, two-berth container terminal (with a further two berths
under construction), a two-berth multipurpose terminal and
a single berth liquid bulk terminal. Ngqura’s advantage over
Mobile police station: a new feature of South other ports in Africa is its depth of between 16 and 18 metres,
African long-distance trains which is able to accommodate new-generation container
“It will promote a positive customer experience and improve vessels.
the community’s perception of the service,” the department
says. Ngqura will enable Transnet to increase capacity for
container volumes, and at the same time relieve container
The coach is equipped with a charge office, separate holding congestion in the overall South African port system, while
cells for females and males, a safe for locking up firearms attracting additional transhipment cargo.
and dockets as well as sleeping compartments for officers.
18 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
The port control tower will operate throughout the 24 hours,
though initially marine operations and services will be
restricted to ordinary day hours.
Equipment assembled and commissioned to date includes
22 rubber-tyred gantry cranes (RTGs) and six Megamax
ship-to-shore cranes, two rail-mounted gantry cranes
(RMGs), two reach stackers, four empty container handlers
and installation of all 1,680 reefer frames for refrigerated
cargo. The Navis SPARCS N4 terminal operating system and
the auto gate facility have been commissioned.
While containers will be the primary cargo focus at the Port
of Ngqura, TFR is engaged in a conceptual study of rail-
specific traffic, with the aim of other commodities forming
part of the transport mix, depending on financial viability and
For reasons of efficiency and to maximise economic availability.
benefit to businesses in this area, planning of the port has
been integrated with that of the adjacent Coega Industrial TRANSNET LEADERSHIP: ZUMA CLARIFIES
Development Zone (IDZ). With its excellent supporting Appointing a successor to former Transnet CEO Maria Ramos
infrastructure and superstructure, the Ngqura container is the responsibility of public enterprises minister Barbara
terminal will be able to accommodate “ultra-mega” ships hogan. Neither the president of South Africa nor anyone
carrying 6,000 to 10,000 TEUs. It has the capacity to handle else should be seen to intervene. This is the substance of
in excess of 100 container moves per ship working-hour, a statement by President Zuma on 17 September, when
with sufficient stack and berth capacity to cater for future he deplored gossip over the issue in the press. Minister
growth up to 2 million TEUs. The terminal boasts good inland hogan meanwhile says the matter is being handled by the
connectivity for import and export traffic by means of both Transnet Board. Commenting on newspaper speculation,
road and rail. she emphasised that TFR CEO Siyabonga Gama had never
been shortlisted for the post.
Milestones achieved to date included handover of the port
control building, the container terminal’s first two (of four) EAST RAND STATIONS’ FACELIFT
berths, the two multi-purpose berths, the single liquid berth, A number of stations in the Ekurhuleni municipal area -the
the four-storey Transnet Port Terminals administration building East Rand - are being revamped ahead of the 2010 Fifa
and the temporary container engineering workshop. World Cup to provide spectators with a “first class” service.
Photo: Craig Dean
Improvements include [ Maybe so. There also happens to be an intensive, long-
lighting, ablution facilities, established bus service run by the well-equipped Interstate
platform resurfacing and company, using high-capacity, articulated vehicles. - editor ]
“sustained energy power
supply”, among other METRORAIL TO COEGA
things. The refurbishing Replying to a question in parliament. South African minister
of trains and renovation of of transport S Ndebele explained:
stations is in line with the
objectives of Transport “The Passenger Rail
Month, celebrated annually Agency of South
Tembisa station in October. Africa (Prasa), the
According to municipal spokesperson Zweli Dlamini, “the Corporation (CDC) and
trains will be allocated a client services supervisor and the Nelson Mandela
personnel as well as 12 protection and security personnel Bay Metropolitan
per train. The security personnel will be equipped with first Municipality (NMBM)
aid kits and communication tools.” he said the revamping of have developed plans
the stations forms part of the “2010 legacy”, as local residents for commuter rail
would continue to use the stations long after the soccer world linkages to the Coega
cup was over. This also augurs well for the tourism industry Industrial Development
as the region will be able to offer a variety of transport modes Zone (CIDZ) via the existing Transnet Freight Rail Corridor
that can be used to move from one point to another.” and the future Motherwell rail corridor. Once implemented,
this rail network would enable comprehensive servicing of
The Germiston, Oakmoor, Tembisa, Isando, Kempton Park the initial and future phases of the Coega IDZ.
and Rhodesfield stations are to have dedicated soccer trains
on the routes serving them, to carry fans to the stadiums in “Implementation of the rail intervention for Coega, Motherwell
Johannesburg and Pretoria during the soccer spectacle. and environs is planned in three phases of priority:
• Phase one: 7.5km extension into Motherwell with
THABA’NCHU COMMUTER SERVICE planning completed. Detail design to commence on
Plans recently announced for the introduction of a commuter obtaining funding.
rail service between Bloemfontein and Thaba’Nchu (61km) • Phase two: Additional 10km extension, completing a
in the Free State have been welcomed by the Congress full loop through Motherwell, consisting of a total of
of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu). “We believe the 17.5km over the medium term.
opening of commuter rail between these areas,” said Cosatu • Phase three: Spur-link from Motherwell into Coega
Free State provincial secretary Sam Mashinini, “would go for the medium to long term. The Coega spur is
a long way in addressing the problem experienced by the dependent on completion of the full Motherwell loop,
workers and the poor. Every morning there are hundreds and phases one and two.
hundreds of workers between Bloemfontein, Botshabelo and
Thaba’Nchu who are asking for lifts from motorists.”
Eugene Armer captured this express near Rooiwal with 6E1 class E1397
wearing the latest Shosholoza Meyl paint scheme. Note the half-bracket
signals - an arrangement seen for many years on double lines such as
Germiston-Pretoria, and Vereeniging-Kroonstad, to improve visibility
around traction masts.
20 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
“The 2006 regional rail plan and the understood that the Welsh highland
2008/09 comprehensive integrated Railway may have been interested
transport plan confirmed the initially, but the class 91s are in fact
future Motherwell and Coega rail too large for the line. This could
connections as necessary transport apply to other UK lines as well. They
interventions in the future. The were in fact a narrow-gauge version
Motherwell rail corridor (phase one) of a medium-gauge loco. Bids of
is considered a priority future rail R92,368 were received for the two
corridor and the Coega linkages as steam cranes and R84,000 for class
a medium to long term requirement 6E1 E1340, which was without
once the Coega IDZ has experienced Photo: Jacque Wepener traction motors. (Both figures met
greater development.” the reserve price).”
[ Metrorail service at Port Elizabeth is confined at present According to Stewart Currie, Transnet Freight Rail has been
to diesel-hauled rakes of 5M2A suburban trailers, running using one class 91 for shunting on the 1,067mm gauge at
to Uitenhage on a line that is unwired west of Swartkops Port Elizabeth, “which would presumably free up a 35 or
junction. The introduction of commuter service to Motherwell 34 for main-line duties.” John Middleton comments: “They
would probably bring emu operation to the area. - editor ] were designed to work with class 36 bogies. I am sure that
the bids at the auction were from the likes of ILS, BG Loco,
COAL TO MATOLA Sheltam, ARTS etc who could convert these to very useful
Coal mining group Coal of Africa (CoA), listed in London, shunters.”
Australia and on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and
owner of mines at Mooiplaats, Vele and Makhado in South OUTENIQUA CHOO-TJOE
Africa, is reportedly negotiating with Transnet Freight Rail Latest news on the Outeniqua choo-tjoe is that the coaches
(TFR). The aim is to increase rail access to the Matola have been returned following attention at Salt River and
terminal in Maputo, Mozambique, by matching additional that operation between George and Mossel Bay was to
port exporting capacity that CoA has already secured recommence on 16 October. Due to the drought in the
from Grindrod, the Matola port operator. A public-private Southern Cape, the associated fire risk and the shortage of
partnership is believed to be on the cards. water, it is understood that the train is to be worked by one of
the vintage class 32 diesels. The management emphasises
The company’s current export capacity through Matola is of that advance bookings - at least 24 hours prior to travel - are
the order of a million tonnes annually. This is expected to essential as operation is dependent upon sufficient seats
rise to 3mtpa before the end of 2010, with potential to reach being reserved.
13mtpa at a later stage, following an additional 10mtpa
expansion capacity envisaged by way of a planned new ROVOS ELECTRICS
dedicated coal export terminal. Rovos Rail has acquired three class
5E1 electric locomotives, recently
retired from Transnet Freight Rail
- E1114, E1123 and E1127. These
2,600hp units, running on 3kV DC,
were built by UCW with AEI electrics
www.worldofrail.com and taken into service originally
Expanding Networks Photo: Barend Botha between 1963 and 1969. The three
Developing Supply Chains are currently being repainted.
Earlier suggestions that class 5E locos were involved were
Early in October, South Africa’s Transnet conducted an on- ALSTOM SA CHANGES NAME TO ACTOM
line auction of redundant equipment. Lots on offer included: Electrical engineering group Alstom South Africa has
rebranded itself with a new name and corporate identity.
“Over 800 railway wagons, scrap steam cranes (quantity 2), The change to the name ACTOM, accompanied by a new
class 91 series diesel-electric locomotives (quantity 6) in corporate identity and logo, is being implemented and
working condition and more than 2,500 friction bearings.” presented to the group’s customers, staff, suppliers and
other stakeholders and interested parties.
Peter Bagshawe reports: “The locos (in working order)
were 91 003/012/013/016/017/018. I believe they were being DELIVERY OF CLASS 39-200
sold for re-use rather than scrap. Thirty minutes before the On 21 September 2009 Transnet Freight Rail took delivery of
auction closed, bids of between R1,540,000 and R1,750,000 five beautiful red Class 39-200’s from EMD and Transnet Rail
had been received, but the reserve price had not been met. Engineering from their facility in Koedoespoort.
It is therefore possible that no sale has taken place. It is
The class 91 locos, all based at Port Elizabeth, are 700hp GE UM6B Bo-Bo
units on 610mm gauge, new in 1973. Photo: R Timmermann Photo: Craig Dean
22 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
After a month spent in Namibia, Pierre de Wet reports “Visited the family farm at Wilhelmstal just this side of
enthusiastically on a number of well-kept stations: Karibib where we crossed what seemed like 95lb track
on good ballast. Stopped at Karibib station on our way to
“Down south at Aus on the Lüderitz line there is a large depot Swakopmund where a train drawn by red and grey Chinese
with concrete sleepers in neat stacks including those fancy diesels was standing. It was empty but the diesel was
see-through ones that Railways Africa published some time throbbing and staff were around. It was called ‘the Desert
ago. Brave people - resuscitating this very difficult line. Apart Express”. Cream and brown livery, Union Carriage coaches.
from this large track and sleeper depot, the old German Again, the original German station still stands, nicely
railway station still stands together with a motley array of preserved and serves as a restaurant.
goods trucks in the station precinct. A very nice little hotel
overlooks the station called Bahnhof hotel.”
“Visited the Windhoek
Railway Museum where
showed my wife and me
around. It is good to see
this museum occupying
most of the top floor of the
Windhoek station building,
thereby putting this fine
building to good use where
Railworkers’ caboose at Aus
it would otherwise have
stood empty. This museum is well worth a visit, having a
large number of interesting artefacts on display together with
some fine photographs.
At Karibib, 2-8-4 class 24 steam locomotives have been supplanted by
“The yards at Windhoek were all but deserted with no Chinese-built diesels.
movement to be seen on a lovely morning. A far cry from the
bustle of the fifties with the engine shed about a hundred “Saw no trains at Swakopmund”, de Wet continues, adding
metres from the platform and teeming with class 24s, 8s and that the distinctive German-styled former station in the
7s with shunting going on all over the show and the yards town, now a hotel, has been refurbished recently in the
usually filled with passenger coaches and goods trucks. Of African style.
course many railway staff were also to be seen as well as the
public coming and going on railway-related business.
A 4-8-0 class 7 entering Windhoek station with a main-line passenger train. The
date: some time before 1948, the year in which the new class 24s took over. At Swakopmund, the distinctive German-styled former station is now a hotel.
“Okahandja was also quiet “had supper in the old tug Danie hugo on the foreshore.
- no trains but the historic This has been converted into a fine restaurant but it looked
old station building built by much better moving shipping in Table Bay harbour back in
the Germans still stands. the 50/60s. On our way north along the coast to henties Bay
Unfortunately, this is more at Vlotska Baken, I saw one seaside home there constructed
a place for loafing in the partly of a narrow gauge vehicle. This has been there for
shade for many and no many years and has surprisingly survived.
sense of urgency is to be
Okahandja station, built 100 years ago,
found, or indeed of anything “On to Etosha which costs an arm and a leg nowadays
in 1909 railway-related. Meanwhile, and then out again to see a goods train from Tsumeb
big trucks rumble and grunt cantering along with a single dirty red class 33 SA diesel
their way [on the road] through the town all the time. The on the new railway line north. After a night in Tsumeb it
railway is disappointing perhaps but not Okahandja’s biltong was on to Grootfontein where again, no trains were to be
and droëwors. This made me forget the trains. seen, but evidence of Grootfontein’s importance as railhead
during the Angolan war in the largish yards with plenty of
overhead yard lights.
24 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
“Travelling south again, another very smoky SA diesel on
a train of tankers was passed near Otavi, a run-down little
town near some copper mines where the making of
mosquito nets is its second largest industry. Went along to
the station to have a look and saw a few tank wagons and
a dilapidated, 1950s style SAR station building - ugly and
utilitarian. Turned around and headed towards Otjiwarongo -
a much more attractive town.
“After arriving back in
Windhoek the next day
and passing a goods train
swinging around the curves
to Okahandja we drove
on to Gobabis. For many
years as a youngster, I had A pair of Chinese-built Sifang SDD6 diesel-electric locos
Windhoek station today watched the class sevens to
and from Gobabis trundling past my home and once my wife lighting, were completely empty and probably have been
had taken the overnight mixed to that town back in the 50s. ever since the cattle trains stopped running. It was more a
I longed to be in one of the four wooden saloons behind the museum than anything else.
clanking goods wagons on the overnight train as it panted
past our home on a long embankment but never managed “So the next morning after breakfast, we left this town where
it. We decided to trace its route to that Kalahari town and to my wife’s father had once run the Gobabis hotel back in
overnight there. the forties, and sallied southwards along the Nossob River
bordering the Kalahari Transfrontier Park. We passed
“The climbing track through Klein Windhoek was now farms visited long ago and then began the tiring trek from
ballasted and heavier rail was in place. It is a tremendous Mariental (no trains) to Keetmanshoop. One train stopped in
climb out of the Namibian capital and all the way to the section with cement wagons just outside Keetmans with two
airport is hilly country which required the use of two of the Chinese diesels.
locomotives, one banking. At last, at Windhoek International
Airport, the first sign of level ground and a string of avgas “Grünau hotel that night and many memories rekindled of
tankers at the pumps. This is probably the main load on stopping opposite the same hotel 50 years ago and watching
the line these days. The line continued into yet another people happily drinking on a hot stoep with American farm
thunderstorm with Kameeldoring savanna etched against bakkies parked in front. They used to chase our train, the
dark clouds. Then a sign – ‘You are entering CATTLE farmers, until it grew too dark and then they’d turn around in a
COUNTRY!’ And the large ranches of the Gobabis district cloud of dust, hooting. Probably saying goodbye to someone
and their main export, beef, swept into view. on the train. That night I heard
the grumble of a diesel passing
“And the railway line? This had now deteriorated into very on the 60lb track. No different
light track set in sand, looking exactly as it had 50 years ago. from all those years ago
No more cattle by rail - so what does this line still carry? although the track has been
Very little I’d have to say. The station and yards at Gobabis upgraded round Windhoek
were deserted with only two grey DZs next to the goods and on to Swakopmund.
shed. The station building looked good, nicely painted and
looking as if it was waiting for the next train to arrive. The “And so, the next day we
yards, extending quite far beyond the station, with yard crossed the Orange River into
the bone dry Richtersveld and
it was au revoir to Namibia.”
General Electric U20C (ex Spoornet
class 33) on newly laid tubular track
near Aus on the Lüderitz line.
www.railwaysafrica.com September 2009 RAILWAYS AFRICA 25
GAUtrAin rApid rAil linK
GAUTRAIN CONSTRUCTION UPDATE
PARK TO ROSEBANK emergency shaft e2 (the wilds, houghton): Emergency
parK station shaft E2 (the Wilds, houghton): Excavation of the shaft to
The station base slab at rail level is complete and its final depth of approximately 50 metres is complete, as is
construction of the platforms is in progress. The roof slab the 236 metre adit (cross passage). From the intersection of
is finished and the concourse slab is nearing completion. the adit and the rail tunnel, tunnelling has been in progress
The foundations for the parkade structure above the station southwards and subsequent to this report (compiled at the
are almost finished. Column and retaining wall construction end of August), broke through to that advancing northwards
continues. Preparations to reinstate Wolmarans Street to from Park station. The tunnel extending north towards
its original configuration have commenced. Subsequent to Rosebank station is complete at 144 metres. This was the
this report compiled at the end of August, tunnel excavation breakthrough point to the southern end of the excavation by
towards the north broke through to that advancing southwards the tunnel boring machine (TBM).
from emergency shaft E2
emergency shaft e3 (riviera): Civil works within shaft E3
and construction of the head house structure on the surface
continue. Being a shallow shaft, 21m deep, with direct access to
the surface, there is no safe haven necessary at the bottom.
emergency shaft e4 (houghton): Civil works within shaft E4
and construction of the head house structure on the surface
continue. Being a shallow shaft, 16m deep, with direct
access to the surface, there is no safe haven necessary at
At Rosebank Station, the concourse slab is finished. The
roof slab and platforms are approaching completion.
Construction of the technical and operational rooms
continues, with brickwork, plastering, painting and plumbing
in progress at both platform and concourse levels.
Stairway construction for the underground platforms
of Johannesburg Park station
Inside the tunnel bored by the tunnel boring machine
EMERGENCY SHAFTS (TBM), casting of the invert slab is complete and walkway
The tunnel between the Park and Sandton stations is being construction is in progress. Construction continues in
provided with seven access shafts for use by emergency the cut-and-cover sections at either end of the station.
services personnel. Some have safe havens where These link the station box to the tunnels. Excavation of the
passengers can gather in an emergency.
emergency shaft e1 (hillbrow): Excavation at shaft E1 to its
final depth of 80 metres has been completed and shaft lining
is in progress. Excavation of the safe haven at the bottom of
this shaft was finished during July 2009.
26 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
GAUtrAin rApid rAil linK
emergency shaft e7 (rivonia road, sandton): This is
located on the western side of Rivonia Road, opposite “The
Inandas” townhouse complex. The shaft collar has been
constructed and excavation to the final depth of 69 metres
is finished, with shaft lining also complete. Excavation of the
170 metre connecting adit from the bottom of this shaft to the
main rail tunnel is finished.
Underground station construction continues in the cavern
section between the south and north shafts, as well as within
the shafts themselves. These works include the base slabs
for the tracks, construction of the various platforms, technical
rooms and operational rooms, as well as the escalator,
lift shafts and stairways. Construction of the three-level
Construction of the Rosebank underground station platforms
underground parkade is progressing well, with the multiple
745 metre drill-and- blast rail tunnel between the northern parking decks visible from the surrounding buildings.
end of Rosebank station and emergency access shaft E5 Piling, foundations, column construction and casting of the
is complete. suspended slabs for the parkade structure continue.
At the parkade structure located on the corner of Oxford
Road and Baker Street, foundation piling is in progress and
column construction has commenced.
emergency shaft e5 (dunkeld, rosebank): Tunnelling
towards Sandton station - the only section of tunnel being
excavated from this shaft - is complete. Breakthrough of this
2.28km section into the tunnel below shaft E7 was achieved
on 2 July 2009. Civil works continue in this section of the
tunnel, as well as in the safe haven at the bottom of shaft E5.
emergency shaft e6 (illovo): This 73 metre deep shaft was
constructed within the past few months using “raise boring”
methodology. This entailed drilling a pilot hole downwards
and then boring a large diameter shaft from the bottom
up towards the surface. The shaft collar at ground level
The tunnel at Sandton station, facing towards Mushroom Farm Park.
and shotcrete shaft lining have been completed, as has
Note the two levels of track slabs.
excavation of the safety haven. Underground civil works are
www.railwaysafrica.com September 2009 RAILWAYS AFRICA 27
GAUtrAin rApid rAil linK
The 1.135km tunnel from the southern end of the station to At the temporary flash butt welding facility established
just past the point where the shaft E7 adit joins the main adjacent to the portal, rails are welded into 216 metre long
tunnel is complete. lengths prior to installation.
MUSHROOM FARM PARK MARLBORO PORTAL EASTWARDS
The temporary shaft at Mushroom Farm Park was provided Viaducts 1A and 11 crossing the Jukskei River and Far East
to give access for tunnel construction, which has been Bank Drive are both complete, with track and catenary
completed in both the north and south directions. The top masts in position.
closure slab was cast in early August and backfilling is in
progress, together with dismantling and removal of site Between Marlboro Portal and the N3, the various culverts,
establishment facilities. Reinstatement of the community retaining walls, the three bridges over Zinnia Drive and final
park has commenced. layerworks are all complete and track has been laid.
Continuous lengths of tunnel now extend from the south of MARLBORO STATION
Sandton station, past Mushroom Farm Park to the portal at At Marlboro station, concrete works, brickwork, painting,
Marlboro. The civil works within these tunnels are complete structural steel, roof cladding and platform parapets are
and tracklaying is in progress. all substantially complete. Mechanical and electrical
installations, which include the escalators and lifts, continue.
MARLBORO PORTAL Track has been laid through the station.
Tracklaying is in progress,
both southwards in the Construction and backfilling of a series of underpasses where
tunnel from the Marlboro the two pairs of railway tunnels cross below the N3 highway
portal towards Sandton, alongside the Marlboro Drive Bridge, just to the north of
and north-eastwards on the Marlboro station, has been completed. Both carriageways
surface through Marlboro of the N3 have been reinstated to their original positions.
station towards the N3
Viaduct 2 over the Modderfontein Spruit and two adjacent
Precast concrete blocks Along the above-ground bridges over the future Frankenwald and Maxwell Roads are
sections of route, the rails are supported on concrete complete, together with the erection of noise barriers along
sleepers and conventional ballast. Track construction inside this section. Rail tracks are in position on all three structures.
the tunnels utilises a “state-of-the-art” system, specially
developed for this type of application. It consists of precast MIDRAND DEPOT
concrete blocks to which the undersides of the rails are The administration buildings for both train and bus depots
attached. Each block is surrounded by a resilient “boot”, are finished. The installation of equipment for the operations
cast into the concrete track slab. control centre in the train depot administration building
has been completed. This centre will manage signalling,
telecommunications, automatic fare collection, traction
power and overhead distribution, cctv cameras and
Installation of double track in the section between maintenance, using high technology systems. The
Marlboro and Rhodesfield stations train maintenance workshops, including electrical and
mechanical installations, are all complete, as are other
28 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
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depot facilities, including the washbay for cleaning the trains, first shipment of two completed rail coaches arrived in Durban
sand-filling equipment, stabling platforms, level crossings, on 29 November 2008. After further deliveries, testing of the
track lighting and entry gates. first complete four-car trainset began during February 2009.
precast Yard The first 15 coaches, together with body shells and major
Production of precast components for the various structures components for the rest of the fleet, were manufactured
is approaching completion – expected by the end of 2009. in Derby, and all have been despatched to South Africa.
Following a successful skills transfer programme, local
Construction is in progress on the bus maintenance depot, technicians are working on the assembly of the remaining
located in the area previously occupied by the precast yard, 81 coaches at the Union Carriage and Wagon Partnership in
now largely dismantled. Construction of the workshop and Nigel. By the end of August, 32 coaches had been delivered
canteen buildings is in hand, together with refurbishment to the Gautrain depot.
of the bus administration building - previously used as site
offices for the precast yard. MIDRAND-CENTURION-PRETORIA
tracKlaYing North of the depot, Viaduct 3 over Allandale Road and the
The laying of stabling sidings at the depot, including the adjacent bridge over the future K60 road are both complete,
erection of overhead electrification masts and all associated as are all other bridges, construction works and railway
railway installations in the yard, such as the overhead installations up to Dale Road in Midrand, with only minor
catenary and the signalling system, is complete, energised finishing works outstanding.
and operational. Main-line tracklaying and ballasting,
together with catenary installation, is proceeding outwards MIDRAND STATION
from the depot in both directions, using specialised, highly At Midrand station, station building works and platform
mechanised equipment. Rails are welded into 216 metre construction, including the structural steel platform roof
lengths at the depot and transported on specially equipped structure, are in progress, together with bulk earthworks and
wagons. Once placed in position on concrete sleepers, they retaining walls for the parking areas.
are welded together to form a continuous rail.
From the Midrand area northwards, bulk earthworks up to the
On the north-south route, the double track from just south Technopark area at Centurion are approaching completion.
of Dale Road in Midrand, past the depot to behind Linbro Drainage, layer works, duct installation, catenary mast bases,
Park, is complete and operational. This section of the route, noise barriers and fencing are ongoing, with these works
approximately 7km in length, is being used for dynamic well advanced along extended lengths of the alignment.
testing of rolling stock.
ROLLING STOCK Viaduct 4, which crosses Rietspruit and Olifantsfontein Road
Following a specialised construction and assembly process at South, is complete and awaiting installation of track and
Bombardier Transportation’s facility in Derby, UK, Gautrain’s overhead catenary.
VIADUCT 5 OVER THE N1 & BEN SCHOEMAN
Viaduct 5 carries the elevated line through Centurion,
forming the link between the balanced cantilever viaducts
crossing the N1 highway at John Vorster interchange in the
south and the Ben Schoeman highway at the Jean Avenue
interchange in the north. It supports the elevated Centurion
station platforms located approximately midway along its
length. The deck spans of this viaduct comprise precast
concrete segments which are erected using purpose-built
steel launching girders and then stressed together to form
the deck spans. By the end of August, 32 of the deck spans -
approximately 50% of the total – were in position.
Apart from the southern abutment at Jean Avenue,
construction of supporting piers and abutments at both
the John Vorster and Jean Avenue viaducts is complete.
Construction of the in-situ balanced cantilever deck
sections on top of the piers at each of these viaducts
is in progress. With the first spans at both of these
viaducts now substantially completed, the
graceful arched forms of these exceptionally
long deck spans are clearly identifiable.
Construction of the in-situ
balanced cantilever deck
sections for viaduct 5 at
The elevated Centurion Station
John Vorster Avenue
platforms are located on Viaduct
5, immediately adjacent and
parallel to West Street. The
30 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
GAUtrAin rApid rAil linK
concourse buildings and parking are at ground level. The of the rail reserve is in hand, as are topsoiling, hydroseeding
viaduct piers and deck spans on which the station platforms of embankments and minor finishing operations
are being constructed have been completed. The concourse
foundations and building works are in hand and installation of By the end of August, tracklaying from behind Linbro Park
precast platform components is well advanced. Earthworks towards the airport had progressed to Lovato Road, just west
for the parking area have commenced. of the Kelvin power station.
VIADUCT 6 OVER EEUFEES ROAD VIADUCTS 13 & 14
At Viaduct 6, foundation construction is approaching Viaduct 13 over Centenary Way in Modderfontein and Viaduct
completion and pier construction is in progress. At the 14 over Zuurfontein Road are both finished, with trackwork
northern end of this viaduct, preparations are in hand for the and catenary in position on the former and in course of
assembly of the launching girder that will be used to erect provision on the other.
the deck spans.
SALVOKOP AND PRETORIA
Near Salvokop at the approach to Tshwane, a
cut-and-cover structure will cross below the
Ben Schoeman highway. Construction of the
final phase is well advanced and reinstatement
of the northbound carriageways of the highway
will commence before the end of the year.
At Pretoria station, concrete works and
brickwork continue at the concourse. Work
on the associated technical and operational
facilities is in progress. Platform construction
is finished. The platform canopy steelwork Rhodesfield Station elevated above the existing Metrorail lines.
is complete and roof cladding nearly so. Demolition of the Photo: Eugene Armer
McCarthy building has begun. In its place, the parking area
is to be constructed.
VIADUCT 15 & RHODESFIELD STATION
PRETORIA-HATFIELD At 1.5km, Viaduct 15 – now complete - is the longest on the
VIADUCT 7 east-west line. It supports both the Rhodesfield and airport
Construction of Viaduct 7 is progressing well, with the deck station platforms and will carry the double track over the
to the section that will carry the line across Nelson Mandela R21/R24 road network. Track and overhead catenaries will
Boulevard clearly visible. The M-beams for the first eight spans be installed shortly.
have been placed in position. Pier construction continues on
the remaining sections of this Y-shaped structure, which will The Rhodesfield station platforms are elevated, located
carry the Gautrain tracks over the existing railway lines. Two approximately one third of the way along Viaduct 15, directly
spans of M-beams have been installed on the second leg, above the existing Metrorail lines running between Isando
designated viaduct 7.2a. and Kempton Park. The station entrance, concourse and
parking area will be located at ground level on the eastern
Between Gautrain’s Pretoria and hatfield stations, a number side of the existing railway.
of road bridges crossing the existing Metrorail railway are
being lengthened, to accommodate the new tracks which At Rhodesfield station, the platform structure and platform
will run parallel. roof are complete, including cladding. The station
entrance, concourse and parking area are at ground level
The Cilliers Street bridge has been completed and the on the eastern side of the existing lines. Structural work
road reopened to traffic. Construction is proceeding on on supports for the escalators continues, as well as on
the extension of bridges at Walton Jameson Road, Bourke the access and escape stairs linking the concourse to the
Street and Lynnwood Road, as is work on new road-over- platforms. Concourse building works, platform access ways
rail bridges at Ridge and Grosvenor Roads. Extensive lateral and erection of the structural steel concourse roof are well
support works, to enable the existing railway cutting to be advanced and installation of equipment in the technical
widened, are also in progress. rooms has commenced. Brickwork to technical rooms and
operational rooms is finished, the lift shafts are complete
HATFIELD STATION and the entrance canopy columns erected. Parking area
Work on foundations for the concourse and platforms construction is well advanced.
continues at hatfield station. Lateral support and excavation
of the southern embankment is complete, enabling The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has
construction of the station proper to commence. Column commenced foundation excavation prior to constructing a
construction and casting of suspended slabs at the new station, immediately adjacent to the Gautrain facility.
parkade structure continue, and the P2-level deck has been This will provide commuters with a convenient transfer link
completed. Work continues on levels P3, P4, P5 and P6, and between the Gautrain and Metrorail systems.
parapet installation has commenced. Structures to separate
the Gautrain and Metrorail tracks are complete. OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT STATION
Finishing works within the station concourse shell are
MARLBORO-AIRPORT approaching completion, while electrical and mechanical
Civil construction works are substantially complete along installations continue. Prototype ticket vending machines
the entire airport link, which includes eleven bridges, three and fare gates have been installed.
viaducts and a number of other structures, including the
platforms for a future station at Modderfontein. Erection of The platform structures, structural steel platform canopies
the 2.4 metre high concrete palisade fence along both sides and roof cladding are all substantially complete.
www.railwaysafrica.com September 2009 RAILWAYS AFRICA 31
Challenges in Installing Signalling Equipment
at Khayelitsha and Eersterivier
Recently, Actom Signalling At Windermere, Actom extended
successfully completed a major the mimic panel and control desk
signalling contract in Cape Town’s and installed electronics to provide
Khayelitsha township. Difficulties links to the communication channel
faced included illegal power - covering train routing, signal
connections and cable damage, passed at danger (SPAD) detection
which caused setbacks in the and data capture and logging.
installation along some sections of
the line. The contract also included the
design, manufacture, supply,
“Just at the point when we were installation and commissioning
ready to commission the equipment, of additional tracks and points at
illegal power connections gave rise Khayelitsha station. This involved
to fault currents, resulting in our the provision of a new hR92
track circuit equipment burning interlocking system and linking it to
out and having to be replaced,” the existing
explained Gerrie Coetzer, the ACTOM Signalling site supervisor Cecil Luyt checks the
company’s contracts manager, who Failsafe Data Transmission (FSDT) unit installed as part of the Spoorplan Mark Ib interlocking. At
managed the project. Khayelitsha signalling contract. Khayelitsha station, new DC points
machines were installed, matching
“SARCC and Metrorail officials had those already in operation.
to persuade representatives of the
local community to temporarily disconnect unlawful power Another important contract recently completed by Actom
connections so that we could Signalling comprised a R5.7m project for Transnet Freight
Rail at Eersterivier junction. here, where the branch to
connect and commission our equipment. “Even during Stellenbosch leaves the line from Bellville to the Strand,
installation we had to cut illegal lines to do trenching and the company was required to immunise existing signalling
rejoin them again afterwards. Additional problems arose equipment against interference from newly installed 132kV
over the employment of local labour. We arranged to employ Eskom power transmission lines.
local people through negotiations with a liaison person
representing the community, but this didn’t satisfy some This fast-track contract, started in late 2007 and completed
people who on several occasions cut our cables to try and in August 2008, involved:
force us to employ them. We then had to take the matter up
with the community liaison person, to resolve the situation. • Replacing the installed Jeumont track circuits with
We also had to take special measures to protect our stocks, jointless and jointed ML63 track circuit equipment;
to avoid repeat incidents of this sort.” • Cutting and repeating the existing feeds to the
The R17m contract, on the Cape Town-Philippi-Khayelitsha • Installing Thales axle-counters between
line, involved the design, manufacture, supply, installation Eersterivier and Lynedoch station (on the
and commissioning of interlocking, track circuits and Stellenbosch branch); and
remote control systems and points machines along a new • Installing Thales axle-counters between
4km extension beyond the existing Khayelitsha station, Eersterivier and Faure station (on the Strand line).
previously the terminus. Two new stations, Kuasa and Chris
hani, have been provided. Jeumont track circuits identical “It was a tough undertaking meeting the deadline. The work
to those already in place were installed by Actom, together was aggravated by heavy flooding during part of the time,
with AC points machines at Chris hani, the new terminal. At which meant working in continuously pouring rain over a
the same time, the S2 remote control system was extended seven-day stretch,” Coetzer commented.
to connect the control equipment to the Centralised Traffic
Control (CTC) centre at Windermere.
32 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
mishAps & BlUnders
One objective of our regular feature reporting and commenting on rail mishaps is to provide information and object
lessons from Africa and abroad, in the hope that – in some cases at least - this might help avoid recurrences.
DUTCH 3-TRAIN COLLISION KILLS DRIVER – the Djibouti-Ethiopian Railway). has been emphasised by
The driver of a freight train died and several people were a “string of derailments” between Dire Dawa and Djibouti,
injured when two freight trains collided near Barendrecht where trains carry fruit and vegetables, coffee and livestock
outside Rotterdam. A spokesperson for rail management for export and return with construction materials. At the end
company ProRail said that derailed wagons hit a passenger of July, a Djibouti-bound freight train carrying 1,000 tonnes
train headed for Belgium, but none of the 150 occupants of export coffee and livestock left the rails, killing 13 “free
were injured. All train traffic between Rotterdam Central and riders” and injuring a further 20 people including the train
Dordrecht was halted immediately and police closed the crew. [ See map on page 11 ]
parallel A15 motorway, to enable rescue workers to reach
the accident site. US TRAIN LOSES ITS WHEELS
On 11 September, a six-
ELSBURG’S ONE-LINE SMASH loco, 140-wagon Union
The one line refers to the extent of newspaper coverage – Pacific coal train from the
nobody was killed, nobody was injured and no locomotives Twentymile Coal company’s
were written off in this distinctly unnewsworthy event. Foidel Creek Mine in
In railway terms however, it probably rated as the most Colorado lost some of its
spectacular and disruptive accident to be seen in South wheels. More precisely,
Africa this year. On Thursday 10 September, according to one wagon in the consist
our information, the locomotives heading a consist of loaded separated from its bogies
containers from KwaZulu-Natal to Gauteng were detached as the train started to move,
(for reasons unknown) about 2km south of Germiston. Have wheels, need train a short distance south
Evidently the brakes were not properly secured, as the of downtown Oak Creek,
entire train of flatcars ran away downgrade, past successive Wisconsin. The rest of the wheelless, 125-ton vehicle was
red signals. With the points at Elsburg junction set against it, left helpless on the track. A company employee quoted by a
everything derailed in a massive pile-up that filled the cutting local newspaper said “mechanical failure” was suspected.
with smashed containers and their contents, tore up several
hundred metres of track, brought down all the overhead [ Or maybe the coal was too dirty. Don’t you love official
traction masts and draped the lot in electrical catenary. explanations? – editor ]
A fire that broke out took many hours to extinguish. Luca
Lategan, who was on the scene on Friday 11 September, SHOOTING AT PIENAARSPOORT
wrote: “About 20 workers were standing in a line transferring On 13 October, a Metrorail security guard was shot –
whole bottles of Jameson to a bakkie. Someone is going to fortunately not fatally - and a train passenger injured at
have a lekker party this weekend.” Pienaarspoort station east of Pretoria. It is understood that
commuters became angry when an official asked to see their
tickets. Metrorail spokesperson Sibusiso Ngomane told the
government information service’s BuaNews: “A group on the
train became violent. During the skirmish a shot was fired.”
Ngomane said no arrests had been made in connection with
the incident. Both the security guard and the commuter were
subsequently suspended indefinitely. Train services to and
from Pretoria main station resumed the following morning.
POWER OUT: TRAINS STONED
On 14 October, impatient occupants of a Metrorail suburban
set stranded by a power failure between Kempton Park and
Elandsfontein vented their fury by stoning trains passing on
an adjacent, unaffected line. “About ten” commuter injuries
were reported. Metrorail spokesperson Sibusiso Ngomane
told the government information service’s Buanews that the
Extensive disruption to services continued for a week, with company could not guarantee services in an environment
buses replacing suburban commuter trains to Katlehong and that continued to expose assets and staff to “unabated”
Kwesine. The cost of the incident runs into millions. criminal threats. “It must be noted that should the security
outlook in this corridor remain serious and volatile Metrorail
ETHIOPIAN DERAILMENTS will take firm action against all criminal elements and take
The urgency of work involved in the current upgrading of the necessary steps to ensure that incidents of this nature
781km metre-gauge Chemin de fer Djibouti-Ethiopien (CDE do not recur.”
34 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
mishAps & BlUnders
IRISH BRIDGE AFTERMATH a crossover. After a two-week trial, the jury awarded the
The collapse of a supporting pier carrying the viaduct across money to cover past medical expenses, lost wages, pain
the Broadmeadow Estuary 13km north of Dublin on 21 August and suffering, loss of normal life, and future damages she
(see August Railways Africa, page 10) was caused by tidal will suffer as a result of the injuries. The families of the two
“scouring” of the foundations, subsequent investigations passengers who were killed settled their wrongful-death
determined. Only luck prevented what would probably have lawsuits for $11 million.
been the worst railway accident in Irish history, as several
heavily laden passenger trains were scheduled to cross within LAWSUITS FOLLOW L A CRASH
minutes after the bridge failed. The driver of the last train over Lawsuits have been filed on behalf of seven people injured
reported visual signs of subsidence when he arrived at the or killed in the 2008 Metrolink accident in Los Angeles.
next station, Malahide, and all traffic was stopped. Twenty-five people died and 134 were injured in a head-on
collision between a Union Pacific freight train and a double-
A major inquiry by the Railway Safety Commission’s rail deck commuter set .
accident investigation unit is currently under way, looking
not only at the Broadmeadow incident itself, but also the Investigations suggested that the Metrolink train ran through
adequacy of the railway’s inspection procedures for bridges a red light, and that the driver was sending cellphone text
over water. Though all have been inspected in recent weeks, messages around the time of the crash. The lawsuits were
they are to be examined more closely by experienced divers filed in the Los Angeles Superior Court, two of the cases
for scouring of their foundations, a phenomenon mainly being “wrongful-death” claims.
associated with tidal movements.
According to Associated Press, the lawsuits name a variety
Iarnród Éireann (IE - the Irish state railway) was alerted five of defendants, including Veolia Transportation (operating
days before the Broadmeadow incident by one of the leaders sub-contractor to Metrolink); its subsidiary, Connex Railroad
of Malahide Sea Scouts who suggested there was a risk to (which provides the personnel who drive Metrolink trains);
and the estate of train driver Robert Sanchez. Some suits also
named the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation
Authority, the regional rail authority that operates Metrolink.
the structure. An inspection carried out the following day by
an engineer and a subsequent report by the crew of a track-
monitoring vehicle found no detectable problems. Yet within
24 hours, one of the 11 piers fell into the sea.
Daily commuters as well as users of the Dublin-Belfast
main-line service are suffering massive inconvenience by
the closing of the line, which ordinarily carried 90 trains
every weekday. It is hoped to complete repairs before the
end of November.
[ The Irish railways have had no fatal accidents in the last 26
years. – editor ]
CASSELTON: 19 OFF DRIVER “TRIED TO SHIFT TRACKS”
On 13 September, an eastbound freight of the Burlington Seven people died and 88 were injured when a passenger
Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) derailed 19 wagons 5km express derailed at hua hin in Thailand. According to an
west of Casselton, North Dakota. No injuries were reported Associated Press report, quoting “the head of a fact-finding
but damage was considerable, with lumber scattered around panel,” the driver fell asleep after taking antihistamines and
the scene. County Road 10 was blocked at its level crossing. other cold medicine. On the previous day, a freight train
A repair crew comprising some 75 people expected that one carrying cement powder derailed north of Bangkok. Union
of the two rail tracks would be reopened within about 12 members blame “mismanagement, budget cuts and old
hours, the other around three days later. trains” for a number of derailments in Thailand recently, and
have called for the head of the railway to resign. “Train workers
DAMAGES OF $29M AWARDED AFTER DERAILMENT have been overworked,” union leader Sawit Kaewwan told
A Cook County jury awarded $29.5 million to a Chicago the press, “due to a policy limiting recruitment. They have
woman who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a derailment failed to solve the massive shortage of workers.
on 17 September 2005. The lawsuit was filed by Renea
Poppel, who suffered “catastrophic brain damage, a broken The AP hua hin report continues: “While asleep, the driver
neck and broken pelvis” when a Metra commuter train came jumped a red light and awoke in time to see he was headed
off the line between Joliet and Chicago. Two passengers straight for a parked freight train, prompting him to abruptly
were killed and more than 100 injured. try to shift tracks, which resulted in the derailment.”
Investigations by the National Transportation Safety Board [ Which raises all manner of interesting questions, which we
found that the driver failed to slow the train as it negotiated won’t try to go into here. – editor]
Mishaps & blunders continued on page 36
www.railwaysafrica.com September 2009 RAILWAYS AFRICA 35
AFRICA’S FREEDOM RAILWAY
by Jamie Monson
The primary announced purpose of the 1,852km Tanzania-Zambia Railway (Tazara),
built by China and opened in 1976, was to provide the Zambian copperbelt with
access to export markets independent of the route through South Africa. Along
much of its length, the line came to serve a much humbler though vital purpose,
stimulating local development and providing for the needs of the rural population.
Jamie Monson, professor of African history at Carleton College, Minnesota, has
researched the Tanzanian part of this activity, and the many people involved, in great
detail. The story starts encouragingly, with Chinese workmen setting a determined
example of the benefits that hard work brings. Some years after the Chinese left, a
North Korean contingent arrived and they too contributed meaningfully. Sadly, their
rice paddies were plundered by the abundant bird life, not to mention wild pigs and
other animals. The North Koreans left disillusioned when a multi-party government -
anathema to the communist way of life - took over in Dar-es-Salaam.
The underlying political significance of the line is discussed at some length.
Monson views it as fulfilling the needs of local people more effectively than the
typical colonial-era railway. Much of the subject matter is derived from one-on-one
interviews, literally “on the ground”.
These have been carefully documented, providing valuable insight into what the
line achieved, and - unhappily - where things later went wrong. The thousands who
ISBN 978-0-253-35271-2. lived along the line were enabled to provide for themselves (though little more than
$39·95 from Indiana University that), farming modestly, selling eatables to passengers on the trains and trading with
Press, 601 North Morton Street, adjoining villages. The government, they complained to Monson, gave no financial
Bloomington, IN 47404-3797, USA. help at all. Taxes and payments to what one might call “middle men” were onerous, to
say the least, while - to many - the closing of several stations because they were too
costly to run, and ultimately fare increases on the railway, were to prove disastrous.
Though published in 2009, the book does not mention Tazara’s current misfortunes.
Monson documents more than 100 personal interviews with a variety of people but
none of these - except for four in China - took place after 2002. As it happens,
a further 49 stations were closed in 2005, 25 of them in Tanzania. In July 2008,
passenger fares went up 20% and the tariffs for parcels - mainstay of the locals’
business - by 30%. A month later, press reports spoke of Tazara being “on the brink
of collapse” - only six locomotives running and staff wages unpaid for two months.
Monson touches on the possibility of the railway being concessioned but there has
been talk of this, with little sign of progress, for more than six years now. Even before
that, Chinese surveyors were warning both governments that failure to correct a
serious backlog in track maintenance could result in some bad accidents.
None of this bodes any good for the people Monson writes about. The book
conveys an important message: irrespective of who builds a railway and for what
main purpose, its existence will serve to uplift the communities along its length -
communities that will come to depend upon it and whose fortunes and well-being
risk being shattered if the line is allowed to fall to pieces.
Mishaps & blunders continued from page 35
SPANISH END-OF-LINE FATALITY
The driver was killed when a Spanish passenger train ran into
the buffers at Lezama in Spain’s northern Basque province.
Three passengers were reported hurt, one badly. According
to Agence-France-Presse, quoting an official spokesman,
the reasons for the incident “were not immediately clear”.
Earlier on the same day, a caller who said there was a bomb
on another line in Basque country caused traffic to be held
up for about four hours, but nothing was found.
“It’s Tuesday – this must be Golela”.
LOCO & 2 COACHES IN WATER
One passenger was killed and at least 40 injured when RUSSIAN COLLISION: 80 HURT
the engine and six coaches of the Katihar-bound Amarpali After the locomotive of a passenger express from
Express derailed near Naugachia in Bihar, India. Officials Moscow failed at Selezni-Tambov station in the west
reported that the locomotive and two coaches were of Russia, a replacement diesel ran into the stationary
“submerged in water”. The area had been affected by floods passenger train, reportedly “at speed”. More than 80
which may have been a contributory factor. people were reported hurt.
36 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
Specialists in maintenance, repair, upgrade, conversion and manufacture of
rolling stock, components and rail support services.
Tel: +27 (0)12 391 1304 Fax: +27 (0)12 391 1371 Email: email@example.com
middle eAst UpdAte
Middle East UpDate
DUBAI – A MILLION PASSENGERS IN 18 DAYS
The new Dubai metro carried its millionth passenger on 26 The 14 spans were built by Ukrainian firm Ukrtransstroy at
September, 16 days after the line opened. This is revealed a cost of $US123m. The structure connects the main rail
in statistics compiled by the rail agency at the Roads and network with lines on the right bank, previously only linked
Transport Authority (RTA). to Uzbekistan.
Work has started in Qom on Iran’s first monorail,
to be completed within 30 months. The first
phase of the project includes the construction of
a 6km line to improve access to the city’s grand
mosque. The estimated cost of the first phase
is over $US120m. Eventually the monorail is to
extend some 18km.
Iran’s railway carries approximately 11% of the
total freight transported in the country. Route
distance totals 8,367km, of which 146km is
The new Dubai metro, where part of the Red Line opened for service on 9
September 2009. Map courtesy Railway Gazette International. IRAQ METRO
Seven international companies have been chosen by the
According to the director of the marketing & corporate Iraqi ministry of transportation to bid for a contract to build
communication department at RTA Corporate Administrative a $US3bn Baghdad metro railway. Their submissions are
Support Services Sector Peyman Younes Parham, Mall due in January 2010, when a technical committee is to be
of the Emirates Station topped the list by serving 192,585 set up to select the most promising proposals. According
passengers during the period from 09/09 to 26/09, followed to mayor Sabir al-Issawi, 17 foreign firms expressed
by Rashidiya (147,741), Khalid bin Al Waleed (138,720), interest in the project - the first of its kind in Iraq. It comprises
Nakheel harbour & Tower (122,997), Al Ittihad (108,467), the construction of two lines, each about 20km in length
Deira City Centre (99,871), Financial Centre (70,973), Rigga with 20 stops.
(62,621), Jafliaya (41,674), and Airport T-3 (32,381).
GULF RAILWAY DEVELOPMENTS
A station on
Except for the first part of the Dubai metro, which opened in
mid-September, the Gulf’s 36 million residents are currently
restricted to travel by cars, buses or air. A proper rail network
would accelerate cross-border travel, trade and tourism,
experts point out. According to one analyst: “The Gulf
Cooperation Council (GCC) countries should look beyond
the existing modes of transport and ease travel restrictions to
facilitate cross-border tourism that will help more movement
across the region”.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries comprise:
Students in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the elderly Qatar 1,307,229
travel at half fare, in addition to 30 days of free travel annually, Kuwait 2,460,000
the RTA has announced. A “loyalty points” system is to be Oman 2,534,000
introduced shortly, in terms of which travellers will gain Saudi Arabia 26,417,599
points each time they use the system, redeemable later “for United Arab Emirates 4,588,697
a number of advantages.”
[ The figures are according to Wikipedia. - editor ]
JERUSALEM-TEL AVIV HS LINE
It is reported that hofrey hasharon Ltd and its German TUBULAR TRACK IN SAUDI ARABIA
partner have been awarded the NIS 640 million Israel A new company, T-Track Saudi, is a collaboration between
Railways tender for the 4km section D (the final section) of the Al-Khobar-based Central Mining Company Investment
the high-speed Tel Aviv-Jerusalem line. This completes Israel Limited (CMCI) of Saudi Arabia and Tubular Track (Pty) Ltd
Railways’ selection of contractors to build the final sections of South Africa, a specialist in the development of tubular
between Shaar hagai and Jerusalem. Work on section D track. During the recent launch of the joint venture, attended
from Mevasseret Zion across Emek Erazim to the Binyanei by consultants and dignitaries from other GCC (Gulf
ha’Ooma station at the western entrance to Jerusalem, to be Cooperation Council) states, a detailed presentation was
started soon, is expected to take four years. given on T-Track technology and its successful application
in a pilot project on the Saudi Arabian main-line between
TURKMENISTAN BRIDGE COMPLETES LINK Riyadh and Dammam, where the system was put to the test
On 16 September, Turkmen President Berdimuhamedov under difficult local conditions. T-Track Saudi is to market and
joined President Yushchenko of Ukraine in opening a 1.4km distribute the innovative new technology, which is especially
new bridge over the Amu Darya river between Atamyrat suited to the desert conditions typically found in Middle East
and Kerkichi. countries - and elsewhere in the world.
38 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com
Preservation is an essential part of the picture... by J. Batwell
ZIMBABWE TOURS BACK ON THE CARDS
UK operator Geoff’s Trains has opened booking for a 2010 Work has started on cleaning up and repainting locomotives
steam tour to Zimbabwe between 24 July and 2 August. at the museum’s south site. First in line has been class NGG
The following was received from the National Railways of 13 no 58 which has looked rather sad since its arrival. General
Zimbabwe (NRZ) director for operations: “Please be advised cleaning up of the whole site and environs to try to provide a
that the NRZ is more than willing to participate in this tour, as greater element of security has been under way.
we have done over the years. While we have had challenges
with our steam locomotives, this shall be overcome. I have SANDSTONE RESTORES CLASS 19D
instructed Mr Choto, Business Manager, Passenger Services, This winter saw Sandstone’s energetic and enthusiastic team
to respond to all your queries. Once again, we cherish the at Bloemfontein steam up class 19D 4-8-2 no 2654. After so
support you have given us over the years. We wish this much narrow gauge locomotive restoration work over the
relationship to continue.” years, finally a 1,067mm gauge project has been realised.
Encouraged by the NRZ’s positive response, Geoff Cooke Narrow gauge restoration projects that continue include
is looking to run three classes of NRZ Garratts - 14A, Orenstein & Koppel no 11112 and Class NGG 16 Garratt no
16A and 15 - during the winter tour plus make use of the 88. A venerable 10 ton steam-driven crane, built by Grafton
privately-owned class 14A 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 at Victoria Falls. Cranes Engineers at Bedford in the UK has been secured
A pre-Zimbabwe visit to Botswana to see the industrial from Transnet. Currently in Sandstone’s secure area in
steam operation with class 19Ds at Selebi Phikwe is built in Bloemfontein, the crane has been stripped and boiler work
for interested parties. For more day-to-day details visit the has commenced.
ZIMBABWE STILL STEAMS UP MARGINALLY
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is still putting
two locomotives into steam with some regularity. Bulawayo
enthusiast Charles Rickwood reports that on his visits to the
running shed a class 15 4-6-4 + 4-6-4 and a class 16A 2-8-2 +
2-8-2 are usually in steam or alternatively two class 15 or two
16A Garratts. One of the two is invariably the shed pilot whilst
the second locomotive Sandstone Trust’s latest 3’ 6” gauge restoration project,
works a Bulawayo class 19D 4-8-2 no 2654. Photo: Sandstone
station yard shunt. The
planned restoration GARRATT 100 IN UK
of 10 locomotives by On 17 August 2009, loco K1 - the oldest Garratt in the world -
the middle of 2010 returned from her present home in Wales to Gorton Foundry
seems a very tall order, in Manchester, to celebrate her 100th birthday and participate
considering there has in the Great Garratt Gathering (GGG).
been no major progress
One of the surviving Zimbabwean Garratts this year, with just one Arriving in style through the works gates, K1 - initially built for
today – class 15 no 414 (left) alongside class Garratt in the workshops Tasmania - was greeted by many of the ex Beyer-Peacock
10 no 156. Photo: B. Seiler - class 16A no 612. (BP) employees that had built Garratts, who turned out in
force for the celebration, together with the present staff of
RIVERSIDE MUSEUM & NORTH BRITISH GROUP HAPPENINGS the works - and the media.
Work on the new Glasgow Riverside Museum has begun and
a cabside plate from one of its principal future exhibits, SAR After speeches, a large birthday cake was cut, then K1 was
class 15F no 3007, is on display at the main entrance. The moved around for photo calls, finally ending up inside the
loco itself remains at Nitshill where conservation work will old boiler shop, under the old BP overhead crane. After a
be undertaken. turn in the Tesco car park, where the people of Gorton had a
chance to see her, K1 was taken out onto the main road, one
The North British Loco Group’s work in 2009 embraces of the busiest in Manchester, complete with police escort, for
liaison with the Mizen’s Railway to bring back to the UK from a short 200m journey to the church. She was pulled up barely
Umgeni Steam Railway the Dübs tank locomotive and to 10m from Richard Peacock’s grave and family mausoleum.
continue with the restoration of North British/CSAR class 11 A wreath-laying ceremony then took place, followed by
no 929. Furthermore, the group has finalised the permanent two blasts on K1’s whistle - one to begin and one to end a
loan of a hendrie Natal Government Railways’ (NGR) class minute’s silence.
1A 4-8-0 no 1301 (NBL works number 19063/1909) at
Greenside Colliery and this loco will be relocated to Mason’s Inside the church a
Mill shed. NGR class 1B 4-8-0 no 1443 “Chaka” (NBL works display told visitors
number 16417/1905) has been purchased from Ushukela all about BP and the
Milling and the engine remains stored on site at Gledhow Garratts - a highly
Mill pending movement to Mason’s Mill. This loco is of great unorthodox and very
historic importance as it was one of David hendrie’s (and the successful design that
world’s) first six 4-8-2’s to be built. distinguished itself
on many railways in
SANRASM NEWS Africa.
The South African National Railway & Steam Museum
(SANRASM) at Krugersdorp has relocated former South
African Railways’ class 19BR no 1410 from the Free State.
Built by Berliner Maschinenbau, Germany, in 1930, it saw K1 making an appearance at the Great Garratt
Gathering in Manchester last August. Photo:
industrial service at Free State Geduld (FSG).
www.railwaysafrica.com September 2009 RAILWAYS AFRICA 39
end of the line
TRANSNAMIB U20C LOCOS PUTTING IT ON THE LINE
Transnamib’s refurbishment of GE U20C locos which have Electrical trains are the fashion
been in service since 1968 is a good read. These locos Cheapest to run - and no smell.
including the U20C which are still operating in Zambia The air is left very much cleaner
and Zimbabwe are the very best in engineering design The “draadkarre” rate rather well.
and construction. They set a benchmark on which the rest
of today’s locos are based. Their beauty is unparalled. Like political speakers, the diesels -
South Africa’s class 33 (humpbacks) remodelled with the Exuding much fumy hot air -
hump above the cockpit is a rare beauty. It reminds one of Tend to be rattly and noisy
the masculine adult lion with a mane in all its glory. I hope And their fuel costs get in one’s hair.
General Electric engineers can take a leaf out of the book
of South African engineers involved with the class 33s. The trouble with current however
The very best photos of U20Cs can be accessed on the Is that it depends on a wire -
http://geoff-cooke.fotopic.net/ website. I guess Geoff Cooke A commodity easily stolen
is the only gentleman who has managed to capture the full To be melted down in a fire.
beauty of these locos. Thanks to TransNamib for having
these locos refurbished and in the process bringing back Restringing catenary cables,
memories. My unofficial ride in a U20C was in 1969 and A prohibitively costly affair,
the loco was 1609 - which is still in operation in harare, Means all-in the diesels are cheaper,
Zimbabwe. Despite what they do to the air.
- Samuel Mudehwe
CAPE TOWN STATION FLOOR TILES
With regard to the Cape Town station revamp, I agree with
Chanelle. Those tiles are a death trap even for the young
-never mind the older generation. Something should be done
about them, otherwise Metrorail or whoever is responsible
will be sued left, right and centre
- Kathy Collins
TransNamib GE U20C loco (2,150hp), ex-Spoornet class 33. Photo: Paul Ash
KOREANS IN AFRICA
With reference to the report: “South Korea to help in
Cameroon”, a Korean-led consortium is planning a railway for
timber traffic in next-door Congo-Brazzaville. One wonders if
there will be any connection between the two.
- Shall Ford (Australia)
PRETORIA BUSINESS EXPRESS
120 km/h on a line that is designed and signalled for 90km/h?
This is something new. has the line and associated signalling Cape Town station revamp – artist’s impression
- Willie de Beer Dear editor
I totally agree with Chanelle. It is a very bad idea to be
[ Ever since reconstruction in 1937 - in advance of laying down tiles like that. In wet weather it could really hurt
electrification - the Germiston-Pretoria line allowed speeds someone, people will be slipping and sliding all over the
of 96km/h (60mph), despite intermediate stations continuing place. I now live in the UK, but have just recently returned
to rely on mechanically worked points & signals for from Cape Town. One of my visits was to the station as I
several decades. During the eighties, track improvements wanted to see what all the fuss was about. It looks amazing
permitted higher speeds, with the Metroblitz express doing I must say and can’t wait for the work to be completed as I
Johannesburg-Pretoria in 42 minutes, compared with the know it will be a world-class station for Capetonians. Just do
previous best timing of 65. In recent years much of the line one thing though - give those tiles a rough look, please.
has been quadrupled, with signals and points electrically - Fernando
worked under CTC. - editor ]
Expanding Networks www.worldofrail.com
Developing Supply Chains
40 RAILWAYS AFRICA September 2009 www.railwaysafrica.com