1. CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION CATALOGUE
15-17 MARCH 2010 | CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE (CTICC)
2. Railways Africa
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RAILWAYS | HARBOURS | INTERMODAL | COMMUTER | MINING
6 – 8 April 2011
EXPO CENTRE – JOHANNESBURG
Floorplan NOW OPEN!
Call for papers.
For further information, rates and booking details contact Phillippa Fox
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W W W. R A I LWAY S A N D H A R B O U R S . C O M
These have been tough months for the Instead, Metrorail is struggling to of that? Being a magazine dedicated
rail industry, but I think there’s light at satisfy suppliers waiting months to the railway scene, I suppose we are
the end of the Hex River tunnel - and for their money (never mind poor fortunate there is still a rail industry at
let’s hope that’s an oncoming train we commuters waiting for their trains) all - so let’s hope there is a miracle out
see! Thankfully there are definite signs while Montana warns of intercity there somewhere.
that things are turning round, though passenger services “collapsing” within
many enterprises have posted losses - two years, so alarming is the difference On a more positive note, it is a great
some very big indeed - and the impact between income and working costs. pleasure to welcome exhibitors and
in terms of jobs on our already skills- The Metrorail refurbishing programme delegates to the 16th International
strained industry is no joke. has been cut back - yet the age of Wheelset Congress and Exhibition.
coaches averages around 40 years, This exclusive technical event takes
Rather less amusing is the crisis that with hundreds still inoperable. In fact, place every three years, each time at
the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) he points out, refurbishing is not a a different world venue, and this is the
finds itself in. Regrettably, despite cost-effective business because the first year that it is has been hosted on
lengthy conversations with and present rolling stock is obsolete and the African continent. The complete
questions sent to several highly-placed badly needs to be replaced with new. congress catalogue has been included
communications people at the (There have been no new suburban in this issue of Railways Africa - we did
Department of Transport (DoT - to which trains in twenty years). the same for the Railways & Harbours
Prasa reports), no useful response has Conference and Exhibition in 2009 -
been forthcoming in terms of a tangible Cannot the frequently punted PPP and are sure you will find it useful.
rescue plan, nor any other plan for that (Public-Private-Paticipation) concept
matter. be brought in here? Government has The next Railways Africa happens to be
been patently unable to resolve the all about track, so get your editorial in
The unbelievably critical lack of funding growing railway financial impasse by and - yes of course - we would never
that CEO Lucky Montana spells out - itself, and only it knows why so many say “no” to some ad-spend (we are
blamed squarely on the government, billions are being pumped into projects very reasonable you know!)
National Treasury and/or DoT - is like minibus-taxi recapitalisation while
especially difficult to understand the trains - the backbone of any “world-
following so many often repeated class” city - are left out in the cold.
promises that the backlog was going
to be fixed by June 2010, that we Maria Ramos did a brilliant job Phillippa Fox
were to see “world-class” suburban discarding the loss-making bits at
train services in South Africa’s cities, Transnet, like Shosholoza Meyl. But
running every few minutes for 16 hours sidetracking this into the DoT stable
every day. The word “legacy” featured heaped yet more commitments on top of
prominently in these undertakings: Montana’s already overburdened (and
June 2010 was not going to be a once- anything but lucky!) encumbrances.
off, temporary, put-things-right-for- As for making no provision for picking
a-month affair. South Africans were up the intercity service’s financial
to enjoy a super-efficient transport obligations when it became part of
infrastructure and service for many DoT: c’mon guys - did nobody think CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION CATALOGUE
years to come.
15-17 MARCH 2010 | CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE (CTICC)
Transnet Rail Engineering 2
Opinion: Pete the Pundit 6
Africa Update 10
SA Rail News 18
Transnet Rail First Train at Moatize Ringrollers Heat
Konkola Deep Mining Project 24
Engineering’s Wheel > Page 12 Treatment Expands
Gautrain Update 26 Business > Page 2 > Page 22
Mishaps & Blunders 32
Middle East Update 36
World Miscellany 39
Railway Heritage 40
End of the Line 42
Konkola Deep Mining Gautrain construction Derailment at
Project update Pietermaritzburg
> Page 24 > Page 26 Station > Page 33
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 1
4. TRANSNET RAIL ENGINEERING
A TOTAL SERVICE SOLUTION
Transnet Rail Engineering’s Wheel Business specialises capability to profile 1,435 mm gauge wheel-sets to serve
in the refurbishing and assembly of all types of railway Gautrain wheels and other future standard gauge rail
wheels for the Southern African region. The business has projects.
the capability and facilities to assemble and build up new
wheels from components brought in from local and The Wheel Business has the skills and competency to
international suppliers. The Wheel Business is managed refurbish old wheels and assemble new wheels. The
from its head office situated at Transnet Rail Engineering’s Business has the capacity to produce about 100,000 wheel
Koedoespoort depot in Pretoria. The business has seven pairs annually for diesel or electric locomotives, passenger
facilities that are strategically located in the Western Cape coaches and freight wagons. As Transnet Rail Engineering
(Salt River and Saldanha), Uitenhage, Bloemfontein, Durban, has a history that goes back more than 50 years, it is
Johannesburg (Germiston) and Pretoria (Koedoespoort). able to draw on a core of highly experienced staff, that have
high levels of competence.
The Wheel Business dominates the African wheel market,
as it is the only large wheel repair and assembly facility The main activities in the Wheel Business include wheel
on the continent. The Business services the rail wheel re-profiling, the machining of axles, centres and tyres
requirements for the Transnet Freight Rail fleet (locomotives and the fitting of wheel bearings, driving gears and motor
and wagons), PRASA suburban and main-line passenger suspension tubes.
coaches, The Blue Train, the Phelophepa Health train,
various privately-owned rolling stock as well as the rolling Services offered include:
stock of a number of African railway operators. • Ultrasonic axle testing
• Axle machining and burnishing
The Wheel Business is ISO 9001:2000 certified, and also • Wheel re-profiling
complies with the standards laid down by the American • Wheel re-tyring
Association of Railroads (AAR). • Making up new and refurbished wheel pairs
• Removal and refitting of bearings
At its various centres, the Wheel Business is equipped with • Removal, re-qualification and refitting of motor
the latest technology, including wheel profiling portal suspension tubes and driving gears
lathes and laser beam measuring equipment. The wheels
it produces are geared for the 1,067 mm rail gauge. The Transnet Rail Engineering, an operating division of Transnet
Business has acquired new portal lathes that have the Limited, is the backbone of South Africa’s railway industry
2 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
5. TRANSNET RAIL ENGINEERING
with eight product-focused businesses, 132 depots, is constantly monitored and managed with employees
six factories and 13,163 employees countrywide. The receiving regular training in operational health and safety
organisation is dedicated to in-service maintenance, repair, awareness. Disabling injury frequency rates are ever
upgrade, conversion and manufacture of freight wagons, decreasing and numerous accolades are received including
mainline and suburban coaches, diesel and electric the highest safety award, the NOSCAR.
locomotives as well as wheels, rotating machines, rolling
stock equipment, castings, auxiliary equipment and services. As a responsible corporate citizen, society and the
environment are high priorities in the maintenance of
A SOLID HISTORY sustainability. Programmes extend to communities and
With origins dating back more than a century to the schools, improving the lives of the under-privileged and
mechanical engineering department of the former physically challenged through donations of computers,
South African Railways and Harbours, this engineering development of sport, occupational therapy and job
organisation has actively supported railways in the creation. Being an industrial consumer of electricity and
expansion of the country’s economy and over the decades fuel, savings campaigns are maintained for the reduction of
has developed some of the most innovative bogies and losses and the efficient use of energy for heating, lighting
wagons ever built for 1,067mm track. Through the years, and process power.
Transnet Rail Engineering has become the key supplier of
customised rolling stock for the coal, iron-ore, intermodal, COMPETENT SUPPLIER - TOTAL SOLUTION
agricultural, fuel and cement industries. Transnet Rail Engineering’s competency is based on its
sound knowledge of the technologies subsisting in its
AFRICAN SOUL – GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE products, supported by ongoing research and development
While focus is mainly on the South African market, investment and exceptional product application experience. A
in research and development to service the specific demanding standard of precision, combined with
integrated maintenance and life-cycle upgrading, ensure a
requirements of Africa and the rest of the world has led to
comprehensive ‘total-service’ solution for railway operators
an ever-expanding range of rolling stock products and a
to achieve optimum fleet availability and reliability. All work
comprehensive list of satisfied customers, further enhancing
is conducted in accordance with railway codes of practice
the organisation’s international reputation. The proximity
and standards such as those of the American Association
of the coastal plants to major ports facilitates the movement
of Railroads and all Transnet Rail Engineering depots are
of products to and from overseas markets.
ISO 9001:2000 accredited. Mobile maintenance teams
backed up by a network of support services take the total
OUR PEOPLE, OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR FUTURE solution into all operational areas. Rerailing and recovery
With its greatest assets being its people and their skills, service completes the support package to regional railway
Transnet Rail Engineering is committed to many initiatives operators.
such as the talent management programme, relationship
building, performance management, transformation, a WORLD CLASS SYSTEMS
comprehensive lifestyle well-being programme, as well as The core of Transnet Rail Engineering’s business systems
engineering bursaries and apprenticeship training to name is SAP. A Competency Centre based at the corporate
but a few. office supports the application modules, being Finance,
Controlling (management reporting), Production
The organisation takes seriously its moral and legal duty Planning, Sales and Distribution, Human Capital, Material
to ensure the health and safety of all employees. This Management, Document Management and Project
obligation also extends to clients, the communities in which Systems with Investment Management. The Centre is a
it operates and to the protection of the environment. member of the Gartner Best Practices Group and is a well
respected member of the SAP community. Architecture
Safety has become embedded in the organisation’s includes a portal with a completely duplicated infrastructure
culture. Performance achieved through the SHEQ system for disaster recovery.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 3
6. TRANSNET RAIL ENGINEERING
Programmes such as Lean Six Sigma, complemented by components, Compliance, Financial Risk Management and
agreements with original equipment manufacturers for Enterprise Risk Management.
skills and know-how transfer have placed Transnet Rail
Engineering firmly on the map as a world class manufacturing SUPPORTING RAILWAYS
organisation. Through its comprehensive set of rolling stock products
and services, Transnet Rail Engineering is the supplier of
DESIGN AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT choice for successful railway operations.
Transnet Rail Engineering’s design office makes use of
state-of-the-art programmes for computer-aided design,
finite element analysis and three-dimensional modelling as
well as mechanical and electrical integration software. New
products and upgrades of existing products are created by
highly qualified and experienced engineers, all specialists
in the varied technical disciplines of railway engineering.
The design, prototyping, testing, commissioning,
industrialisation and production processes are supported
by configuration management, project management,
quality control, SAP and non-conformance reporting. As the
process of manufacture is as important as the products
it produces, capital expenditure and maintenance
management are equal priorities to ensure modern well
serviced equipment, machinery and facilities.
Whether product development or capital expenditure, WE HAVE SEVEN FACILITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY:
every project tackled is meticulously analysed using • Salt River and Saldanha – Cape region
leading project management methodology. This involves a
structured approach in the use of the skills, tools, software • Bloemfontein
and techniques throughout the process, from • Germiston - Johannesburg
conceptualisation through initiation, planning, execution • Uitenhage
and control to close-out. Assisting this process is the • Durban
Project Support Office, which acts as a resource centre to • Koedoespoort - Pretoria
sustain the project management culture.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE OUR FACILITIES ARE EQUIPPED WITH THE LATEST
Transnet Rail Engineering is firmly committed to sound TECHNOLOGY INCLUDING:
corporate governance and accountability, having adopted • portal lathes
a proactive approach to risk management in line with the • laser measuring machines
King II Code of Corporate Governance, the Companies • CNC Axle lathes
Act and the Public Finance Management Act. Committees,
offices and departments within the organisation manage • CNC Vertical boring mills
corporate governance and risk, integrating the three
4 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
PETE THE PUNDIT looks at
TRANSPORT COST OVERRUNS,
THE COST OF INVESTIGATING IRREGULARITIES and
RIFT VALLEY RAILWAY REVELATIONS
GAUTRAIN OVERRUN “Of course it’s possible technically - whether 3’6” or standard
In a hard-hitting article dealing mainly with Eskom planning gauge, but at what cost? The point is - is it possible for such
and shortcomings, the Financial Mail warns : “major capital a service to be a commercial success? The SAR Metroblitz
projects like power stations routinely run over budget - just [Pretoria-Johannesburg in 42 minutes in 1984] was excellent
look at how the cost of the Gautrain has ballooned.” technically but a marketing disaster. A fortune was spent
developing it, then it was put into service on a couple of
Memories being short, interested parties may need reminding return runs a day for which you had to pre-book. I did hear
that the original estimates for the train were somewhere in that a large part of the patronage was SAR pass-holders.
the region of R2 billion, which climbed to R7bn at the time What was needed was a regular-interval service, with tickets
when the green flag was waved. That was four years ago, in available on the train - but that was light years ahead of SAR
2005. The current “ceiling” is R25.4 billion. thinking of the day! SA Rail [magazine] at the time likened
it to the proverbial local farmer buying a Maserati and then
This figure refers only to capital outlay of course. There is using it to take his pigs to market!
still performance to be taken into account – performance in
“real time” as they say. Unfortunately, the number of people
expected to use major new transport projects routinely run
below the consultants’ estimates. Thus there may well be
shortfalls in operating cost coverage to be met. An example
has been seen in Johannesburg very recently, where
patronage of the newly opened bus rapid transit (BRT) is
far below what was foreseen, and no financial provision was
budgeted for such costly daily running expenses.
Cape Town contrived a similar, though considerably more
costly, analogy. It turns out that the first phase of the city’s
BRT scheme is going to need some R3 billion more than South Africa’s Johannesburg-Pretoria-in-42-minutes Metroblitz express (1984).
was estimated by the experts. A senior official (who has
since “left the council’s employ”) appears to have taken “If anyone seriously believes they can make a TGV
the rap, but it seems inexplicable that his own seniors – all [French intercity high-speed train] or similar type service a
Very Important Persons – could have accepted, without any commercial success in a suburban or inter-urban setting, I
query, calculations flawed to this unbelievable extent. think they need to go back to their economics text books.
What might work is a fast (80-100km/h) high-quality light rail
This is not the end of this particular story. The wonderful type operation. It has been proved in many cities (particularly
new bus system – so Cape Town’s ratepayer millions were in Europe) that if you are going to get people out of their cars
assured - would be so viable that it would cover its operating onto public transport the service has to be very high-quality,
costs. Well it won’t, it is now conceded – not by a very long fast, reliable and competitive. Whether such a system could
chalk - just like its counterpart in Johannesburg. The man be a commercial success under South African economic
now in charge thinks about R125 million might just cover one conditions - someone needs to do a serious marketing study
year’s operating bills, but warns prudently it might be “quite first - then worry about the technical details!”
a bit” more.
NIGERIAN SENATE PROBE
Back in March 2001, in a discussion on the practicability of Misleading estimates have led many well-meaning
Gauteng’s proposed high-speed train, Dr John Middleton (in politicians to spend far beyond their countries’ means. Their
his private capacity – he happens to work for the World Bank enterprising (or should we say less honourable) counterparts
in Washington DC) offered these views: run up enviable bills at taxpayer expense – on expensive
Gautrain – R2bn, then R7bn, now R25bn. Meanwhile,
severely underfunded Metrorail has been plunged into
what its CEO terms “dire financial straits”.
6 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
motor cars, overseas jaunts and other luxuries not all that concerns in the Senate and raised the political temperature
closely connected to the jobs in hand. A third category of of senators is the purported indictment of some former
heavy expenditure – one that, like the other two, ought to be and serving public officers and their recommendations for
avoidable - concerns the subsequent official investigations various sanctions.”
into irregular politically-connected goings on. Like the
following example – involving the transport sector in Nigeria
– which must be costing the none-too-affluent citizenry a
Sufuyan Ojeifo, writing in This Day, published in Lagos,
reports: “The report of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on
Investigation into Nigeria’s Transportation Sector, which
indicted some former and current public office holders for
allegedly violating due process in payments of contract sums
and recommended them for prosecution by the Independent
Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), has raised serious
concerns in the Senate.”
An immediate logistical problem concerns procedural
precedent, in terms of which every senator must get a copy
of the copious report (and its annexures and accompanying
documents) before the Senate can proceed to consider it. Nigerian railway scene
“The totality of the report, as submitted by the committee, RVR CONCESSION STILL IN PLACE
can fill a large-sized ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bag. The feelers,” A late January joint governmental meeting convened in
Ojeifo writes, “are that this may dilate the process of Kampala to decide whether to cancel RVR’s concession
expeditious consideration of the report. But that, as learnt, resolved after lengthy deliberations that it would not do
serves the purpose of the committee: which is to, according so. Had it done otherwise, Jaindi Kisero pointed out in the
to sources, put the former and incumbent public officers Saturday Nation, the Transcentury group based in Kenya
allegedly indicted on the spot. Significantly, the indictment risked losing “an estimated $9 million it spent on acquiring
was not on the basis of funds embezzlement. its 20% stake in RVR as well as shareholder loans it has
extended to the consortium in the last two years.”
“Specifically, four former ministers of works, four former
ministers of state for works and four former permanent Meanwhile the East African press slammed the 25-year
secretaries in the ministry who were said to have awarded concession “as the most messy privatisation transaction
contracts without budgetary provision in the appropriation in Kenya’s history.” The thrust of the papers’ concern
Acts, designs and bills of quantities, were recommended appeared to centre around Transcentury’s representation
for prosecution for violation of the ICPC Act and other on the reconstituted RVR Board vis-à-vis that of Egypt’s
extant laws. Citadel, to whom South African-based Sheltam, with a 35%
stake in the RVR consortium, recently sold 49% of its interest.
“The committee also recommended that ‘ministers of Other RVR stakeholders comprise Transcentury (20%),
finance and the accountant-general of the federation and Tanzania’s Mirambo Holdings (15%), Prime Fuels of Kenya
other officials who authorised payments and released (15%) Babcock Investments Holdings of Australia (10%)
funds for the payment of contracts not appropriated by law and Centum Kenya Ltd (5%).
and/or released funds above provisions in the appropriation
Acts, be prosecuted for violation of extant laws.’ Early in February it was confirmed that RVR had paid
the governments of Kenya and Uganda Sh156 million
“It further recommended that ‘the director and other officials ($US2 million) and Sh78 million ($US1 million) respectively
of the budget monitoring and price intelligence unit (now in outstanding concession fees. The shareholders were
bureau of public procurement) who issued certificates of required to put in another $10 million (Sh750 million) by 10
award and payment for contracts not appropriated by law March.
be prosecuted for violation of extant laws’.
So for the present, RVR’s contentious concession continues
“In addition, the committee recommended that ‘the in force, though it was reported on 9 February that
engineering representatives and other engineers who issued Kenya’s parliamentary Public Investment Committee had
certificates of job completion to contractors when such summoned attorney-general Amos Wako, civil service head
jobs had not been completed according to specification Francis Muthaura, transport permanent secretary Cyrus
be prosecuted for fraud and accordingly sanctioned by the Njiru and his finance counterpart Joseph Kinyua to appear
relevant bodies.’ before it to explain why they saw fit to extend the RVR
concession, despite “overwhelming evidence that the
“It recommended that ‘the honourable minister of concessionaire had flopped in service provision”, coupled
transportation and the permanent secretary who approved with the committee’s specific recommendation that the
and transferred N1,210,500,000.00 into the private account concession be terminated “immediately.”
of the Digital Toll Gates Company Limited without due
process certification and in violation of the terms of
concession agreement be prosecuted and this amount
be recovered from this private company’. [The minister in
question, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke is the incumbent
minister of solid minerals development].
“There are so many other recommendations that are
damningly touching on the integrity of some former and Rift Valley Railways’ concession: Still in force (for now).
serving public officers. But the aspect that has created
8 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
“THE SUPERIOR” LOCOMOTIVE CONTROL UNIT
n The SAL system is applicable to any locomotive produced, n Ancillary hardware exchange within five (5) days.
such as GE, GM, Alstom, Bombardier and others.
n Applicable to all Multi-Engine (Gen-set)
n The Man Machine Interface (MMI) will be programmed to Locomotive Technologies!!
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n The SAL system is the most advanced, complete and
n The installation of the system will be adapted and designed cost effective Locomotive Intelligent Monitoring system
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on EMD & GE locomotives.
n Eliminates approximately 85% of relays in Electrical
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n MU, Control Stand, in engine room located sensors and
devices, wiring harnesses are supplied.
n Required transducers and mounting hardware
n Complete system support by phone, web conference or on
site by our Engineers.
n 20 years total system support.
SPEED MEASUREMENT AND LIMITING USING TELEMETRY THROUGH GPRS
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* SUBJECT TO LOCOMOTIVE MANUFACTURER
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SYSTEM BY MICROPROCESSOR COMPLETE ENGINE PROTECTION THROUGH SPEED,
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Tel: +001 (450) 424 4112 Fax: +001 (450) 424 4026
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10. AFRICA UPDATE
ALGERIA The entity became state-owned in 2001, on expiry of a 99-
CANADA’S DESSAU TO BUILD ALGERIAN LINE year lease held by a British company. Management of the
Canadian engineering firm Dessau has won a $US38.8 railway by Transnet, AIM explains, has been the subject of
million contract for the preliminary and final design for a discussions in which Angola was represented by the GRN
new 170km double track between Algiers and Constantine (National Reconstruction Office) director-general Vieira Dias
in Algeria’s north-east. The contract is part of a $US2.3 “Kopelipa”. The rehabilitation of the three railways in Angola
billion government project. The contract was awarded has been the direct responsibility of GRN, “which participates
by a consortium comprising China Civil Engineering in the China International Fund (CIF).”
Construction Corporation (CCECC) and Turkish partner
Ozgun Construction. Both freight and passenger services CIF, it is explained, ”has the status of general contractor”. In
will use the line, running at a maximum 160km/h. that capacity, it sub-contracted several Chinese companies
which are carrying out the reconstruction along different
Dessau’s team of 50 Canadian and Algerian engineers will sections of the railway. The work has been delayed by
be responsible for designing bridges, viaducts, underpasses “technical and bureaucratic” difficulties, aggravated by the
and overpasses, drainage structures, road and railway extent of destruction suffered by the line. It is now expected
reconstruction, signalling and telecommunications facilities. that the railway (part of which is currently operational) will
reopen throughout in 2011.
Founded in 1957, privately owned Dessau is the second-
largest engineering construction firm in Quebec. It is the fifth AIM says that “further privatisation” is planned, “and in that
largest in Canada and one of the 100 largest in the world, context, investors and Spoornet will become partners of the
with 4,300 employees. state. The management of CFB by Spoornet will initially be
made by a management contract to come into force by the
ANGOLA time of reopening the road. The privatisation process will
BENGUELA LINE PROGRESS likely open two years later.”
Rehabilitation of Caminhos de ferro de Benguela (CFB),
Angola’s line from the Atlantic to the Democratic Republic The report concludes: “The entry of Spoornet into CFB is
of Congo (DRC) went ahead during February on the section seen as a reflection of their desire to increase the prominence
between Munhango (750km from Lobito) and Luau (1,289km). which already has the organisation and operation of networks
The China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR-20) is of cross-border rail systems in Southern Africa. Italy’s Tor di
employing some 300 Chinese technicians and 300 Angolans Vale (AM 029) was the initially selected partner for the
on the project, which began in Chicala. CR-20 official Zhang CFB.”
Li Jun told the Angolan News Agency Angop that rails will be
in place as far as Luena (990km from Lobito) by May 2010,
when the first train is expected to arrive.
Tankcar supplied to Angola by the China South works.
TRANSNET TO RUN CFB?
According to the news agency AIM, “Spoornet” (sic) is
to manage the CFB Railway in Angola, once the current DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)
rehabilitation works are complete. No confirmatory SNCC (DRC CONGO) REHABILITATION
information has been received from Transnet at this time. AIM On Friday 13 November 2009, DRC President Joseph Kabila
says Spoornet is the main rail operator in South Africa, owned officially launched a “titanic” project – the reconstruction
by Transnet, “the holding company of the state” It adds: “At of Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Congolais (SNCC
a later stage Spoornet will acquire equity stake in the CFB”. – the state railway in the Democratic Republic of Congo).
According to the official report: “With 3,641km of track
CFB stands for Caminhos de ferro de Benguela, the including 858km electrified and 12,500 employees, the
1,350km railway running from the port of Lobito to Dilolo on SNCC network is equivalent to that in five West African
the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). countries totalled together: Camrail in Cameroon, Transrail
10 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
11. AFRICA UPDATE
in Sénégal and Mali, and Sitarail in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina The companies, China Communication Construction
Faso.” The infrastructure, both track and rolling stock, is old Company (CCCC), China Railway Group, Overseas
and “20 years overdue for investment.” The workforce has Investment Alliance (OIA) from India, and a Russian entity,
an average age of 55 years and salary payments are badly are also carrying out studies of their own, ERC director
in arrear to the extent of “some $US1.4 billion”. Hailemariam Desalegn told Addis Fortune. “The company
that will get the project will be the one that comes with the
Following an international tender process, the Belgian firm financing,” Hailemariam said.
Vecturis SA was selected to assist in rehabilitating SNCC.
“Their technical assistance mission began in July 2009, fully The government decided to build a new railway instead of
funded by the World Bank.” continuing with upgrading the existing line because higher
speeds would be possible. At present there is no train
The chief executive officer of SNCC is Freddy Strumane. service between Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa, and “only very
Vincent Tshiongo has been appointed chief technology occasionally” between Dire Dawa and Djibouti. Upgrading
officer. Norbert Lubanda is managing director and Faithful of the existing line was initiated at a cost of $US50m “but it
Mwamba is chief financial officer. was interrupted for quality reasons,” Addis Fortune was told.
In 2009, a $US5.25 million contribution by the government
and $14.2 million from the African Development Bank
(ADB) maintained stabilising activities at SNCC within the
integrated programme of reforms, led by portfolio minister
Jeanine Mabunda and Copirep - the Steering Committee of
Reforms. However, SNCC is heavily dependent upon financial
assistance from outside the DRC. The resources needed to
effect complete recovery of the railway are being mobilised
by a team led by minister of transport and communications
Mpita Mathieu. It is foreseen that $360 million will be needed
immediately – “at least” $160 million from the World Bank
and $200 million and “Cooperation Sino Congolese”. It is
hoped that the bank will assist further in meeting SNCC’s
The “massive” envisaged investment programme involves
the acquisition of 35 new locomotives, 100 passenger
coaches, 200 freight wagons, two electric substations and A train at Dire Dawa, an important station on the 781km Ethio-Djibouti Railway,
all the equipment necessary for rehabilitating some 700km of CFDE (Chemin de fer Djibouti-Ethopien). The 473km section west of Dire Dawa is
track on the sections Sakania-Lubumbashi-Luambo-Tenke- not currently in operation. Photo: Dietmar Fiedel
and Kimanda-Kaniama-Mwene Ditu. KENYA
CITADEL ACQUIRES 17.5% OF RVR
The financial plan also includes the rehabilitation of 350
existing wagons and 17 locomotives, and provision for
pension benefits for employees who will reach retirement
age within 5 years.
During 2010 it is hoped to start construction on the renewal of
track between Tenke and Kisanfu, where many derailments
occur. The overhaul of locomotives and 25 passenger
coaches is being prioritised. Other work on the programme
will be carried out in the period 2011-2014.
Nairobi commuter train. Daily Nation file photo
Citadel Capital, a leading private equity firm in Africa and
the Middle East, with investments totaling $US8.3 billion,
confirmed on 22 February that it has acquired a 49% stake
in the Sheltam company, the largest single shareholder and
lead investor in the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) consortium.
Sheltam owns 35% of RVR, holder of a 25-year concession
to operate the railway linking Kenya’s Indian Ocean port of
Mombasa with the rest of the country as well as Uganda and
its capital, Kampala. Effectively, Citadel Capital now holds
17.5% of RVR. “We will look to inject more than $150m in the
A former South African Railways class 32.000 (GE U18C1) diesel locomotive that
ended its working days on SNCC. Photo: Jean Dulez
railway over the coming five years,” managing director Karim
ETHIOPIAN RAIL STUDY LAUNCHED “The first of several investments we are exploring in East
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed Africa, it is a natural extension of our interest in African
by four foreign companies and the Ethiopian Railway transport and logistics.
Corporation (ERC) for undertaking a study on the planned
construction of a new railway to the border with Djibouti at a “The Kenya-Uganda Railway has immense potential waiting
projected cost of $US1.5 billion. to be unlocked through the appropriate deployment of capital
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 11
12. AFRICA UPDATE
and management talent,” Sadek explains. “We intend to Tete provincial director of transport Paz Catruza said that
acquire 100% of Sheltam, and to pursue other investments in reopening the line would speed production at the coal mines
Africa’s promising transport sector.” Transport in East Africa in Moatize, scheduled to start between the end of 2010 and
is among the costliest the world, that between Mombasa and early 2011. Equipment needed by the two largest companies
Kampala running at more than $0.13 per ton/km. A lack of holding mining concessions - Vale of Brazil and Riversdale of
operating capacity has resulted in rail capturing less than Australia – can now be moved in by rail.
10% of the region’s transport market.
Rail passenger transport between Beira and Moatize would
“An efficient rail network could, in time, bring East African resume shortly, Catruza promised.
transport costs down by as much as 50% due to the inherent
operational and fuel efficiency of shipping by rail,” Citadel
Capital’s managing director Amr El-Barbary says, pointing
out that the railway currently hauls just over 1mta of the
16mta being handled in the port of Mombasa. “New
investment and a fresh approach to management could see
that figure grow to 5mta within five years.”
MOROCCAN HIGH-SPEED TRAIN
Morocco’s new Tangier-Casablanca high-speed trains will
carry 8 million passengers per year, says Office National des
Chemins de fer (ONCF – the national railway of Morocco) CEO
Mohammed Rabie Khlie. With a capacity of 500 passengers,
each trainset will be “accessible to the average citizen” with
a departure every hour (every half-hour during periods of
heavy traffic). Infrastructural work on the project, scheduled
to commence in June 2010, is expected to be complete by
the end of 2014, with trains in operation by December 2015.
The Tangier-Casablanca section will form the first stage of
the country’s high-speed rail master plan, which envisages
more than 1,500km of new lines by 2035. The government
plans to promote economic and social development through
upgrading major infrastructure networks.
The project is being funded by the state (4.8 billion dirhams),
the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development (1
billion dirhams), French and European donations (1.9 billion
dirhams) and loans with favourable terms and conditions
(12.3 billion dirhams).
Tracklaying machine: Sena line.Photos: Antonio Teixeira.
FIRST TRAIN AT MOATIZE
On Saturday 30 January 2010, the first train to arrive at
Moatize in the western Mozambican province of Tete in more
than two decades was met by an impressive contingent:
members of the central committee of the ruling Frelimo
resident locally, Frelimo members of parliament, members
of the provincial and district governments, and a large
crowd of people. According to Moatize district administrator
Adelino Andissene, the railway will bring many benefits to the
province. He was sure, he said, that people living along the
line “will take advantage of this opportunity, by transporting
their agricultural surpluses to the commercial centres”.
New level crossing under construction near Moatize. Photo: Antonio Teixeira.
NEW GE LOCOS FOR NIGERIA
On 5 February, it was announced jointly by the Nigerian
ministry of transport and GE Transportation that the Nigerian
Railway Corporation (NRC) has taken delivery of the first five
new C25 six-axle diesel-electric locomotives. The balance of
the order for 25 units, intended for both freight and passenger
service, is to be shipped during the second half of 2010.
The locomotives were built by GE Transportation South
America, GE Transportation’s affiliate facility in Brazil. The
locomotives feature GE’s 7FDL12-cylinder, 2,500hp engine
supplied by GE Transportation’s diesel engine manufacturing
Sleepers laid through Moatize station. Photo: Antonio Teixeira.
12 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
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14. AFRICA UPDATE
TRL director general Narasimhaswami Jayaram said that RVR commercial manager in Kampala, Geoffrey
plant in Grove City, USA. The locomotives were designed Corporation (CCECC). While inspecting the work early in
two goods trains comprising 23 wagons would be conveying Tindimwebwa says the rates will still be lower than those
specifically to accommodate Nigeria’s weight per axle, February, Aliero was quoted saying: “I think it would be
various commodities including cement from the Tanga charged by road freight hauliers. “Our rates have been
loading gauge and clearance characteristics. wrong for anybody to call this project a white elephant. A
Cement Company. steady since last Octobera project that has no direct and the
white elephant project is before the fuel prices rose bearing
price ofpeoplespiralled,” he to serve.” He said the project is
to the steel it is meant points out, whereas the truckers
GE Transportation South America has built GE diesel-
TAZARA raise rates every time the fuelproblems of ordinary people in
meant to solve the transport price changes. “Also, we have
electric locomotives including AC44, Dash 9 and the C
TAZARAin Brazil since 1967, and has produced more than had Federal Capital Territorythe weakening dollar as that can
the a negative result from (FCT). “This is a project most of
Series TARIFFS UPPED
New fares applicable on the Tanzania-Zambia Railway came our rates are in that currency. Itat once to the city centre, the
transport 500 to 1,000 people has been losing value, while
1,000 locomotives, operating in over 15 countries around the
into effect on 1 July. Ticket prices on ordinary passenger the prices of our inputs have been going up.” towns.”
airport, the industrial park and other satellite
world. Altogether, approximately 17,000 GE locomotives are
trains as more than 50 Tazara Express went up 20% while
in use in well as the countries.
parcels and luggage rates rose 30%. Travellers from Dar- ZAMBIA
He explained that, to date, the FCT administration had paid
es-SalaamandTanzania GEKapiri Mposhi inLorenzo Simonelli
President in CEO of to Transportation Zambia now pay RSZ TAKEN TO TASK total cost which amounts to about
15% of the project’s
Tsh72,600 ($US72) in “GE experts performed an extensive
was quoted saying: first class on the Tazara Express, up In an editorial, The Timesamounts are to be paid soon “to
$US840 million. Further of Zambia takes Rail Systems of
from Tsh60,500 ($US60).
analysis on Nigeria’s narrow-gauge railway network, haulage Zambia (RSZ),project”.
speed up the the concessionaire running Zambian Railways,
requirements and traffic patterns to determine the best-fit to task for buying “brand new motor vehicles worth $US1.4
To Makambako (Iringa) from Dar-es-Salaam now costs
million”, while apparently falling short in service delivery.
Tsh29,000 ($US29) instead of Tsh24,200 ($US24). To Rujewa “While theAPPROVE TRL LEASE right to purchase vehicles for
IFC MUST company has every CANCELLING
(Mbeya) the fare is now Tsh29,900 ($US29) instead of operations, we feel their priorities are misplaced,” Economic
Following the decision by Rail India Technical and the paper
Tsh24,900 ($US24). Services Ltd (Rites) to offer for sale its 51% stake in the
consortium established three years ago to operate Tanzania’s
Tazara managing director Clement Subulwa Mwiya points railway, it is understood that the International Finance
“Gone are the days,” it laments, “when the railway network
out that the company’s policy is to adjust tariffs annually. was the most(IFC) will have of transport in Zambia. “It wasthe
Corporation reliable mode the final word in terminating so
High operational costs are being experienced, notably in the reliable and cheap, that the According toZambia’s favourite
25-year lease agreement. rail line was The East African,
wage bill and the continually rising cost of diesel. Tazara is mode of transport, offloading goodsisand to decide on the
published in Nairobi, “the government yet passengers in
upgrading its facilities at a cost of $US10 million, he says, remote areas potential legal battles at the international court
offer, fearing where roads were inaccessible.
and 18 locomotives are being rehabilitated currently of arbitration and problems with the funders of the aborted
“The failure by RSZ to provide safety and reliability has forced
UGANDA many Zambians to abandon rail transport in preference for
MAIN-LINE AT JINJA REOPENS the faster and more reliablethe shares in Tanzania Railways,
The decision to purchase road transport. It was hoped that
The main-line to Kampala from Kenya, closed near Jinja on when Zambiainformationwas concessioned to RSZ, subject
according to Railways supplied to the paper, “is things
14 May following the collapse of an embankment due to a wouldIFC green light, upon assurances from the government
to an change for the better.”
as to who is responsible for carrying the debt, amounting to
blocked culvert, was reopened to traffic on 16 June. During $US7 million with interest.
the of Nigeria’s new GE locomotives.
One four weeks that the line remained inoperable, freight was [RSZ inherited a sorely run-down system which is taking a
offloaded at Iganga and taken forward by road. According great deal of time and money to put right. The rosy past of
to Rift Valley the arrival(RVR) project manager Glenn Kleyn,
Speaking at Railways of five new locomotives at berth 19 railways in the country share was used asdays when it was
“The Indian firm’s 51% dates back to the a loan guarantee
quoted by port, Vision (published in Kampala) a new three-
of Apapa New Lagos, early in February, Nigerian minister called Northern Rhodesiafrom the IFC as working capital but
to secure $US44 million – but nobody will want to remember
of transport Ibrahim Isa Bio announced that 25 drivers are
metre diameter galvanised iron culvert has been installed, that.World Bank finance body disbursed only $7 million of
the – editor]
to provide adequateAfrica for training “to effectively manage
to be sent to South outlet for stormwater to drain into Lake
Victoria, about a kilometre downstream. A senior government official told The East African in Dar-es-
Salaam that, after eight months of delay, the government told
Kleyn said the repair work was being done at help improve
He was quoted saying: “These locomotives will mile 323. In 4 - 6 March 2009
the IFC it did not have confidence in the railway consortium’s
addition, the company isthe railway system of at mile 289
mass transit through investigating a structure movement management, ‘prompting IFC to hold back the rest of the
of goods and services and contribute to the economic
towards Busembatia. loan.’ The official said that IFC then made a feasibility study
development of the country. Government has started the ZIMBABWE and advised the Tanzanian government that
of the contract
“It (mile modernisation any immediate danger but for are
railway 289) is not in project and the contract we the
NEW NRZ SERVICE needed an injection of $US100 million,
investigating andhas been up designs,” he told the paper.
standard gauge drawing awarded”. more than twice the proposed loan, and needed Tanzania
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has introduced
[GE says the new locos were specially developed for Nigeria’s a new Rites commitment as securityChicualacuala, 500km
and weekly passenger service to to release additional
UGANDA gauge”. Successive reports speak of the standard
RATES INCREASE funds.
south-east of Bulawayo on the line to Maputo. The existing
Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has increased freight rates Wednesday train to Chiredzi has been rescheduled to leave
gauge project having been scrapped, but the minister seems
between Mombasa and Kampala from $US80 per tonne to
to think otherwise. - Editor] Bulawayo Tanzania on Wednesday instead of 21:00. Arriving
“Instead, at 14:00 told Rites to prepare a business plan to
$110. Former managing director Roy Puffet explained in July: at 04:00the extent of the returns at 05:00 needed to revamp
decide on Thursday, it working capital to Mbizi junction,
“The tariff adjustment was driven by continued upward costs
ABUJA LRT BY 2012 and railway. The from parties to Chicualacuala. the business
the continues two there failed to agree on Following a
of energy, petroleum products and steel. The price of diesel
The new light rail system in the Nigerian capital Abuja will 14:00when Rites projected that Tanzania Railways would only
plan departure, it runs back to Bulawayo, arriving on Friday
has gone up by 24% in the last eight months and there is
be in operation by 2012, Senator Adamu Aliero says. The morning.to carry 1.7 million tonnes per annum by the year
be able The Chiredzi-Bulawayo service retains its former
double digit inflation as well as dollar revaluation”.
completion date was advanced from 2013 due to good timing while thedays of thegovernment insisted that the line
2015, on other Tanzania week.
has the potential of ferrying 10 million tonnes, a stand-off that
progress made by the China Civil Engineering Construction created doubts at IFC about the whole deal.
Thermitrex (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 (0)11 914 2540
18 RAILWAYS AFRICA
RAILWAYS AFRICA 3 | 2008
March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
15. AFRICA UPDATE
“Hundi Lal Chaudhary, chief executive officer of Tanzania off projects, as well as the creation of investment funds for
Railways Ltd, told The East African that negotiations between venture capital.
Rites and the Tanzania government for the sale of the 51%
shares were ongoing but declined to disclose further details. Minister Zouari stressed the importance of major national
companies joining the spin-off programme, as this will boost
“MPs are now demanding that the government set a investment and create jobs. Minister Chelbi recalled the
timeline for termination of the contract as it is a burden on objectives in this sector focusing on doubling the number
the taxpayer, with the government subsidising Tanzania of spin-off projects created from 100 to 200 per year, saying
Railways on a monthly basis to enable it to pay the salaries that “according to investigations carried out abroad, the
of hundred of workers. chances of success of a new scheme will double if it is
created within the framework of a spin-off project”.
“Tanzania in 2006 concessioned Tanzania Railways operation
and maintenance to the Rites consortium for 25 years, with
the IFC providing the working capital. The seed capital from
the consortium was $US20 million and IFC was to provide
FUNDING FOR TANZANIAN-RWANDA STUDY
Tunisian push-pull train bound for Hammarmet and Nabeul at Bir Bou Regba.
Photo Richard Ågren.
ARMY TO REBUILD UGANDAN RAILWAY
Addressing the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)
at the Ugandan Parliament in Kampala, President Yoweri
Museveni said the poor infrastructure in the region needed
immediate attention. “The problem of infrastructure in East
Africa is a matter of survival,” he said, “especially electricity,
the roads and railway. If we don’t improve, it will lead us into
The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), Museveni
The African Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to announced, is to rebuild the railway network in the country.
provide $US8.15 million to finance the viability study for
the proposed new Dar-es-Salaam-Isaka-Kigali-Keza- He told parliament
Musongati 1,435mm gauge railway, which will connect that the UPDF had
Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. According to the East set up an engineering
African Community (EAC) development programme, the brigade and was
railway line is “critical to the reduction of multinational quoted saying: “We
poverty through regional infrastructure development.” The shall use them to
study will provide the governments of Tanzania, Rwanda build the railway. I
and Burundi with data and decision-making tools “to facilitate talked to the army
the mobilisation of financing, project implementation and engineers and they
railway management.” Diesel loco in Uganda.
said it is okay”. The
colonialists, he said, used “rudimentary tools” to construct
According to The East African (published in Nairobi), axle the railway still in use in East Africa today. By contrast, the
loadings of 25 tonnes are foreseen on the new line, with present army was in a much better position and possessed
locomotives “pulling 2,000 wagons (sic) at a time”. better technology.
TUNISIA Electricity power generation in the region, Museveni added,
AIR & RAIL “SPIN-OFFS” IN TUNISIA was too low to sustain development. He gave the assurance
Tunisair and Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens that even without foreign aid, Uganda could build its own
(SNCFT - the Tunisian National Railways) have signed a joint power stations.
agreement creating two “spin-off” companies. Minister of
transport Abderrahim Zouari; minister of industry, energy ZAMBIA
and small and medium enterprises Afif Chelbi; Tunisair ZAMBIAN RAIL ULTIMATUM
president and CEO Nabil Chettaoui, and Néjib Fitouri, SNCFT The Zambian parliamentary committee on government
CEO Néjib Fitouri were present at the signing ceremony. In assurances has given a 30-day ultimatum to the ministry
terms of these agreements, the two “spin-off” companies of communications and transport in which to stipulate the
undertake to create an organisational structure, to develop exact duration that will be required to complete the various
an annual programme fixing the number and terms of spin- railway development projects in the country.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 15
16. AFRICA UPDATE
On 26 January, committee chairman Chishimba Kambwili Track Term 1.2 units installed on locomotives, together with
said that in respect of several uncompleted rail projects, the six computer terminals located at the Harare, Dabuka,
government keeps giving assurances that they would be Bulawayo, Sawmills and Thompson Junction control
developed “soon”. Acting ministry of communications and centres. At these points, continuous visual display updates
transport permanent secretary John Chipuwa was before are provided on locomotive positions and speed. Accident
the committee. investigation is significantly assisted through the data
recording facility, by means of which train movement history
Projects listed by Kambwili included Nseluka-Mpulungu, can be replayed and examined.
Chipata-Tazara, Mulobezi-Caprivi, Kafue to Lions Den and
the Njanji commuter railway. Chipuwa told the committee During recent years, NRZ was forced to fall back on the
that the government wanted the Chingola-Lumwana project elementary paper order system of train despatching,
to go ahead but this was stalled because of litigation by a following “total collapse” of the railway’s comprehensive
prospective developer. centralised traffic control system (CTC) through widespread
Regarding the Njanji commuter line. He said that only one
bid had been received. This is under consideration by the CTC was originally installed by the former Rhodesian
Zambia Development Agency. Railways in 1951, at which time it was one of the first systems
in the world to do so along the entire length of its main-lines.
NRZ INTENSIFIES SECURITY
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has revamped
security standards to combat theft, vandalism and related
crime which has cost the organisation millions of dollars.
Following the graduating of professionally trained dog
handler security officers at a pass-out parade at Westgate
Dog Training School, NRZ increased its recruitment drive.
Security officers undergo 12 weeks of extensive training in
basic dog handling, obedience, guard-dog and obstacle
training handling and drill, kennel management and
Lineside scene in Zambia. Photo: Dietmar Fiedel.
Fuel storage tanks, copper warehouses and other facilities
ZIMBABWE which have been targets for theft and vandalism are now
GPS INAUGURATED AT NRZ accorded heavy security, augmented by dog patrols
The Global Positioning System (GPS) recently inaugurated searching for substances such as drugs and explosives.
by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) comprises Star
Tel: +27 (0)12 653-4595 PO Box 9375, Centurion 105 Theuns St. , Hennopspark,
Fax: +27 (0)12 653-6841 0046, South Africa Centurion, 0157, South Africa
16 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
18. SA RAIL NEWS
South African Rail News
TRANSPORT COMMAND AND CALL CENTRE Though there is awareness of Transnet’s “multibillion Rand
A transport command and call centre will come into operation investment scheme, Barloworld Logistics marketing general
in March 2010, to serve as the central hub of co-ordination manager Kate Stubbs said nobody perceives much in the
for transport operations during the forthcoming Fifa Soccer way of visible improvement – neither in operating nor in
World Cup. infrastructure.
“The centre will enable the Department of Transport Of the 377 respondents that participated in the survey
to maintain overall command, control and co-ordinate – 16% of them managing directors or CEOs and 13%
transport operations across the country, including host general managers – most feel “an urgent need for public-
cities and provinces,” transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele private cooperation in the freight rail sector at a strategic
told local organising committee CEO Danny Jordaan during and decision-making level”. An opinion widely held is that
a meeting held to provide an update on transport plans for the sector could do with significant private sector direct
the World Cup. investment. Stubbs was quoted saying: “There is a huge,
desperate need for public-private cooperation to improve
The centre will provide live, real-time information that infrastructure.”
will also facilitate quick decision-making and responses
to incidents. Travellers will be able to access relevant More than 20% of the survey participants indicated that they
transport information through the call centre and a central spend more than 10% of the cost of their goods on transport.
website. One of the aims is to ensure that visitors to the
country have a central point of call, where they can be TRANSNET LOCOMOTIVES: 30 YEAR AVERAGE AGE
provided with travel planning information and assistance. Transnet acting chief executive officer Chris Wells told
Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications on
South Africa is expecting approximately 450,000 visitors 3 February that the country’s locomotives are on average
to descend on the country for the football spectacle which 30 years old. Sapa quoted him saying that the fleet totals
kicks off on 11 June. some 2,000: “We haven’t purchased a new locomotive for
well over ten years, which has caused a lot of problems in
NO PLANS TO CHANGE SA GAUGE performance”. However he said, “By the end of March 2011,
There are no plans to change the gauge of South Africa’s some 10% of our rail fleet should be brand new. That is very
railways from the existing 1,067mm “Cape Gauge” to the 1.435 significant for performance going forward.”
metre “Standard Gauge”, Transnet acting chief executive
officer Chris Wells told Parliament’s portfolio committee on
communications on 3 February. He was quoted saying it
is not thought “appropriate” to change the network in the
medium term. “There has been a lot of discussion of moving
to standard gauge, which will allow faster speeds,” he said.
“We don’t believe it appropriate. Unfortunately, we are all on
the rail gauge known as Cape Gauge”.
While there have indeed been new electric locos very recently (and before that
numbers in the eighties and early nineties), there have been no completely new
main-line diesels since the last class 37 in 1982 – ie almost 30 years ago. Guy
Hausler took this photo of 37.100 in February 2007 at Dullstroom (on the Steelpoort
branch in Mpumalanga).
TRANSNET ON THE PORTS
“No plans to change the gauge” – Transnet acting CEO Chris Wells.
Photo: Richard Grönstedt Aerial view of the port of Richards Bay.
SA FREIGHT TRANSPORT HEADACHES “Our new port at Coega is well-placed to be the midway
A good 80% of companies taking part in this year’s between the large ships from the east to offload at that
Barloworld logistics supply-chain foresight survey said that port and then return back and with short sea shipping
under 10% of their goods are transported by rail. No less up the coast of Africa or inland to South Africa,” Transnet
than 46% of the companies surveyed thought they might acting chief executive officer Chris Wells told Parliament’s
use rail for more than 20% of their freight – if “adequate” communications portfolio committee on 3 February. Near
railway capacity existed. Nearly half the entities polled were Port Elizabeth, Coega is “well positioned” to be a trans-
unhappy with the service given by rail.
18 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
19. SA RAIL NEWS
shipment port between Asia and South America, Sapa GE AND BBBEE
quoted him saying. In December 2008, GE Transportation signed an agreement
with South African Broad-Based Black Economic
Transnet is cooperating with port authorities in Luanda, Empowerment (BBBEE) Mineworkers Investment Company
Angola, Wells told the committee, to assist in “congestion” (MIC), to establish the subsidiary GE South Africa
and “the utilisation of the Coega facilities in that regard”. Technologies (Pty) Limited (GESAT), allowing the company
to actively participate in South Africa’s social and economic
Plans are also under way to expand the coal port of Richard’s transformation in the rail industry.
Bay, which is operating at a capacity of 90 million tons per
annum but possesses the infrastructural capacity for only Commenting on the announcement of the contract for
70 million tons. “We are working with industry on planning 100 new GE locos, MIC executive director Tshidi Madima,
to increase that to 81 million tons in the medium term. The said, “We are delighted that GESAT has been successful
long-term view is it should be 90 million tons plus.” in winning this Transnet Freight Rail contract. This is an
excellent example of the type of participation in the South
NEW GE DIESELS FOR SOUTH AFRICA African economy that was anticipated in the creation of
Details of GE Transportation’s 100 new diesel-electric GESAT 12 months ago.”
locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) are as follows:
GE’s model C30ACi, the first AC diesel electric locomotive to
be introduced to sub-Saharan Africa, will have an engine that
delivers 3,300 gross horsepower (GHP) using an electronic
fuel-injection system that automatically supplies the exact
amount of fuel needed for optimal engine efficiency. The
locomotives will also feature GE’s unique AC propulsion
technology and dynamic braking. The first locomotives and
kits are scheduled to be delivered in early 2011; locomotive
assembly at Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE), using kits from
GE’s Erie plant and engines from that at Grove City, should
begin at the end of 2010.
GE Transportation explains that “the addition of these new
locomotives, which will be used to haul freight and coal, will
decrease life-cycle costs, improve fuel efficiency and reduce
emissions.” On 27 May 2008, Jacque Wepener photographed 34.058 at Willemsrus on the OFS
branch to Bultfontein. This GE U26C dates from the early seventies.
GE Transportation has an installed base of some 1,200 GE
locomotives in Africa some 900 of which are in South Africa. CASH-FLOW PROBLEMS AT METRORAIL
In 2008, the company points out, “GE Transportation took During January, Business Day reported, East Rand-based
South Africa’s Western Cape Orex line to the next level with Sinqobile Equestrian Security Services was forced to take
the longest production train in the world, made possible Metrorail to court to try to recover R2.4 million owed. It lost
through the LOCOTROL technology solution. This distributed the case, with the North Gauteng High Court decreeing
power system - a first in South Africa - allows longer, safer that non-payment is “a normal commercial risk”. However,
trains on the critical Western Cape Saldanha Bay iron ore the company has since managed to recoup R1.5m and was
export line. Orex is the only heavy-haul iron-ore railway line promised the balance “over the next couple of months”.
in South Africa and the second-longest iron-ore railway line
in the world at some 861km. It feeds the port of Saldanha “We supply about 450 security guards to Metrorail, of which
Bay, for export to a global market hungry for South African about 80 are mounted. So far we have managed to feed the
iron ore. Until now, the carrying capacity of the line itself horses and pay the guards,” Sinqobile director Andries de
has been a major barrier to increasing economy-boosting Klerk told the paper.
iron ore exports.
Member of Parliament Manny de Freitas quoted from a
“GE worked closely with TRE to develop a comprehensive letter written by B Sithole, described as a Metrorail financial
localisation plan that complements local strengths and manager in KwaZulu-Natal, saying that supplier payments
transfers world-class skills and technology where applicable. were being delayed due to Metrorail “experiencing cash
flow challenges in meeting its financial obligations”. “I have
more evidence of non-payment of invoices by Metrorail
and I am sorry to say it is mainly smaller black economic
empowerment companies that are being hardest hit,” de
Metrorail has serious cash-flow problems. During February, Malcolm Bates
A 2,750hp class 34.9xx GE type U26C, new in 1980, heads the Trans-Karoo express photographed the Strand Business Express (deputising for its Southern Suburbs
at Kimberley in June 1994. counterpart) near Plumstead.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 19
20. SA RAIL NEWS
PRASA LAYS IT ON THE LINE Freight Rail (TFR). The situation mirrors a long-standing
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) puts headache in the USA, where government-owned passenger
the blame for its financial woes squarely on underfunding train delays are routinely attributed to the separately-owned
from the Department of Transport (DoT), but also cites “poor freight lines over which they run. The difference in South
performance” by managerial staff Africa is that the same government owns and runs both
passenger and freight services, whereas in America most of
Prasa CEO Lucky Montana, in a Business Day half-page the tracks are owned and operated by private companies.
advertisement “open letter” to the Democratic Alliance’s
(DA’s) Manny de Freitas, said a due-diligence report on The local press has not helped anyone comprehend the
intercity subsidiary Shosholoza Meyl revealed that it needed complicated relationship recently contrived between the
about R1.4 billion annually to operate “effectively”. However, now separate state departments by sensational reporting
DoT provides only R450m. Prasa he explained is “grappling claiming huge delays to “luxury” trains when in fact the
with high operating costs and dwindling revenue.” early February delays affected trains that fell into anything
but the luxury category. As a TFR spokesman explained,
Most of commuter rail subsidiary Metrorail’s past deficits, the 10-hour delay affected an “economy class” service
Montana said, had been funded from the “huge reserves from Cape Town to Durban, “economy” being the current
that we have built over the years”. On the other hand, euphemism for what used to be called third class. Our own
Metrorail had not been allowed to raise fares for more than investigations suggest that a pantograph tangling in the
five years despite “ballooning” operating costs. “This simply Free State overhead started this particular train’s
means that Metrorail services have become uneconomical,” misfortunes. Many hours passed before diesel locomotives
he said, and liabilities related to pension, medical aid and could be sourced to rescue the stranded express.
staff leave remained “largely unfunded”.
The tourist industry is particularly worried about the
Asked by journalists whether adequate funding was being problems with Shosholoza Meyl’s Premier Classe, which
provided to Prasa, DoT said allocations are “in line with the promises five-star service. Thornybush CEO Nic Griffin was
medium-term expenditure framework.” quoted saying that while service on board is “impeccable”,
delays attributed to TFR would ultimately lead to the failure
Montana’s open letter, the DA suggests, is a “fairly ingenious of the facility: “The parastatal appears to be bogged down
piece of political communication” because, under the guise by poor maintenance and security, lack of infrastructure
of a letter to the DA, Montana has achieved “a methodical investment and weak management. We have chartered
and quite powerful plea to the minister of transport for more both the Premiere Classe and the Blue Train in the last four
money”. months at huge expense, but on each occasion the train has
run between three and nine hours late. The overseas market
Montana refuted claims by the DA that Prasa had wasted simply will not support this poor service. The worst part is
money. He was referring to the party’s complaining about “a that nobody apologises or seems to care.”
blatant wasteful expenditure of R584,810.92 by Metrorail for
a Women’s Day celebration held in August 2009.”
Certain managers at Metrorail, Montana said, had been
instructed to repay “wasteful expenditure” linked to the
Women’s Day celebration. The acting CEO of Shosholoza
Meyl, Viwe Mlenzana, was suspended late in January
pending the outcome of a disciplinary hearing on “serious
breaches” of the Public Finance Management Act.
Metrorail CEO Sisa Mtwa has been asked to explain his
“failure to manage controllable costs within Metrorail”, as
well as “poor train service performance”. Montana promised
action against managers in the engineering department
“who may have exceeded budgets for capital projects”
without obtaining prior approval.
Jez Smith photographed 35.214 at Beaconsfield, Kimberley, in January, resplendent
in purple- the new Shosholoza Meyl loco livery.
LATEST ON SIMON’S TOWN
There have been no trains on the 6.3km final section of the
Cape Town suburban line south of Fish Hoek since early
November, when unusually high tides piled heaps of sand
on the line and caused serious damage beyond Glencairn,
where structure beneath the track was undermined. Repairs,
certain to be costly, are unlikely to be completed for several
months. As far as Glencairn however (3.6km beyond Fish
Hoek), the track has been cleared, test runs were satisfactory
and public service was restored late in February.
Premier Classe train at Boughton near Pietermaritzburg. Shosholoza Meyl needs
about R1.4bn annually to operate “effectively”, says parent Prasa’s CEO, but DoT Fish Hoek resident Paul Kilfoil reports: “There has been
provides only R450m. At this rate, how long can intercity expresses survive? major congestion at Fish Hoek station, not only with the
Photo: Grant Fryer. buses going to Simon’s Town but also with trains jostling
for platform space in the station. Fish Hoek station has
SHOSHOLOZA MEYL BLAMES TFR four parking spaces for trains, but only three passenger
A succession of really serious delays to long-distance platforms. In the past, every second or third train went on
passenger trains recently – one involving a 10-hour late to Simon’s Town. So trains have been frequently delayed
arrival – have been blamed by Shosholoza Meyl on Transnet north of Fish Hoek (usually at the old abandoned Clovelly
20 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
A TECNOLOGIA SUPERIOR EM CONTROLE
n Sistema SAL pode ser aplicado em qualquer marca ou n Aplicável em locomotivas de múltiplos motores
modelo de locomotiva, como GE, GM, Alstom, Bombardier (Gen-set)!!
n Sistema SAL é hoje no mercado o mais completo,
n A Interface Homem Máquina pode ser programada em avançado e econômico controle de locomotivas baseado
qualquer idioma. em Microprocessador, incluindo monitoramento por
n A instalação do sistema SAL é flexível e pode ser adaptada
conforme os requisitos do cliente.
n Instalado e operacional em importantes ferrovias.
n Elimina aproximadamente 85% dos relés do armário
elétrico. (Sujeito a marca/modelo da locomotiva)
n Painéis elétricos pré-montados, bases, suportes assim
como cabeamento de controle é totalmente fornecido.
n Fornecimento dos transdutores e kit de instalação.
n Nossa engenharia fornece total suporte técnico por
telefone, web ou local nas oficinas.
n 20 anos de total suporte ao sistema.
n Peças de reposição tipicamente fornecidas em
5 dias úteis.
MEDIÇÃO DE VELOCIDADE VIA GPS TELEMETRIA GPRS
CONTROLE LÓGICO TOTAL E REDUÇÃO DE RELÉS*
* REDUÇÃO DE ATÉ 85% DEPENDENDO DO FABRICANTE
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22. SA RAIL NEWS
station, now a derelict, rusting hulk), sometimes for 10
minutes or more, if all three spaces in Fish Hoek are taken. RINGROLLERS HEAT TREATMENT EXPANDS
Only when one of these trains leaves heading north can Increased demand, coupled with the need to reduce lead
the southbound train move in. times to market, has seen Ringrollers, a DCD-Dorbyl Group
company, invest in new equipment and processes. “We
“Extending trains on to Glencairn makes a lot of sense, as embarked on a phased expansion programme in 2007 and
it will free up space in Fish Hoek. I cannot believe it will at the end of July 2009 we commissioned our new heat
ever be a permanent solution, because the line between treatment facility as one of the phases,” general manager
Fish Hoek and Simon’s Town is single-track all the way until Stephen Nel explains. “This is a significant investment and
Simon’s Town station itself. There are no sidings, so there is in line with our drive to provide better service and lead
is only room for one train at a time, unless they get parked times to customers.”
“in tandem” (which seems unlikely). Simon’s Town station is
like Fish Hoek - four tracks and three platforms, so there is Research into the heat treatment plant started five years ago
plenty of parking space. These spaces were used overnight because Ringrollers wanted to move away from the traditional
in the past to park trains in readiness for the early-morning oil quenching process. “The primary considerations for this
commuter rush in to Cape Town.” move were environmental and safety but repeatability, and
therefore enhanced quality, also played a role,” Nel says.
Ringrollers extended its facility by an additional 500m2 at the
end of 2008 to accommodate the new heat treatment facility.
To facilitate the movement of materials, a 20 ton overhead
crane was installed.
“We identified specialist international polymer heat treatment
systems company, Houghton, as the preferred supplier for
the polymer quenching technology,” Nel says. “Use of this
technology in South Africa has been limited, so Houghton
was the ideal supplier.”
Houghton assisted Ringrollers in identifying a company
able to design and build the furnaces and the associated
infrastructure and equipment. “They recommended Hi-Tech
from Turin in Italy as their preferred supplier. Apart from
being a leader in the design of high-efficiency furnaces,
Hi-Tech also has some unique material handing solutions,”
Nel says. An order for furnaces and materials handling
equipment was placed with Hi-Tech in March 2008, while
Fish Hoek station (“3 metres above sea level”), showing the three platform faces. Houghton designed the quench tank and the agitators, the
latter being essential to the polymer quenching process.
TRANSNET BRANCH-LINE CONCESSIONING
Tender notice in Johannesburg Sunday Times, 14 February “Previously residual stresses were problematic and the
2010: new plant ensures that rings are kept flat during the entire
process, which will allow us to deliver rings without residual
“Transnet: Request for proposal - provision of transaction stresses. This will ensure rings do not distort during the
advisor to branch-line concessioning. subsequent machining process,” Nel says.
“Transnet is seeking a transaction advisor to assist in the Ringrollers, the largest manufacturer of rings in the Southern
concessioning of branch lines to private operators. The skills Hemisphere, is ISO 9001:2000 and OHSAS 18001 accredited
and experience required covers a wide range of disciplines, and also carries accreditation from British Rail and Deutsche
including but not limited to project planning, financial Bahn, as well as approved supplier status from numerous
analysis and modelling, rail infrastructure and operations, domestic and international companies.
BBBEE and negotiations. “
[For the benefit of non-South African readers – BBBEE
stands for Broad-based Black Empowerment Enterprises.
Free State branch-line: Fouriesburg,253km north-east of Bloemfontein. A large ring being removed from the heat treatment furnace.
Photo: Jacque Wepener.
22 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
23. CONSTRUCCIONES Y AUXILIAR DE FERROCARRILES, S.A.
J.Mº Iturrioz, 26
FLINT CONSTRUCTION (PTY) LIMITED equips the KONKOLA COPPER
MINES (KCM) – KONKOLA DEEP MINING PROJECT (KDMP) – HIGH-
SPEED, HIGH-CAPACITY TRAMMING SYSTEM – 875m LEVEL
Flint Construction (Pty) Limited via its Zambian subsidiary Some of the salient features of the project are:
Railcon Zambia Limited was privileged to be chosen as the
preferred rail contractor on the above project by Konkola • Total length of haulage – 11.6km
Copper Mines (KCM) • Depth below shaft bank – 875m (2,900 feet)
• Maximum design tramming speed - 20km/h
Flint Construction (Pty) Ltd managing director Keith Flint • Maximum design load per train – 300 tons
believes the company was chosen on the basis of its long • Tramming capacity design limit – 6,000,000tpa
history of producing quality workmanship and maintaining • Permanent way – 40kg/m (continuously thermit welded)
the high safety standards set by KCM. Having started at on 12 ton pre-stressed concrete sleepers at 750mm
KCM in 2000, Flint rehabilitated some 17km of underground spacing on crushed stone ballast, all behind a concrete
haulage on the Konkola Mine in Chililabombwe and its retaining wall
sister mine Nchanga in Chingola, while the mines were still • All ballast and concrete stone required for the project
part of the Anglo American group. was crushed underground on site
• OHTE – suspended from hanging wall
Flint’s Railcon presently has a workforce of some 210 people • Installation of lighting system, mini subs and
on site of whom only 7 are expatriates - which is indicative transformers
of the good skills levels of the Zambian workforce on the • Installation of service pipes
As KDMP is essentially a “Brownfield’s” project with a
The project differs somewhat from the typical South African newer/deeper mine being constructed over the existing
underground track laying project in that Flint had to supply infrastructure, there have been severe logistical constraints,
its own locomotives and rolling stock, a lamp room for given that three major projects are all vying for shaft time,
250 personnel and change houses, as well as operating namely the shaft sinking contractor, the developing (mining)
and maintaining two crushers underground to produce contractor and Railcon, with KCM still trying to maintain a
sized stone. level of ore production from the shaft. With roughly 50% of
Flint Construction’s site office.
24 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
the proposed new rail system being installed in the new abandoned. Our understanding from Rail Systems of
haulage, the balance of the system will be constructed Zambia (the present operator of Zambian Railways) is that
in the existing haulage which still needs to be slyped to the section of track from Chingola to Chililabombwe is in
accommodate the bigger rolling stock. The existing haulage poor condition. Konkola Copper Mines’ management has
is presently being used as an access and service route with expressed interest however in using the line to move product
the first of the completed track being in the new haulage. from Konkola to Chingola. For anyone who drives the
length of the copper belt and is subjected to the heavy road
Due to delays in the new haulage development ends (mining freight traffic, this would surely be a welcome move.
side), only some 10% of the project has been completed to
date. Project roll-out should accelerate in the second quarter Of interest to anybody using the level crossing at Konkola
of 2010, as the mining contractor hands over completed Copper Mine, the rail installed by Lennings Rail Services
haulage to Railcon. when upgrading this section of track was purchased via
a third party from stock which Flint Construction (Pty) Ltd
Since the inception of the KDMP high-speed project, the KCM uplifted from the Hlobane-Natal Ammonium (Nyati) Colliery
management has elected to award Railcon Zambia Limited rail link in Northern KwaZulu Natal, which was closed in
the contract to maintain the entire mine’s underground rail 1998/1999.
system on no 1 shaft.
As a company, Railcon now has personnel working 24/7 on Some of the major supporting suppliers of major plant
all levels of the mine and has managed not only to reduce equipment for this project included:
the number of derailments substantially but also increase
tramming efficiencies on the shaft.
• Gallison – ore cars, rock flow tips and chutes
On a sadder note it is recorded that the surface rail system • Trident – locomotives and transformers
is no longer in use. Konkola used to receive acid tankcars • Thermitrex – Thermit welding equipment
(one every month or so) - the last being some eighteen • VAE – Turnouts
months ago. Though the feeder line from the Chililabombwe • Murganite – OTHE equipment
station to the mine is still in good condition, most yard • Duraset – Prestressed concrete sleepers
tracks within the mine’s premises have been lifted or
Hi speed haulage at 800m North. Hi speed haulage at 900m North.
Hi speed haulage at 1000m North. Hi speed haulage at 1200m North.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 25
26. GAUTRAIN RAPID RAIL LINK
GAUTRAIN CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS
PARK STATION TO ROSEBANK located at the bottom of the shaft continues. Construction of
PARK STATION the surface head-house structure is to commence shortly.
The station roof and concourse slabs as well as the platforms
are all substantially complete. Internal brickwork and Emergency shaft E2 (the Wilds, Houghton):
plastering is well advanced at both concourse and platform Excavation of the shaft to its final depth of approximately 50
levels. Good progress is being made with wall tiling, together metres is complete, as is the 236 metre adit (cross passage).
with mechanical and electrical (M&E) installations. Three of Construction works continue in the safe haven and technical
the six levels of deck slabs have been cast at the parkade rooms at the bottom of the shaft.
Emergency shaft E3 (Riviera):
Reinstatement of Wolmarans Street is complete and the road Shaft construction is complete. The head-house structure
was reopened to traffic on 16 January 2010. Preparations for on the surface is well advanced and M&E installations are
reinstatement of utilities and roadworks at Smit Street have in progress. Being a shallow shaft with direct access to the
commenced. surface, there is no safe haven necessary at the bottom.
Tunnel excavation from Park Station is complete, with Emergency shaft E4 (Houghton):
breakthrough to the tunnel from shaft E2 achieved on 11 Shaft construction is complete. The head-house structure
September. This significant milestone marked the completion on the surface is well advanced and M&E installations will
– in 2½ years - of almost 16km of tunnel excavation on the commence shortly. Being a shallow shaft, 16m deep, with
project. Civil works in this section of tunnel continue. direct access to the surface, there is no safe haven necessary
at the bottom
All tunnel excavation - a total length of approximately 15.5km
from Park Station to Marlboro Portal - was completed in ROSEBANK STATION
September 2009. Civil works and tracklaying within the Backfilling over the station-top slab and the adjacent cut-and-
tunnels between the portal and Sandton Station are complete cover at the northern end is in progress. Reinstatement of
and installation of associated electrical and mechanical Oxford Road above the station structure will follow in the next
infrastructure is well advanced. Within the remaining tunnel few months. Platform structures, brickwork and plastering
section to Park Station, civil works continue, including final are all substantially complete, with painting and plumbing at
lining, invert slabs, cable duct installation and walkways. both platform and concourse levels well advanced. Wall tiling
continues within the station. Elevators have been positioned
The underground works include the construction of seven within the station box and M&E installations are in progress.
emergency access shafts at intervals along the single-track
rail tunnel between Park Station and Sandton. These shafts
will provide access by emergency services personnel to the
tunnels below. At the bottom of some shafts, safe havens are
being constructed where passengers can detrain and gather
in the event of an emergency. Work is still in progress at each
of these shafts.
Emergency shaft E1 (Hillbrow):
Excavation and shaft lining at shaft E1 (80 metres deep) has
been completed. Work in the safe haven and technical rooms
Preparing to reinstate Oxford Road : backfilling
above the Rosebank Station roof-slab.
26 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
27. GAUTRAIN RAPID RAIL LINK
At the parkade structure on the corner of Oxford Road and substantially complete, apart from some finishing works and
Baker Street, columns and beams are being cast for the first landscaping.
floor of the parking deck.
Emergency shafts E5 (Dunkeld, Rosebank), E6 (Illovo)
and E7 (Rivonia Road, Sandton):
Construction is in progress on the technical rooms at the
bottom of these shafts, and also on the safe haven at the
foot of Shaft E5.
At 45 metres (15 storeys) below ground level, Sandton
station is Gautrain’s deepest. Station construction work is
well advanced in the cavern section between the south and
north shafts, as well as within the shafts themselves. This
includes construction of the various platforms, the technical
rooms and operational rooms, together with the escalator
and lift shafts and stairways located within the shafts. M&E
installations are in progress and escalators linking the
station entrance to the underground platforms have been
Testing of the electronic display boards at Marlboro Station.
installed. Tracklaying within the station is complete and tiling
of platforms has commenced. At the end of January, erection At Marlboro Station, concrete works, brickwork, painting,
commenced on the structural steelwork frame that is to structural steel, roof cladding and platform parapets are
form the station entrance structure on the corner of Rivonia all complete. Internal finishes are well advanced, including
Road and West Street. floor and wall tiling and painting, as well as glazing of the
external walls of the concourse and over-platform links. Tiling
Construction continues on the adjacent multi-level parkade of the platforms has begun. The electronic display boards
structure. are being tested, and ticket vending machines installed.
Track has been laid through the station and installation of
associated railway equipment is in progress.
Work continues at the bus terminal. On the parking deck,
kerb laying is in progress, together with construction of the
boundary around the station site.
Construction and backfilling has been completed on a series
of underpasses where the two pairs of railway tunnels cross
beneath the N3 highway alongside the Marlboro Drive bridge
- just to the north of Marlboro station, both carriageways of
the N3 have been reinstated to their original positions.
Reinstatement of temporary access ramps, closure of the
additional bridge span and landscaping remains to be
Tunnel from Marlboro Portal at Sandton Station. MARLBORO-DEPOT-MIDRAND
Viaduct 2 over the Modderfontein Spruit and two adjacent
MUSHROOM FARM PARK bridges over the future Frankenwald and Maxwell Roads are
The temporary shaft at Mushroom Farm Park was provided complete, together with the erection of noise barriers along
to give access for tunnel construction in both north and this section. Track and overhead electrification is in position
south directions. All work carried out from this shaft has on all three structures.
been completed and site establishment facilities have
been removed. Backfilling of the shaft has been completed, Midrand Depot
and the community park reinstated, landscaped and The administration buildings for both train and bus depots
upgraded. are finished and the installation of equipment for the
operations control centre in the train depot administration
MARLBORO PORTAL building has been completed. This will manage signalling,
Tracklaying within the dual tunnel section linking Marlboro telecommunications, automatic fare collection, traction
Portal to Sandton Station is complete and the installation power and overhead distribution, cctv cameras and
of associated railway infrastructure, such as signalling and maintenance, using high technology systems. The train
communications, is well advanced. maintenance workshops, including electrical and mechanical
installations, are all complete, as are other depot facilities,
MARLBORO PORTAL EASTWARDS including the washbay for cleaning the trains, sand-filling
Viaducts 1A and 11 crossing the Jukskei River and Far East equipment, stabling platforms, track lighting and entry gates.
Bank Drive are both complete, with track and catenary in
position. Construction is in progress on the bus maintenance depot,
located in the area previously occupied by the precast yard
Between Marlboro Portal and the N3, the various culverts, (now dismantled). Construction of the workshop, canteen,
retaining walls, the three bridges over Zinnia Drive and final vehicle wash facility, fuel bay and apron slabs is in hand,
layerworks are all complete and track has been laid. together with refurbishment of the bus administration
building - previously used as site offices for the precast yard.
Construction work and railway installations in this area are
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 27
28. GAUTRAIN RAPID RAIL LINK
The laying of stabling sidings at the depot, including overhead
electrification and all associated railway installations, From the Midrand area northwards, civil construction up to
such as the signalling system, is complete, energised and the Technopark area at Centurion is approaching completion.
operational. Main-line tracklaying and ballasting, together Drainage, layer works, duct installation, noise barriers and
with catenary installation, is proceeding northwards from fencing continue. All these works are well advanced along
the depot, using specialised, highly mechanised equipment. extended lengths of the alignment. Catenary masts have
Rails are welded into 216 metre lengths and transported been erected and tracklaying is progressing northwards
on specially equipped wagons. Once placed in position from Midrand Station.
on concrete sleepers, they are welded together to form a
continuous rail. VIADUCT 4
Viaduct 4, which crosses Rietspruit and Olifantsfontein Road
Tracklaying is complete from Sandton Station to the airport South, is complete.
on the east-west line and to Dale Road in Midrand on the
north-south line. The surface sections of these have been CENTURION AREA
energised electrically and are fully operational. 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, erected using purpose-built steel launching
girders and then stressed together to form the deck spans.
During January 2010, the final span at the southern end
of Viaduct 5c was completed, linking this to the balanced
cantilever viaduct at John Vorster interchange. At the northern
end of Viaduct 5c, where construction of the two remaining
piers is in progress, erection of the ten remaining deck spans
will continue once these piers have been completed.
Temporary butt-welding yard on the alignment between the Midrand and
Construction of supporting piers and abutments at both the
John Vorster and Jean Avenue balanced cantilever viaducts
Rolling stock assembly and testing is complete. Work on the in-situ balanced cantilever deck
Following a specialised construction and assembly process sections on top of the piers at each of these viaducts is in
at Bombardier Transportation’s facility in Derby, UK, progress.
Gautrain’s first shipment of two completed rail coaches
arrived in Durban on 29 November 2008. After further
deliveries, testing of the first complete four-car trainset
began during February 2009. The first 15 coaches, together
with body shells and major components for the rest of
the fleet, were manufactured in Derby, and all have been
despatched to South Africa. Following a successful skills
transfer programme, local technicians are working on the
assembly of the remaining 81 coaches at the Union Carriage
and Wagon Partnership in Nigel. By the end of January 2010,
49 vehicles had been delivered to the Gautrain depot.
Dynamic testing of trains has been under way during the
past year on the approximately 7km from behind Linbro Park
to Midrand, which has served as a test track. Test running
commenced recently on the airport branch.
North of the depot, Viaduct 3 over Allandale Road and the
adjacent bridge over the future K60 road are both complete, Aerial view of Centurion Station on top of Viaduct 5.
as are all other bridges, construction works and railway
installations up to Dale Road in Midrand, with only minor CENTURION STATION
The elevated Centurion station platforms are located on
finishing works outstanding.
Viaduct 5, immediately adjacent and parallel to West Street.
The concourse buildings and parking area are at ground
MIDRAND STATION level. The viaduct piers and deck spans on which the station
At Midrand, station building work is well advanced. Roof platforms are being constructed have been completed.
cladding to the platforms is substantially complete and is in
progress above the concourse. Interior tiling and finishing Erection of the precast platforms and parapets on the
works continue, together with M&E installations. Platforms viaduct is finished and platform roof cladding is well
are substantially complete and tracklaying is in progress. advanced. Station building works, platform access stairs
and lift shaft construction are all substantially complete.
Retaining walls, earthworks and drainage for the parking The structural steel curtain-wall framing to the concourse
areas are well advanced and layerworks and surfacing area is in progress. Finishing trades within the concourse
28 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
L’UNITÉ DE CONTRÔLE “SUPÉRIEURE” DE LA
n Le système SAL s’installe sur n’importe qu’elle locomotive n La quincaillerie subordonnée est échangée en moins de
construites tel que GE, GM, Alstom, Bombardier & autres. 5 jours.
n L’interface Homme Machine (MMI) sera programmée pour n Applicable à tous les technologies de Locomotive Moteur-
afficher n’importe quel langage. Multi (Groupe électrogène).
n L’installation du système sera adaptée et dessinée n Le SAL est le système le plus avancé et complet, et à
spécifiquement aux demandes du client. coût effectif de système de surveillance intelligent de
locomotive par microprocesseur et Télémétrie avec GPRS
n Installé dans les Chemins de fer de Classe 1 sur des sur le marché aujourd’hui!
locomotives EMD & GE il fonctionne avec succès.
n Il élimine approximativement 85% des relais.
(Selon le manufacturier de la locomotive)
n UM, pupitre de commande, des capteurs pour la chambre
du moteur, des dispositifs et les ensembles de filage sont
n Les transducteurs et la quincaillerie requis pour le
montage sont fournis en ensembles.
n Un système de support complet par téléphone, conférence
web ou sur place avec notre ingénierie.
n Un support total de 20 années.
MESURE DE LA VITESSE ET LIMITATION UTILISANT GPS TÉLÉMÉTRIES PAR GPRS
LE CONTROL LOGIQUE TOTAL DÉCROIT LE NOMBRE DE RELAIS JUSQU’À 85%*
ET/OU UN GÉNÉRATEUR D’ESSIEUX
* SUJET AU MANUFACTURIER DE LA LOCOMOTIVE
CONTROL D’EXCITATION DIGITAL (DURANT LA CHARGE ET LE FREINAGE RHÉOSTATIQUE)
SYSTÈME DE SURVEILLANCE INTELLIGENT COMPLET
PAR MICROPROCESSEUR. PROTECTION COMPLÈTE DE SURVITESSE DU MOTEUR, SURVEILLANCE
DE LA TEMPÉRATURE ET DE LA PRESSION
INTERFACE HOMME - MACHINE PROTECTION COMPLÈTE DES GRILLES
DE FREINAGE RHÉOSTATIQUE
SYSTÈME DE COMMUNICATION DIGITAL
AVEC UN PROTOCOLE OUVERT CONTRÔLE D’ADHÉSION ET PROTECTION DES
CONTROL COMPLET DE MOTEURS DE TRACTION
MESURE LA CONSOMMATION RÉEL DE CARBURANT DIESEL PROTECTION ET CONTRÔLE DES ÉQUIPEMENTS AUXILIAIRES,
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30. GAUTRAIN RAPID RAIL LINK
have commenced, while mechanical and electrical At the adjacent parkade structure, most of the final eighth-
installations inside the technical rooms continue. Earthworks level deck had been cast by the end of January. Parapet wall
and dynamic compaction of the parking area are in hand and installation to the perimeter of the structure is in hand.
layer works are in progress.
VIADUCT 6 OVER EEUFEES ROAD
At Viaduct 6, piling at the southern abutment is in hand, and
four of the six deck spans have been completed.
SALVOKOP AND PRETORIA
Near Salvokop at the approach to Pretoria, construction
of the cut-and-cover structure crossing beneath the Ben
Schoeman highway is complete.
Concrete and building works at Pretoria station are well
advanced, with work on the associated technical and
operational facilities in progress. Internal finishing work
continues. Platform construction is finished. The platform
and concourse roof cladding is substantially complete.
Curtain wall framing and glazing are approaching
completion. Mechanical and electrical installations have
commenced. Parking area construction has started in the
Hatfield Station under construction.
area formerly occupied by the McCarthy building, which has
been demolished. Refurbishing of the coach washing shed,
Civil construction work is complete along the whole of the
which has historic significance, is to commence shortly.
airport branch. This includes eleven bridges, three viaducts
and a number of other structures, including the platforms for
VIADUCT 7 a future station at Modderfontein. Remaining work is limited
The deck to the section that will carry the Gautrain lines across to final finishing and landscaping in some places.
Nelson Mandela Boulevard is well advanced and parapet
erection is in progress. Pier and trestle beam construction VIADUCTS 13 & 14
continues on the remaining sections of this “Y-shaped” Viaduct 13 over Centenary Way in Modderfontein and Viaduct
structure that crosses above the existing Metrorail tracks, 14 over Zuurfontein Road are both finished, with trackwork
together with placing of the M-beams for the bridge decks. and catenary in place on both.
Between Gautrain’s Pretoria and Hatfield stations, a number By the end of January, twin-track lines were in place along
of road bridges crossing the existing Metrorail railway have the entire length of the east-west route from behind Linbro
been lengthened, to accommodate the new tracks which Park to the airport station. Electrification was complete and
will run parallel. These include bridges at Ridge Road, operational.
Grosvenor Road, Cilliers Street, Bourke Street, Walker
Street, Walton Jameson Road, and Lynnwood Road. VIADUCT 15 & RHODESFIELD STATION
Finishing work continues on some of these. Extensive lateral At 1.5km, Viaduct 15 – now complete - is the longest on the
support work in the cuttings, together with the earthworks east-west line. It supports both the Rhodesfield and airport
and construction of retaining structures necessary to widen station platforms and carries the double track over the
the existing embankments, are in hand. R21/R24 road network. Tracklaying and overhead catenary
provision are complete.
Lateral support and excavation of the southern embankment The Rhodesfield station platforms are elevated, located
is complete, and construction of the station itself has approximately one third of the way along Viaduct 15, directly
commenced. Foundation construction and structural works above the existing Metrorail lines running between Isando
for the concourse and platform areas is in hand, together and Kempton Park.
with work on the concourse slab that will extend above the
6 – 8 April 2011
EXPO CENTRE – JOHANNESBURG
30 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
31. GAUTRAIN RAPID RAIL LINK
The track slab, platform structure and platform roof at O R TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT STATION
Rhodesfield are complete, including cladding. The station The platform structures, structural steel platform canopies
entrance, concourse and parking area are at ground and roof cladding are complete, including the installation
level on the eastern side of the existing lines. Concourse of tinted glass closure screens. Construction proceeds on
building works and platform accessways are substantially three sets of emergency access stairways at the ends of the
complete, escalators have been positioned and installation platforms. Finishing work within the station concourse shell
of equipment in the technical rooms is in progress. Internal is substantially complete, as are electrical and mechanical
finishes are well advanced and technical equipment and M&E installations. Platform tiling is to commence shortly. The
installations are in progress. Platform tiling will commence public address system, ticket vending machines and fare
shortly and installation of the glazed facades is in hand. gates have been installed and are being tested. Track
Work on the parking area continues and construction of the through the station as well as overhead electrification is
stormwater attenuation pond is finished. Tracklaying and complete, and trainset test running has begun.
overhead catenary provision are complete.
The station concourse is located at the eastern end of
viaduct 15 and is directly linked to the departures level of
the adjacent new central terminal building, one level below.
Rhodesfield Station on Viaduct 15.
Foundation construction and columns for a new Metrorail
station, immediately adjacent to the Gautrain facility, is
in progress and track has been laid. This will provide
commuters with a convenient transfer link between the Gautrain test running: trains arriving at the airport station.
Gautrain and Metrorail systems.
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32. 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.
FATAL DERAILMENT NEAR BRUSSELS at the site of the accident and were expected to remain so
On 15 February, two peak-hour Belgian electric commuter for several more days. As a result, no long-distance train
trains collided head-on near the station at Buizingen in the services were able to run in the immediate area. However,
Halle district, south-west of Brussels. Altogether 18 people a limited bus service was available between Brussels and
were confirmed dead, 55 badly hurt and 89 with minor Lille, in northern France, where passengers could board
injuries. London-bound trains. The high-speed service to and from
Amsterdam remained suspended and only a handful of
One train was from Leuven, travelling to Braine-le-Comte. trains ran to and from Paris.
The other was from Quievrain, en route to Liege. Altogether,
about 300 people were on board the trains. It was speculated According to press reports, it was Belgium’s worst rail crash
that one of the two ran a red signal. Light snow was falling since 1954. In a similar head-on collision between two
at the time. Extensive damage was caused to track and commuter trains near Brussels in 2001, in which eight people
overhead, resulting in widespread disruption, with many died, it was speculated that “language problems” between
long-distance services in Western Europe delayed. Trains to Flemish and French-speaking signalmen may have been a
south-western Belgium, Paris and London were cancelled. factor.
All services on the affected line as well as nearby lines, US RAIL HARD HIT BY WEATHER
including the Eurostar to and from London, Thalys services Railways in the north-east of the United States were
from Paris, and trains to south-western Belgium, were brought to a halt in early February by the worst weather in
cancelled for the day due to the extent of the wreckage. decades. Washington’s metropolitan system closed down
all surface portions of its system, retaining service only on
the underground sections. Amtrak cancelled 18 intercity
trains between Washington and New York, and also between
Washington and various destinations in the south. Maryland
also reported major disruptions in its metro subway system.
BUSINESS CLASS TRAINS ATTACKED
Windows were smashed when the Pretoria-Johannesburg
“Tshwane Business Express” was stoned at Kempton Park,
apparently because it was given priority over ordinary
Metrorail commuter trains following a power failure. In
another incident, angry commuters forced their way into
the Business Express when there were problems with the
regular suburban trains, which were running late. According
to a press report, they “packed the Business Express like
Services were further dislocated when drivers embarked
on wildcat strike action, alleging the accident was due to
“poor working conditions”. By 17 February, international rail
services to and from Belgium were still disrupted though
local lines were running almost normally. Eurostar said
the emergency services and investigation team were still Metrorail’s Business Express.
32 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
33. MISHAPS & BLUNDERS
FATAL DRIVE OFF CAPE TOWN BRIDGE ONTO RAILWAY purposes and unique to the railways. If found at a scrap
On 7 February, two men in a bakkie travelling on the N1 in yard, the police are immediately aware that it is stolen.
the direction of Cape Town are thought to have swerved Cunning thieves confine their attention to the ungrooved
to avoid hitting a vagrant. The vehicle hurtled through a feeder cables.
large gap in a bridge railing near the Joostenberg Vlakte
off-ramp and flew through the air for several metres before STELLENBOSCH CYCLIST SURVIVES SPAT WITH TRAIN
landing on its roof on the main-line electric railway. Both A 20-year-old University of Cape Town student from America
men are believed to have died instantly. According to a was hit (from behind) by a Metrorail commuter train near
press report: “The vehicle was completely squashed by the Stellenbosch. She was cycling with friends at a crossing
impact and rescue workers had to cut the bodies out of the near Lynedoch about 11:00 on 6 February. Somehow she
mangled wreckage.” failed to see the train pulling away from the station.
SANTA FE: 22 OFF Tasso Steyn, head of operations and logistics at the
On 18 February, 22 wagons in a freight train on the Burlington Stellenbosch Fire and Rescue Department - the first rescue
Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) railway derailed near the city worker to arrive, along with a paramedic – said: “She’s really
hall in Santa Fe (New Mexico, USA). Ten were tankcars, very lucky. I’ve never in my life met someone who was hit
some of which were carrying propane. Two tankcars were by a train and lived to tell the tale.” The student sustained a
punctured, spilling an “asphalt-based oil” and solid waste, badly broken arm in the accident, but no other injuries.
and residents in the area were evacuated as a precaution.
The city’s mayor says he is concerned at the speed of In a November 2009 derailment at Pietermaritzburg station,
trains through the municipality, recalling that 12 wagons three electric locomotives overturned and 18 wagons left
of the Union Pacific Railroad derailed in August 2009, only the rails, causing extensive damage to track and overhead
10km to the west of the present incident. The cargo included infrastructure. Every line through the station was affected,
toxic chemicals. blocking all traffic on the KwaZulu-Natal main-line. During
cleanup operations, two rerailed wagons ran away and
The municipality received a letter some years ago, in which derailed further down the line. After 24 hours’ work, one track
BNSF said it intended to increase train speed through the was reopened and traffic movement resumed.
town to 90km/h. BNSF spokesman Joe Faust told the
press that rail speed limits are set by the Federal Railroad
Administration, but pointed out that trains do not necessarily
travel at this figure.
CAR ABANDONED ON TRACKS: DRIVER JAILED
A resident of Beaver Dam, Kentucky, who drove onto the
railway on 29 January, abandoned her vehicle when it
became stuck on the track. Within minutes it was hit by a
train. Kentucky State Police arrested 37-year-old Christina
Moore, charged her with DUI (driving under the influence)
and found accommodation for her in the Ohio County Jail.
Three months after the accident at Pietermaritzburg, derailed wagons still litter
Eight empty Union Pacific wagons went off the line during shunting operations
in Salt Lake City, Utah, early one day in November.
WARRENTON DERAILMENT DIVERTS BLUE TRAIN
On 11 February, the Blue Train and two other Cape main-
line passenger expresses were diverted via Bloemfontein
due to a goods train derailment at Warrenton, 70km north
of Kimberley. The Blue was held for some time at
Hennenman, 42km south of Kroonstad, due to catenary
theft. Eventually diesel locomotives took it forward.
During the previous week, catenary theft occurred between
Hennenman and Geneva, also between Whites and
Welgelee, affecting both Up and Down lines. In the Bosrand
area, wires were stolen on the Up line.
According to our correspondent, the thieves avoid taking Vegetation growing through wagons derailed at Pietermaritzburg last November.
the actual contact wire which is grooved for attachment Both photos: Grant Fryer.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 33
34. MISHAPS & BLUNDERS
RODENT’S MEAL DELAYS 99 UK TRAINS
During January, a rodent that chewed through a one-inch
high-voltage cable on Britain’s west coast main-line delayed
99 trains. Twenty services had to be cancelled. Network
Rail has embarked on a two-year program to strengthen the
railway’s rodent defence system by laying armoured steel
[The journalist who reported this commented: Maybe some
cats would be a cheaper option! – Editor]
INDIAN DERAILMENTS FOLLOW BLASTS
On 10 February, rail lines were blown up in India’s
Sundargarh district for the second time in 48 hours, derailing
eight wagons of a goods train. The rebels responsible are
fighting for communist rule in a number of Indian states. On
8 February, the line was blown up between Bhalulata and
Jareikela stations, derailing two wagons of a goods train,
disrupting train services between Howrah and Mumbai. The
Utkal Express, Mumbai-Howrah Mail, Azad Hind Express, Five loaded coal wagons came off the track on 12 November in Richmond,
Gitanjali Express, Ahmedabad Express, Sambaleswari Virginia. Amtrak passenger service between Newport News and Richmond
Express and Tata-Alleppey Express were all halted by the was disrupted.
incident, according to the Times of India
WEATHER CLOSES PERUVIAN LINE EUROSTAR’S CHRISTMAS BREAKDOWNS
Peru’s popular tourist railway to Machu Picchu is to be Kevin Smith, reporting in the International Railway Journal
closed for at least two months following torrential rain and (IRJ), has explained what went wrong beneath the English
mudslides. Late in January, many tourists were stranded after Channel on 18 December:
the line was washed away in eight places. Though the line
is privately owned and operated, the government is to help “Extreme weather conditions in northern France caused
with repairs. The train to the city of Cuzco is the only means five trains to malfunction inside the tunnel that evening. A
of transport on the last leg of the trip to the Machu Picchu ‘unique’ fine and dry snow is believed to have penetrated
ruins, and closure of the line and the resultant decrease in the power cars’ door screens and seals before melting in
tourist traffic could cost Peru’s economy as much as $US800 the tunnel’s 25oC environment and interfering with the
million, equivalent to 0.63% of gross domestic product. trains’ electrics.
TIED TO LINE: LOSES LEG “Problems escalated while the 19:37 Eurostar service from
Carolyn Frost, editor of The Bolander (Western Cape) was Disneyland, the first failure, was removed from the tunnel
outraged. Maybe you will be too: “The inhumane dumping of by special Eurotunnel diesel locomotives. With only one
a pregnant dog, found tied to railroad tracks near Wellington line through the tunnel in operation, snow collected on the
last Friday, has resulted in a wave of outrage nationally (and roofs of four subsequent trains while they were held open to
it wouldn’t surprise me if it has made international ripples the elements at Calais. They also broke down shortly after
as well). It defies comprehension that a person could take entering the tunnel.
(presumably) a pet, and try to solve an unwanted pregnancy
in this heinous manner. “Described by both Eurostar and Eurotunnel as an
‘unprecedented event in the 15 years of Channel Tunnel
“The two people who discovered the hapless dog (having rail services,’ 1,364 passengers on two of the incapacitated
just come from doing volunteer work at the local SPCA), trains were eventually evacuated through the service tunnel.
rescued her moments before another train thundered over Thousands more passengers were left waiting at London
the spot where she had been tethered. One of her front legs St Pancras, Brussels and Paris as 146 Channel Tunnel train
had already been severed, but other than that, she was services, capable of carrying 700 passengers each, were
intact. suspended over the next three days (19-21 December).
“Fortunately she’s in good hands - a private vet in Wellington “After the trains were tested to ensure their suitability to
is seeing to her wellbeing and restoration to health. The run, limited operations were instituted between 20 and 24
National Council of SPCAs has emphasised that if an animal December. No new tickets were issued, and many travellers
is no longer wanted, it can be brought to them with no were advised to stay away as Eurostar attempted to clear the
questions asked.” backlog of frustrated passengers hoping to complete their
journeys in time for Christmas.
“Many questions still remain unanswered,” IRJ’s Smith
continues, “about exactly what happened that evening
and why, and whether the response of Eurostar staff to
the breakdowns, which has been publicly criticised by
Eurotunnel officials, was appropriate.
“With a report on the incident from an independent
inquiry, headed by former Eurotunnel commercial director
Christopher Garnett, expected to be published by the end
of January, senior press officer for Eurostar communications
Richard Holligan declined to comment on accusations from
This previous derailment at Pietermaritzburg station occurred on 3 April 2007.
Eurotunnel that the response of train staff was inadequate
and that safety rules were ignored.
34 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
35. MISHAPS & BLUNDERS
“Holligan did, however, admit that the train’s ‘winterisation’ “Keefe says that it took approximately 30-60 minutes for
system failed and that modifications have since been the emergency evacuation procedure to be completed
made to prevent similar breakdowns in the future. He because only two doors were used to exit the train. He was
also defended Eurostar’s response to the situation and though critical of Eurostar staff who allowed passengers
the treatment of the stranded passengers. The company on one of the trains to take their luggage with them during
announced on 19 January that it would pay up to £10 million the evacuation. This he says inevitably delayed the process
in compensation to around 100,000 passengers caught up and caused further confusion at Folkestone when a bag
in the fiasco, including a full refund, additional free journey, check was undertaken by police as passengers were
£150 in cash and any reasonable expenses.” transferred to an unstaffed Eurostar train to complete their
journey to St Pancras.
‘While the disruption was ongoing, passengers without
a place to stay who were away from home were able to ‘We were supposed to evacuate people, not suitcases,’ Keefe
claim for a three-star hotel and reasonable out-of-pocket says. ‘There were 640 people on that train, all situated in a
expenses,’ Holligan says. ‘We ensured we took care of our confined space. The consequences of that were increases
most vulnerable passengers and repatriated 7,200 using in the amount of time it took people to get off the train. The
chartered coaches and ferries. We were consistent in our last thing we wanted was for cross passengers to be held up
message throughout the disruption - that if people did not as people carried their luggage up and down stairs, which
have to travel they should not, and that they would receive can be enormously difficult.’
an exchange or refund of their tickets.’
“Keefe says that Eurotunnel has cooperated fully with the
“While Eurostar oversaw the handling of passengers inquiry, including holding regular meetings with Garnett
during the incident, Eurotunnel, as the tunnel operator, and, like Eurostar, submitted a log of the evening’s events,
was responsible for the technical aspects of the incident. It including all the information about the breakdown of the
presided over the rescue operation, including the removal trains and the response of staff. As the operator awaits details
of each of the Eurostar trains, and worked closely with of the inquiry’s findings, he says that Eurotunnel hopes any
emergency services personnel who led the passenger recommendations made will prevent a similar incident in the
evacuation process. future.”
‘It is in everyone’s interests to find out what happened and
why Eurostar trains broke down to prevent this from
happening again,’ Keefe says. ‘Eurostar is our biggest
customer so it is not in our interest for them to be unable to
provide an adequate service for passengers.’
- Kevin Smith, reporting in the International Railway
Journal (IRJ). www.railjournal.com
AMTRAK STUCK IN SNOW
At about 02:40 on Friday 5 February, Amtrak’s Capitol Limited
- bound for Chicago from Washington with 115 passengers
- made an unscheduled stop outside Connellsville,
Pennsylvania, a former coal-mining town 91km south-east
of Pittsburgh. This followed a “powerful mid-Atlantic storm”
that grounded flights, shut down highways, and left downed
trees and power lines blocking the line. There was a further
problem: the crew had worked its maximum allowable
hours, but highway closures prevented replacements from
reaching the train.
Exceptionally bleak weather was a challenge to UK train operations at Christmas.
The coaches had heat, electricity and food to last until
“Spokesperson for Eurotunnel John Keefe said that it Saturday lunch. After that, Amtrak sent out to the nearest
took longer than expected to implement the emergency Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant, which supplied dinner
evacuation procedure because the five trains broke down for the passengers. The dining car chef meanwhile stocked
almost simultaneously with each having to be removed one up at a local grocery.
at a time.
Some distance behind the passenger express, a freight train
However, he dismissed claims made in some media outlets derailed in Cumberland, Pennsylvania.
that people were stuck in the tunnel for 15 hours as ‘rubbish’
saying that such estimates of time might only be contrived
from overall delays of the trains travelling between Paris and
“Keefe says that an evacuation is only considered ‘when
conditions on the train are no longer sustainable for
passengers,’ and that every effort was made to restore
power on the trains before passengers were removed.
‘On the second Eurostar that broke down at 21:40 GMT,
those passengers were only stopped in the tunnel for around
an hour and a half before the evacuation process began.
The driver initially tried to repair the train with the technical
procedures on board. When they then lost power just after
23:00, the driver requested evacuation at that stage.’ Amtrak passengers at a station stop in the Rockies.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 35
36. MIDDLE EAST UPDATE
Middle East Update
SAUDI HARAMAIN PROJECT ON TRACK total high-speed investment by 2010 is seen at almost $12
The Haramain railway project is on track, the Saudi Railway billion,” Kantarci says.
Organisation (SRO) says, following the completion of
procedures to invite tenders to begin the second and final DUBAI METRO CARRIES 7M IN 4 MONTHS
phase of the project. This covers the construction of the The Dubai Metro carried 7,592,066 passengers in the four
450km electric railway, signal and communication systems months following its launch in September 2009, according
and the supply of high-speed trains, as well as operation to the latest statistics released by the Roads and Transport
and maintenance of the line. A spokesman said SRO Authority (RTA).
expected to receive technical and financial offers from five
prequalified consortia. Ramadan Abdullah, director of the rail operation department
at the rail agency, said Dubai Mall station opened on 3
MAJOR TURKISH RAIL INVESTMENT January, one day before the official inauguration of the
Torkiye Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryollari (TCDD – the Turkish tallest tower in the world. Ramadan said the Mall of the
State Railway) plans to invest about $US12 billion over the Emirates was the most used station, recording 1,265,646
next decade in constructing its high-speed rail network, a passengers between 9 September 2009 and 1 January
major aim being to shift more traffic off the roads. 2010. The second most utilised station was Khalid bin Al
Waleed with 1,111,301. Al
Ittihad Station followed
next with 1,007,564, Al
Rashidiya with 766,908,
Nakheel Harbour and
Tower Station with
766,472, Deira City
Centre with 749,930,
Financial Centre with
652,149, Al Rigga with
539,692, Al Jafiliya with
407,878, Airport Terminal One of the Dubai metro’s
3 with 294,004 and Dubai impressive stations.
Mall with 30,522.
The Metro has experienced high usage on Fridays, official
holidays and public events such as the two Eids and
National Day celebrations.
SAUDI LRT PLANS
The Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), Saudi Arabia, is
planning to launch tenders for the construction of a $US3
billion, 39km light rail network early in 2010.
The system is to be built in two phases, in the form of two
separate lines, and is scheduled for completion by 2017.
The first will extend 25km north to south with 23 stations.
The second, 14km, will run east-west with 13 stations.
Construction has started, with site clearing and excavation
for both lines already done.
Turkey’s high-speed lines: existing and planned. Map courtesy Railway Gazette
International. Consultancy teams working on the project include Beirut-
based Dar al-Handasah, France-based Semaly, Omrania
Board director of TCDD’s vehicle-production unit Muammer and Associates of Saudi Arabia and Canada-based IBI
Kantarci says rail currently carries 3% of passenger traffic Group. In November 2009, a $US163 million contract for the
and 5% of freight traffic. The country’s first high-speed supply of rolling stock was awarded to Compañía Auxiliar
railway, a $US4 billion electrified double line that links the de Ferrocarriles (CAF) of Spain.
capital Ankara to the western city of Eskisehir, opened in
March 2009. Construction of a further high-speed link (from AMBITIOUS ISRAELI TRANSPORT PLANS
Eskisehir to Istanbul, costed at $1.27 billion) has begun. A The lack of fast, efficient transport from Tel Aviv to other
Chinese consortium won the tender. Altogether, a 2,297km parts of Israel has long been recognised as hampering
high-speed network is planned, representing an investment the country’s economic growth. The government, it is
of $10.4 billion. “Together with 74 items of rolling stock, the understood, is expected to announce an ambitious
/ / /
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38. MIDDLE EAST UPDATE
programme shortly that will involve spending some $US13.5 integrated public transportation networks,” the Saudi firm
billion on roads and railways over the next 20 years. said in a statement on the bourse website.
Existing train services are good along the heavily-populated The two firms are to bid for projects in Saudi metropoles
coast, but inland the situation is very different. The new such as Mecca, Riyadh and Medina as well as in cities that
line to Jerusalem, originally scheduled to open in 2013, is are under construction.
unlikely to be operational before 2018 at the earliest. The
light rail system in that city is running about four years TURKEY TO IRAN TO PAKISTAN
behindhand. Turkey and Pakistan have agreed to a $US20 billion
upgrading of a lengthy international rail route to improve
BOSPHOROUS TUNNEL freight transport between the two countries as well as on
Torkiye Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryollari (TCDD – the Turkish to Europe. The five-year scheme aims to cut travel time
State Railway) is seeking consultants to analyse options between Islamabad and Istanbul via Tehran from 11 days or
for freight traffic that will run between Europe and Asia more to three or four. The existing 6,566km track requires
through the newly constructed Marmaray tunnel beneath considerable upgrading, comprising 1,990km in Pakistan,
the Bosphorus, the waterway connecting the Mediterranean 2,570km in Iran and 2,006km in Turkey.
to the Black Sea.
An August 2009 container train trial trip from Islamabad
IRAN-IRAQ LINK took two weeks to reach Istanbul, running via the south-
A new 51km railway linking Khorramshahr in south-western western Pakistani province of Balochistan, then Iran.
Iran with the southern Iraqi city of Basra is under construction. Islamabad hopes it will be possible to start passenger
Rahahane Djjomhouriye Eslami Iran (RAI – the Islamic Iranian service on the route.
Republic Railways) director general for international affairs
Abbas Nazari told the Mehr news agency on 30 January $US3BN IRAQI RAILWAY PROJECT
that nearly 90% of the first phase of the project inside The Iraqi transport ministry is to invite foreign companies
Iran (about 16km) has been completed. He said the to build a $US3 billion rail network around Baghdad. It
project will allow for improved travel routes and transport intends to revive a 1980s plan by an Italian company to
of goods between Iraq and the Persian Gulf, Afghanistan build a loop line around the city, and construct two principal
and Pakistan. passenger stations.
RATP TO ASSIST SAUDI ARABIA Head of the state railway’s projects department Hilal al-
The Saudi Public Transport Company (Saptco) has teamed Quraishi, says the work will take four years: “It is a huge
up with an affiliate of France’s Regie Autonome des project. It will connect all the lines heading to the provinces
Transports Parisiens [RATP] to bid for public transport and neighbouring countries. Freight trains will not enter
projects, it has been announced. On 30 January, Saptco Baghdad itself but load and unload a short distance south
signed a “strategic cooperation agreement” with RATP of the capital at a dry port.”
Developpement that would “enhance the two firms’
competitiveness in operating and the maintenance of
integrated public transportation networks.”
In its statement, Saptco added that this “is in preparation
for existing and future opportunities and projects in the
kingdom and in Gulf countries which are witnessing a
growing development in the field of public transportation.”
CAF of Spain has supplied 14 light rail vehicles for the new 11km tramway in
Antalya, a Turkish town on the Mediterranean. The line connects at Ismetpasa
with the city’s original tram system.
Two main passenger stations will be built as part of the
project, one in the west and one in the east of Baghdad.
The planned capacity of the network will be 23 million
The Saudi Railways Organisation has ordered eight 200km/h diesel multiple- passengers per year and 46 million tonnes of freight.
unit sets from Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles SA (CAF) in Spain.
DUBAI AIMS TO UP RAIL’S MARKET SHARE
Saudi Arabia is spending $US400 billion in the five years Dubai is determined to increase the number of people who
to 2013 on development projects which include several use public transport from the current 6% to 30% by 2020.
involved in transport -- notably tramway, high-speed trains
and metros -- in existing or planned cities in the kingdom. To realise this aim, continuous improvement is planned for
all modes of transport including the Dubai metro, trams,
Saptco has signed a “strategic cooperation agreement” buses, taxis and marine transport.
with RATP Developpement that would “enhance the two
firms’ competitiveness in operating and the maintenance of
38 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
39. WORLD MISCELLANY
Topical items from around the world
COMPETITION FROM CHINA LOSES AUSTRALIAN JOBS LONDON TUBE: POOR MANAGEMENT BLAMED
Bradken, a rail industry supplier, is to close its manufacturing According to the House of Commons Public Accounts
facility in Australia’s Newcastle on 9 April. The country’s Committee in the British parliament, “poor and inadequate”
strong currency coupled with competition from China are management by the Department for Transport (DfT) of
given as the reasons for the plant running out of work. The Metronet - the company contracted to do maintenance
decision came as a shock to the firm’s employees and the on large parts of London’s underground railway - cost
Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union. “There was no taxpayers hundreds of millions. A warning in 2004 by the
warning this was coming,” Union organiser Daniel Wallace National Audit Office (NAO) about overseeing tube
was quoted saying. upgrade work was ignored, MPs were told. Metronet, which
wasresponsible for maintaining nine underground lines,
The Bradken group’s rail administration and engineering went into administration in 2007.
division is not affected by the decision.
Chairman of the committee Edward Leigh was quoted
“The facility was originally set up to do maintenance but saying: “The taxpayer has lost up to £410m as a result of
we have been doing project work during the past few the DfT’s inadequate management of the risks arising from
years, including some involving Queensland coal wagons,” the Metronet contracts for upgrading the infrastructure of
Bradken rail general manager Andrew Allen explained. the underground. This committee finds it unacceptable
“Before Christmas we were unsuccessful in two major that the department ignored the warning by the National
contracts, which we lost to China. One was for coal wagons Audit Office in 2004 to avoid a hands-off approach to
in the Hunter Valley and the other for iron ore wagons in overseeing the upgrades.
“The department’s assumptions were flawed from the
“The Australian dollar has been quite strong for some outset. It was naive in assuming that Metronet would
time and that makes it harder to compete with overseas establish strong financial management and corporate
contenders. The contracts we were doing ran out, and it governance. And its assumption that Metronet’s lenders
made no sense to keep on with an operation of that size would exert strong influence on Metronet’s governance
when we have larger operations elsewhere in Australia.” and financial health in order to protect their investment was
The lease on the premises expires in March and a decision undermined because the department shouldered 95% of
was taken to “hand it back to the owner”. Some employees the lenders’ risks,” he added.
would be offered other work in the group so the final
number of redundancies was uncertain. The way Metronet was handled by the DfT exposed it to
“big financial risks”, Leigh said. “These mistakes must never
GAUGE CONVERSIONS IN INDIA be repeated on future large contracts and government
On 24 February, India’s minister for railways Mamta departments must establish and exercise the right to
Banerjee announced a target for gauge conversion projects intervene where problems of this magnitude occur.”
totalling 800km during the next financial year. Unlike the
situation in several African countries, where 1,435mm
“standard” gauge is the objective of ambitious politicians, AFRICAN SIDELINE
India does not use 1,435mm anywhere. The projects in this
year’s pipeline all involve changing mostly metre-gauge
sections to the unusually wide 1,676mm, which is the
The lines planned for changeover are:
1. Barddhaman - Balgona of Barddhaman - Katwa;
2. Krishnanagar - Santipur;
3. Tirunelveli - Tenkasi of Quilon - Tiruchendur and Tenkasi
4. Mayiladuturai - Thiruvarur of Mayiladuturai - Karaikkudi;
5. Bharuch - Samni - Dahej;
6. Aluabari - Siliguri;
7. Dindigul - Palani of Dindigul - Pollachi - Palakkad;
8. Anandpuram - Talguppa of Shimoga - Talguppa;
9. Chintamani - Chikballapur of Kolar - Chikballapur;
10. Kaptanganj - Thawe of Kaptanganj - Thawe - Chhapra;
11. Ratangarh - Bikaner of Sadulpur - Bikaner;
12. Mavli - Nathdwara;
13. Katihar - Tejnarayanpur;
14. Sitamarhi - Bairgania of Jaynagar - Darbhanga -
15. Bodeli - Chotta Udepur of Pratapnagar - Chotta Udepur.
As well as these, the minister said, the following conversions
16. Chhindwara - Nainpur - Mandla Fort;
“This is the third train we’ve overtaken today”.
17. Gwalior - Sheopurkalan with extension to Kota;
Photo: Richard Grönstedt.
18. Dholpur - Sirmutra with an extension to Gangapur city.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 39
40. RAILWAY HERITAGE
Preservation is an essential part of the picture... by J. Batwell
REEFSTEAMERS, GERMISTON ZIMBABWE TOUR 2010
This Germiston club is looking for big funding. Class UK operator Geoff’s Trains has firmed up its operational
15F no 3052 needs 25 boiler tubes replaced, at a cost of routes in Zimbabwe for the winter of 2010. NRZ Garratts
R40,000. Class 15CA no 2056 faces a bill of R200,000 of three different classes (14A, 15 and 16A) are being
– for full replacement of all 30 flues. Meanwhile, former requested. Steam will head the safari train on the Bulawayo-
Springs-shedded prestige class 15F 4-8-2 no 3135 is now Cement and Bulawayo-Plumtree lines. A class 15 will be
safe at Reefsteamers’ depot, but is far from looking like a in charge to Victoria Falls, where the Victoria Falls Safari
“prestigious” locomotive today! Express will steam up its class 14A Garratt alongside. The
tour managers are Geoff and Sheelagh Cooke (husband
During November, class 12AR no 1535 and class 25NC no and wife), names synonymous with steam tours in Southern
3472, the club’s only working locos, undertook the steam Africa since the 1980s. Hopefully the new government of
workings in the Free State on the occasion of the popular national unity in Zimbabwe will ensure sufficient political
annual Cherry Festival. Subsequent to the festival, loco no stability to encourage enthusiasts to book out this tour.
1535 blew a small tube on a Magaliesburg working leaving
the club at the year-end with only 25NC no 3472 operable SOUTH AFRICAN ENTHUSIASTS’ TOUR
for its own as well as SANRASM’s country trains. The GMAM Geoff’s Trains is marketing an 11-day South African tour
Garratt no 4079, on loan from Sandstone, has its regulator embracing both 1,067mm and 610mm gauge steam traction
out. Reefsteamers is setting its sights on putting class 15F during May 2010, beginning along the Cullinan branch
no 3046 into service in 2010. with Friends of The Rail and the use of class 15F no 3117.
Reefsteamers plan to run class 25NC 4-8-4 no 3472 to
Magaliesburg. The tour is visiting Sandstone Trust’s narrow
gauge farm railway and also taking in Paton’s Country
Railway with its mixture of narrow and Cape gauge workings
in KwaZulu Natal. An optional tour extension until 5 June -
trips with the Eastern Cape’s Apple Express up the Langkloof
(hopefully as far as Louterwater and including the Patensie
branch) - will probably use two class NG15 locomotives,
nos 119 and 124. At times the train is to run in two sections.
Travelling outwards on one and returning on the other (a
mixed in authentic SAR colours) will provide a maximum
of photographic opportunities over four days. The George-
Mossel Bay run is built in too.
Class 15F no 3135, a long-time Springs loco, is now in safe-keeping at UMGENI STEAM RAILWAY (USR) PIETERMARITZBURG
Reefsteamers, Germiston. Photo: D Sanderson. Work on class GMAM no 4074 had to include the removal
of the boiler for complete retubing with new elements and
stays. As so often happens with major repair work, it turned
out to be a bigger job than first thought. One of the tube
plates was found to be dangerously cracked. The only way
in which the cost of some R3.4 million could be raised was by
donating the Garratt to the Ingwe municipal council, which is
using foreign-sponsored funding on the project. A strict legal
agreement stipulates that no 4074 must be returned to USR
should it no longer be required on Creighton train operations
at Paton’s Country Railway. This Garratt is due to be ready
for Geoff Cooke’s tour.
Meanwhile, Wilf Mole of Sandstone may help USR in
rescuing valuable assets stranded at Hilton. An estimated
Reefsteamers is looking for R200, 000 for a full flue replacement of all 30 flues on R245, 000 would be needed to reinstate the Cedara-Hilton
loco no 2056. Photo: A McCarthy. line (about 8km), relocate the larger locos and steam crane
to Pietermaritzburg by rail and the smaller ones by road. USR
GARRATTS AT SELEBI PHIKWE members have been moving important fittings and pipe work
It is reported that a New Zealand consortium (a break-away from the Hilton collection, which was originally intended to
from Main Line Steam Trust) has expressed interest in the two form the nucleus of a Natal Railway Museum.
surviving ex-NRZ class 14A Garratt locos at the Bamangwato
Concessions Ltd depot in Selebi Phikwe, Botswana. DURBAN AND THE 150TH ANNIVERSARY
To recognise the 150th anniversary of the first train to run
KENYAN STEAM LOCOS SAFELY SHEDDED in South Africa (at Durban
Although steam safari operations in Kenya came to an abrupt in 1860), the City Council
halt in 2006 when the railway was concessioned to Rift Valley is keen to relocate the
Railways, the surviving working locomotives - 4-8-2 + 2-8-4 original locomotive
class 59 no 5918, 2-8-4 class 30 no 3020, and 4-8-0 class 24 “Natal” from the main
no 2409 - are safely housed under cover at the main works station concourse to the
shed in Nairobi for (hopefully) further runs in years to come. International Convention
Meanwhile, the North British Locomotive Preservation Group Centre, and also perhaps
(NBLPG) in the UK indicates in its newsletter that it would Dübs-built class H2 tank
like to ensure the safe-keeping and on-going preservation of locomotive no 329 (of 1901)
2-8-2 “River” class no 2927 named “Suk”, currently located from Hilton, both for static
at Dar-es-Salaam in neighbouring Tanzania. Seen working a display. Characteristic of
2005 safari in our July issue, it was one of 11 class 29 locos the area for more than “Natal”, the locomotive that made transport
built at the North British Hyde Park Works in Glasgow in seven decades, the last H2 history in South Africa 150 years ago.
1955, under order no L45 for the East African Railways & locos were only withdrawn
Harbours Administration. These engines were very similar to from shunting duty in 1975.
the Nigerian Railways “River” class.
40 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
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42. END OF THE LINE
CORRESPONDENCE MAGADI SODA GAUGE QUESTION
NRZ SAFARI EXCURSIONS
Dear editor Reading the on-going details in the magazine of Kenya
Yes, a very noble idea from NRZ. I would like to believe that Railways throwing its weight behind the idea of a new
the Safari Train will be targeted to high-bracket tourists. 1,435mm gauge arterial railway, one presumes the likes of
What about the locals, including those from neighbouring such a change in gauge would embrace the Magadi branch
countries? The right to host the world soccer tournament line to avoid transhipping? The Magadi Soda Company, which
was announced years ago. NRZ should have started is Africa’s largest soda ash manufacturer, is one of Kenya’s
preparations then. It should have put in place special leading export earners. The company recovers trona from
tournament trains from Zimbabwe as well as Zambia, the one of the purest Magadi Soda Company locomotive.
DRC, Tanzania…… surface deposits in
the base of the Rift
Imagine the revenue which could have been collected. NRZ Valley and converts
could have argued it did not have the cash outlay. Well it into sodium
public-private initiatives could have been sought. BBR [the
privately run Beitbridge-Bulawayo railway] could have done
this without problems. It just shows that forward thinking ash) which it moves
in terms of infrastructure development and identifying on its own 150km
potential is lacking in the planning department of NRZ. railway to access the
Hopefully this is a wake-up call. Meantime one hopes the Nairobi-Mombasa main-line, in order to reach the port.
World Cup excursion trains are successful. Lastly the - John Batwell, Roosevelt Park
country is unique in that it still has steam locos. Why not
expand the rail safaris to the maximum?
- Samuel Mudehwe (by e-mail)
NIGERIA’S NEW LINE TO ABUJA
Dear editor (According to Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa CEO Lucky
While Nigeria’s proposed conversion to standard gauge Montana, the trains are old, no fare adjustments have been allowed
seems dead in the water, that does not mean that it is a silly in five years and underfunding has left the railway in “dire financial
idea to use dual-gauge sleepers on the new line to Abuja to straits”.)
allow future conversion to this gauge. Nigeria already has
one short branch from IIRC Port Harcourt with dual-gauge He said to me: “The train is late”.
sleepers. The isolated Warri line is already standard gauge. “So what is new?” I asked:
Should these lines ever link up, and lines to neighbouring The rolling stock is getting on -
countries be built, including an ambitious line across the Its sell-by date’s long past.”
Sahara from Libya, then gauge rationalisation should be
given careful consideration. “Too true,” he said, “but even if
Its hard to keep to time
As noted in previous issues of Railways Africa, triple-gauge You’d think they’d make a better job
sleepers are practical for the three most common gauges
Of cleaning off the grime.”
found in Africa, 1,000mm, 1,067mm and 1,435mm.
- Shall Ford (Australia)
Transparency is all the rage
Except inside the trains.
1,435mm (4’8.5”) The windows are no longer glass -
368mm 1.067mm (3’ 6”) One can’t see through the panes.
Even the graffiti’s old
(At best it’s uninspired).
The koki scrawls are wearing thin
Diagram showing how four of the rail gauges used in different countries on the They’re out of date - and tired.
African continent can be arranged to use the same route by laying four rails on
the same set of sleepers. By this means the expense of changing the gauge of Metrorail, its chief confides,
a railway and its rolling stock is avoided. Is heading for a fall.
Unless the government coughs up cash
GAUGE WIDENING Dire writing’s on the wall.
A realignment of tracks, cutting out sharpish curves, more - LRD
tunnels and bridges (instead of hugging the landscape)
would probably achieve the same results as a shift to
standard gauge - and cost much less. The main advantage
of broader gauges is surely the ability to go double-deck or
double-stack with greater stability.
- Phil Collins (by e-mail)
NIGERIAN RAIL CONSTRUCTION
Well....it is all words and no actions...I think from concession
stages to actualisations of the project....the Chinese should
handle them...because no one trusts these government
officials who parade themselves in Abuja...all they do is loot
the treasury ..... not a committed one among them...I just
pray the project is realised and managed by the Chinese
because Nigerians lack maintenance culture in all the
projects executed in the past.
- Isaac Ade (by e-mail)
42 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
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