Railways Africa June 2010


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Railways Africa June 2010

  1. 1. RAILWAYS | HARBOURS | MINING | INTERMODAL | COMMUTER WWW.RAILWAYSANDHARBOURS.COM For further information, rates and booking details contact Sue Klomp Tel: +27 72 777 0092 Email: sue@railwaysandharbours.com 6 – 8 April 2011 EXPO CENTRE – JOHANNESBURG BOOK YOUR STAND NOW! The importance of efficient railways and harbours for our continent’s future dare not be underestimated. As a supplier you need to be at the Railways and Harbours Exhibition - connect, meet and network. Richard Grönstedt Paul Roos Peter Rogers CONTRIBUTORS Allen Jorgensen Ashley Peter Boon Boonzaaier Bruno Martin Dave van der Meulen Dietmar Fiedel Eugene Armer Geoff Cooke Jacque Wepener John Batwell Martin Welzel PUBLISHERS Phillippa Dean Barbara Sheat EDITOR Rollo Dickson DESIGN & LAYOUT Grazia Muto ADVERTISING Sue Klomp SUBSCRIPTIONS Kim Bevan SUBSCRIPTIONS Rates for 10 issues per annum (2010) South Africa R464-75 (incl VAT) Africa R593.35 International R1 229.80 (incl. Foreign Exchange) Send a cheque or money order to: Railways Africa PO Box 4794 RANDBURG 2125 RSA Or send an email to stationmaster@railwaysafrica.com Affiliated Associations & Societies Railways Africa Rail Link Communications cc P.O. Box 4794 Randburg 2125 Tel: +27 87 940 9278 E-mail: stationmaster@railwaysafrica.com Twitter: railwaysafrica Website: www.railwaysafrica.com ISSN 1029 - 2756 The copyright on all material in this magazine is expressly reserved and vested in Rail Link Communications cc, unless otherwise stated. No material may be reproduced in any form, in part or in whole, without the permission of the publishers. Please note that the opinions expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the publishers of Rail Link Communications unless otherwise stated.
  2. 2. have tried our best in this issue, but have only skimmed the surface. Ironically, the only government department to come to the party that didn’t take place was the post office, which issued a set of truly magnificent commemorative railway stamps (see page 30 in the May Railways Africa). In 1902, the railways of the Transvaal and Orange Free State were brought together in an administration known as the Central South African Railways (CSAR). Eight years later – exactly 100 years ago – the CSAR together with the Cape Government Railways (CGR) and Natal Government Railways (NGR) were officially combined to form the South African Railways (SAR). The historic amalgamation took place fifty years – less one month - after the first public passenger train in the country ran at Durban on 26 June 1860. Last year, aiming for a suitable commemorative function to be held in the city, the KZN Railway History Society and others approached the municipality with a number of appropriate proposals. It was suggested that the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Zweli Mkhize, would welcome guests including national minister of transport Sbu Ndebele to a ceremony at Durban’s main station on 26 June. Other names put forward as important participants were mayor Obed Mlaba, Passenger Rail Agency of SA group CEO Lucky Montana and Metrorail regional manager Dumi Dube. The party would embark on a train of vintage coaches behind a historic Contents Comment Opinion: Pete the Pundit 2 Timken 4 Ore line 6 Yale 7 EMD 8 Railway Tourism 10 Industry Comment 14 Africa Update 16 SA Rail News 20 First Railway in South Africa 24 Looking Back on 150 Years 28 Mishaps & Blunders 34 Review 40 Railway Heritage 42 End of the Line 44 Timken – A long & proud history > Page 4 TransNamib makeover > Page 18 Ore Trains 4km in Length > Page 6 Three locos badly damaged > Page 36 Achieving railway renaissance > Page 14 Looking back > Page 24 steam locomotive provided by the Umgeni Steam Railway for a journey to the Point. There, where he would be welcomed by the port manager, minister Ndebele would unveil a plaque commemorating South Africa’s first public railway. Guests would then be conveyed to the international conference centre where the minister would give a keynote address, followed by a light lunch. And it came to pass, as they say, that nothing happened. The proposed date was out of the question, a note from the Durban municipality explained. In other words, that crowd 150 years ago should have known there would be soccer on 26 June 2010 – the World Cup or something – and chosen a better day. So there was no celebrating 150 years of railways, not in Durban nor anywhere else, and the country got on with the usual routine of strikes, taxi wars, complaints about Home Affairs (and soccer). Which is all a great pity. Say what you will about Transnet, Prasa, Shosholoza Meyl and the rest - you can’t take away the achievements of 150 years. They fill a long list, a proud list of accomplishments that make for impressive reading; too long in fact for one magazine to do it justice. We Phillippa Dean PS Incidentally, that 25km commemorative steam train ride would have taken somewhat longer than it did in 1860. The 3km direct original line was taken up in 1936 and replaced by the present electric double track along the Esplanade. 1www.railwaysafrica.com June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA
  3. 3. PETE THE PUNDIT – his take on HISTORY, PPPs, JVs & PSPs History can’t be changed. For those who find this difficult to accept, the obvious alternatives are a spot of rewriting – politicians are good at this - or leaving out bits one doesn’t like. Neither works, of course: the truth always comes out eventually and one has to live with it. For instance, if South African railway history doesn’t appeal to you, pretending it doesn’t exist won’t get you very far. Nor will sanitised versions that leave out things you don’t wish to know. In short, you’re stuck with it, those warts they talk about and all. And if you think no one could conceivably dislike South African railway history – think again. Unhappiness with it is there, good reason for it exists and one has only to look at recent history to work out what that is. The situation is unfortunate because if we wait until the problem dies out – and this is going to take a good two or three decades – any tangible railway history left today will have rusted to nothing. Tangible history is what other countries strive to look after and build upon. Beautiful old stations, significant locomotives, antique coaches, characterful steam-hauled trains. Agreed, conservation costs money, but when what you want to conserve has a sizeable earning capacity, it makes no sense throwing it away. Relics they may be, but railway relics are what tourists pay pounds and dollars to see, ride on and photograph. On page 10 of this issue, Bruno Martin visits an old railway in Tasmania: a 35km scenic line, not only magnificently restored but one which functions as a lucrative public carrier, running two passenger trains (sometimes three) every day of the year. Significantly, the Federal government of Australia helped with funding the line’s revival, starting with an initial grant of A$24.45 million. Tourists stream to see and experience this popular attraction. Similar stories from across the world are common in international rail news. Encouraging examples can be found in Germany, the Czech Republic, England, Switzerland, the USA - and many others. Two narrow-gauge lines in India have been declared world heritage sites. In the UK, many lines have been restored with support from the national lottery. At nearby Portmadog, a more modest enterprise, the Welsh Highland Heritage Railway (WHHR), which has carried nearly half a million passengers since its first train – a one-engine, one-coach affair – is commemorating the event this year. In South Africa, we didn’t even get around to celebrating the 150th birthday of the country’s national railway system. PPPS: MORE THAN JVS, OR LESS THAN PSPS? With accolades still pouring in from all around in the afterglow of the recent successfully hosted Soccer World Cup and the smooth launch of South Africa’s much vaunted rapid rail train, analysts and media representatives have yet again contrived to spin a new abbreviation to add to their growing list: PPPs. At least this one’s not too hard to memorise, and no, a PPP is not a stutterer’s mantra. PPP is short for public- private partnership. Rather like a JV (joint venture), except it refers to a mutual enterprise between the state and one or more private business entities. But what then, you may ask, of the oft-reported PSPs? No, it isn’t something to do with play stations... a PSP – so I’m told – refers to a private- sector partnership. Not being part of Transnet’s core business, the future of the George-Mossel Bay Outeniqua Choo-Tjoe is in doubt. Photo: Peter Rogers. In Wales, restoration of the 610mm-gauge Welsh Highland Railway (WHR), opened originally in 1923 and closed in 1937, is a landmark achievement. The Garratt locomotives and much of the rolling stock – even rails – came from closed lines in South Africa. Funding for the first section came from the Millennium Commission (£4.3m), European Regional Development Fund, Welsh Development Agency and the Wales Tourist Board. In September 2004, funding of £5m was announced from the Welsh Assembly and the European Union. Photo: Andre Dreyer. OPINION The only steam locos built completely in South Africa (at Salt River in 1947,The only steam locos built completely in South Africa (at Salt River in 1947, by the forebears of today’s Transnet Rail Engineering) were 0-8-0 heavy-dutyby the forebears of today’s Transnet Rail Engineering) were 0-8-0 heavy-duty shunting engines of Class S1, nos 374-385.shunting engines of Class S1, nos 374-385. OPINION RAILWAYS AFRICA June 20102 www.railwaysafrica.com
  4. 4. Right now PPPs are the talk of the town. Just look at all those fabulous architectural wonder-stadiums that wowed worldwide audiences during the World Cup: proof positive, they say, of the power of PPPs. So too the state- of the-art, 160km/h intercity Gautrain, carrying over 200,000 passengers in its first month and labelled by international auditors KPMG as a Top 100 global project. PPPs have also been defined as the concessioning of infrastructure and, in the case of the Gautrain, the project would probably have been too difficult to procure conventionally. Even though it was funded by government to the tune of about 90%, the additional private sector skills proved to be invaluable. In the transport business, however, PPPs have not always been the flavour of the day. Transnet has a long list of high capital expenditure projects lined up for the next few years, including the expansion of its critical export mineral freight routes, a new freight hub and a proposed freight ring in Gauteng province – all running into very big numbers. Possible PPPs for such projects are, however, expected to be opposed by the governing political alliance of the ANC, the SA Communist Party and Cosatu (especially the latter). They are fervently against any move even remotely perceivable as a move towards privatising the country’s rail, pipelines and ports. Recent reports cite Transnet acting CEO Chris Wells admitting that Transnet Freight Rail is largely to blame for underperformance on the export coal line to Richards Bay. Similarly, the iron-ore and manganese miners would like to increase their annual exports, but they also point to rail capacity as one of their main restrictions. Naturally, Transnet does not like being an impediment to growth in mineral exports, as it has been of late - due Acting Transnet CEO Chris Wells. mainly to constraints in funding. The company is hoping to pursue upgrades and expansions for these key export routes by going the PPP route, but, of course, it requires sanction from its shareholder. Actually, according to Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) head of infrastructure Chris Matchett, the climate for PPPs is rapidly changing. About R230 billion will have to be invested in port infrastructure, he says, within the next 30 years, and Transnet will not be able to afford it. PPPs could help foot the bill and also spread the risk of such ventures, as well as encouraging healthy incentive from participating partners. Although PPPs are an efficient way of procuring infrastructure, they don’t automatically ensure that the best economic model is selected. As in the case of Gautrain, the secret seems to be in the right mix of funding and skills and the calculated courage to embark on ambitious, society-improving projects. PPPs may very well be the golden keys that unlock business investments which meet social needs, including drives to lower unemployment and provide more ready access to healthcare, as well as building important transport infrastructure to improve the overall quality of life. UK HIGH-SPEED LINE FOR SALE The 109km high-speed line from London St Pancras to the Channel Tunnel at Folkestone, used by Eurostar trains to Paris and Brussels and which cost more than £5 billion to build, is up for sale. The successful bidder will become the owner of HS1 Ltd, with a 30-year concession to run the line and stations. OPINION Gautrain - the right mix of funding and skills. OPINION June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 3www.railwaysafrica.com
  5. 5. TIMKEN – A LONG & PROUD HISTORY Rail industry customers have trusted Timken since the 1920s to deliver solutions that give them a competitive edge. With a long history of involvement in the rail industry and a focus firmly set on innovation, product development and process improvement, Timken has uniquely positioned itself to serve the needs of railways, rolling stock builders and rail operators across the globe. Today, Timken products can be found in freight, locomotive, passenger, tram and high-speed rail markets in Europe, Asia, North and South America, Australia, the Middle East and, of course, Africa. In fact, Timken has operated in South Africa since 1932 and has played a major role in the development of the rail industry in the region, having supplied more than 900,000 locally-made bearings. Timken South Africa (Pty) Ltd (TSA) is supported by eight technology centres worldwide, where skilled technicians, engineers and scientists study all aspects of rail operation. The company’s commitment to research and development leads to continued improvements and products that can withstand even the harshest African climate. A leader in innovation, TSA is proud of its many “industry firsts.” The company was the first to develop a method of delivering a bearing reconditioning service to the doorstep of the customer with the introduction of its Mobile Rail Service (MRS) units. These MRS units are operated by a crew of eight and fit a standard 12-metre-long container, making it possible to transport the unit to any rail depot in the world. Secondly, TSA was the first supplier in the rail bearing industry to become black economically empowered (BEE) through its groundbreaking deal in 2005, partnering with Bokomoso Investments. A newly registered company, Timken Bearing Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd (TBSSA), a subsidiary of TSA, was formed and continues to provide growth opportunities for the business throughout Southern Africa. The proud history of Timken rail and other “firsts” can be summarised as follows: 1929 To demonstrate that tapered roller bearings can be successfully used on locomotive axles, Timken commissions the “Four Aces” – the first steam locomotive equipped with Timken® tapered roller bearings. 1932 British Timken is established. Its facilities include a sales office and warehouse in Johannesburg. Successful trial orders of Timken® tapered roller bearings prior to World War II lead to their use by the South African Railways after the war. 1952 The Benoni plant is established to manufacture railway axle boxes. Following the purchase of the balance of British Timken share capital in 1959, the Benoni plant is renamed Timken South Africa (Proprietary) Ltd in 1960. 1954 As a replacement for the widely used friction journal bearings, Timken introduces the first self-contained, pre-lubricated bearing package in 1954. The new Timken “All-Purpose” (AP™) bearing quickly becomes the design of choice for the industry. 1967 South African Railways standardises on Timken bearings. 1970 Timken South Africa begins manufacturing the AP™ bearing at its Benoni facility. 1982 Timken South Africa celebrates the manufacture of its 500, 000th AP™ bearing. 1986 Timken tapered roller bearings are incorporated in the gearboxes of the newly developed 18-tonne, high- speed, fully flameproof colliery locomotive used in the mining industry. 1994 Aware of the greater demands being placed on freight wagon bearings by heavier loads, higher speeds and extended wheel lives, Timken develops the AP-2™ bearing for freight rolling stock. Today, more than a quarter million AP-2™ bearings are in service. 1999 Timken in South Africa opens a railway bearing remanufacturing facility. 2001 Timken introduces its TracGlide® system, an intelligent, on-board friction management solution that applies an innovative and environmentally friendly modifier to the top of rails once the last axle on a locomotive has passed. 2001 Timken in South Africa launches its first Mobile Rail Service (MRS) units targeted at the rail industry. 2005 Timken concludes the first BEE deal in the bearing industry. Timken Bearing Services South Africa (Pty) Ltd is created, incorporating the Southern Africa rail division of TSA. 2007 Timken’s SureFit™ Universal Backing Ring offers a solution to loose backing rings, a problem that has plagued the global rail industry for more than 30 years. 2008 Timken offers the only true non-contacting labyrinth seal – EcoTurn® , a revolutionary design that significantly reduces seal torque. EcoTurn received a top 100 award (from R&D Magazine) as one of the most technically significant innovations introduced to the general marketplace in 2008. With this history, the unbeatable product line and industry- leading technical support, it’s little wonder Timken is where the rail industry turns for quality products and services to help optimise performance. How can we help you? For more information on Timken rail solutions for your application, contact a Timken sales representative on +27 11 741-3800 or visit www.timken.com/rail. BEARINGSBEARINGS RAILWAYS AFRICA June 20104 www.railwaysafrica.com
  6. 6. The moment of trust. From the efficient transport of its freight to the safe arrival of their loved ones, South Africa trusts the railroads. And the railroads put trust in Timken. Since 1932 Timken has played an integral role in the development of the South African railroad industry, delivering more than 900,000 locally made bearings for the most challenging environments and applications—from locomotives to rolling stock, freight to passenger service, trams to high-speed rail. With innovations ranging from the nation’s first Mobile Rail Service (MRS) units to the first Black Economically Empowered (BEE) agreement in the bearing industry, Timken is where South Africa turns for quality products, service and business leadership—today and tomorrow. Visit Timken.com/rail or call +27 11 741-3800 for more information. © 2010 The Timken Company Timken® and Where You Turn® are registered trademarks of The Timken Company. www.timken.com
  7. 7. One of the new 4 km long trains operating on the Sishen-Saldanha iron ore line following the upgrade of the class 9E locos with integrated electronic braking and radio distributed power (RDP) control systems. ORE TRAINS 4KM IN LENGTH Every week, 35 extra-long trains, each measuring more than 4km, carry iron ore from Sishen in the Northern Cape to Saldanha Bay on the Cape West Coast. These new trains - about 50% longer than their predecessors - have been phased in since July 2009, when Transnet Freight Rail began commercial implementation of Radio Distributed Power (RDP) control systems on the class 9E electric locomotives and class 34 diesel locomotives deployed on the 861km Sishen-Saldanha line. The RDP systems provide the overall control required to enable the new long trains – each consisting of 342 wagons hauled by three electric and seven diesel locos – to operate efficiently. Prior to the introduction of RDP, train length was limited to a maximum of 228 wagons. The need for Transnet Freight Rail to run more or longer trains arose from having to meet the higher tonnages and ramp-up requirements that resulted from substantially increased output by the two major open-cast mining operations producing the ore – Kumba Iron Ore’s Sishen Mine and Assmang’s Khumani Mine. As part of the improvements to meet this need, the line was upgraded to handle the increased throughput of more than a million tonnes of iron ore per week. Improvements to the locomotives started with an upgrade and general overhaul contract awarded in 2000 to Germiston-based Actom Transport Equipment & Projects (TEP) – then known as Alstom Transport Equipment & Projects. The key portion of this contract was installation of state-of-the-art Agate (Advanced Generic Alstom Traction Electronics) control systems on each of the 31 electric locomotives operating on the ore line. The Agate systems, produced by Alstom’s electronics systems centre of excellence in Villeurbanne, France, control the operations of each electric loco individually. Subsequently, in 2006, Transnet Freight Rail assigned to TEP the task of installing and integrating Phase 1 of the new electronic brake and associated RDP systems on the class 9E locos. TEP was supported in this by Alstom in Preston, responsible for the project and technical interfaces, and Alstom in Villeurbanne, which provided technical backup on interfacing the Agate systems with the wireless RDP system, supplied by General Electric of the United States. “The RDP technology was initially implemented and tested on some trains back in December 2007, while full commercial use of the system went into operation in November 2009 - after all the electric and diesel locomotives had been upgraded to RDP configuration,” TEP’s 9E project manager Frans Weygertze explains. “In addition to the new electronic brake system, the challenge was to interface the Agate and RDP control systems, to enable the RDP system to manage and co- ordinate the operation of the independent control systems of each of the electric locos in the train, with improved fault reporting and fault handling features. “The control system of each locomotive feeds the required instructions and messages to the RDP system, which in turn sends and receives messages from the lead locomotive to the locomotives in the remote consists. “The RDP technology combined with the electronic brake- racks ensures high braking efficiency as well as increasing the drawing power of the locomotives by enabling the locomotives to be spread evenly at strategic positions within the train, instead of all together at the front,” Weygertze says. The installation and interfacing of the RDP control systems and electronic brake-racks, plus other enhancements, were added to the original main contract as variation orders, bringing the value of the contract in total to over R400 million - by far the largest upgrade contract undertaken by TEP to date. Actom (Pty) Ltd is a black-empowered electrical engineering company employing over 6 000 people and has an annual order intake in excess of R5bn. It has 27 operating units, 22 production facilities and 25 distribution centres throughout South Africa. Actom partners Alstom France for environmental equipment and in serving the maintenance, upgrade and retrofit market for larger boilers, as well as for railway transport activities. Actom holds exclusive distribution, technology and representation rights for Areva T&D in Southern Africa and maintains management, technical and commercial links to Areva T&D business units in Europe. Actom formerly traded under the name Alstom South Africa. It was rebranded as Actom in September 2009. ORE LINE For further information contact Frans Weygertze, Actom Transport Equipment & Projects PO Box 4583, Germiston South 1411 Tel: (011) 878-3000 Fax: (011) 878-3301 E-mail: frans.weygertze@actom.co.za The console in the cab of the lead loco of one of the new long trains. ORE LINE RAILWAYS AFRICA June 20106 www.railwaysafrica.com
  8. 8. LET THERE BE LIGHT There’s PELI™ light in the tunnel Ultra-efficient, self-contained PELI™ lighting systems were recently used underground to assist in the production of a video showing the installation of purpose-designed turnouts on the Gautrain rail track. These remarkable floodlights proved invaluable under low- light conditions in the tunnels. According to Barbara Sheat of Rail Link Communications, the company that shot the video, the PELI™ lights exceeded all their expectations. The lighting systems are self-contained, highly portable, virtually maintenance-free, silent - and they eliminate the need for external generators. Having efficient lighting for shooting detailed video scenes in these underground situations, without the hassle of cables, hazardous fuel or fumes, heat issues or fragile globes, was a great boon she explained. Moreover, there was no need to assemble a jumble of kit to do the job. “We would like to thank Yale Engineering Products (Pty) Ltd for the use of their PELI ™ portable lighting system, without which we would never have got clear footage. The process included the physical installation of the turnouts as well – a daunting task. Although there was lighting in the tunnel, it was not nearly sufficient for the job at hand.” “The PELI™ portable lighting systems are fantastic in that they do not require anything other than to be charged, which will give you between 8 and 60 hours of use depending on the configuration of the system – as well as 2,000 lumens per lighting head at full power,” she explained. Yale is now a major supplier of maintenance-free, “green” and low carbon-footprint ranges of heavy-duty, LED-based floodlighting to a variety of industries, including safety and rescue, railways and mining. The lighting systems utilise 12V maintenance-free, sealed- gel, rechargeable batteries. The light colour is 6,000 Kelvin and their fully extendable masts can be positioned as preferred. Some systems have up to four heads, illuminating in four directions at once. The base is made of super-impact, absorbent elastomer and is considered to be virtually indestructible. Ultra-efficient, self-contained PELI™ lighting systems were recently used underground to assist in the production of a video showing the installation of purpose-designed turnouts on the Gautrain rail track LET THERE BE LIGHT June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 7www.railwaysafrica.com
  9. 9. EMD IN AFRICA: 2010 Railways Africa had the privilege of interviewing John S Hamilton, president and chief executive officer of Electro-Motive Diesel, inc (EMD). RA: EMD HAS BEEN AROUND FOR MANY YEARS. WHAT ROLE SPECIFICALLY HAS IT PLAYED IN AFRICA, OVER AND ABOVE THE CLASS 39-200S? EMD’s first exports outside the United States started around 1949. EMD has been in Africa starting in the mid- 1950s with large fleets in Egypt and South Africa leading the way. We produced locomotives in Port Elizabeth from 1971 to 1986. RA: HOW MANY LOCOMOTIVES DOES EMD HAVE RUNNING IN AFRICA? Approximately 2,000 units in the following countries: Egypt, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia. Most of the locomotives are the GT22 model (12 cylinder, 645 engine), built by EMD in Port Elizabeth, but some are the GT18 and even the GT26 (16 cylinder, 645 engine) operated by Transnet in South Africa – their classes 34 and 37. RA: HOW ARE THEY SERVICED AND MAINTAINED? Typically, the customer services and maintains them, many with parts supplied by EMD, using EMD maintenance instructions. EMD training is provided at the delivery of the units. EMD provides on-site service support during the warranty period. RA: THE CLASS 39-200 PROJECT HAD A ROCKY START, BUT IT CAME TOGETHER IN THE END. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE PROJECT? This was a major project for EMD, building locomotives outside our normal process. It was a very complicated project, involving not only the creation of a locomotive build facility, but training local workers on locomotive assembly, establishing a local supply chain, and adapting to local customs and cultures. EMD’s initial involvement on this project was to supply parts to another organisation that would build the locomotives for Transnet, but this changed during the course of the project, placing the ownership for building the locomotives on EMD and the selected build partner, Transnet Rail Engineering. This project allowed us to test the strength of our design, build, and support processes in an environment outside the norm. Many thought we would not be successful and counted on our demise. But we persevered with our build partner to overcome all obstacles. We completed the design in six months and the first locomotive was produced three months later, with final production of 50 units being completed in 12 months. RA: OF ALL THE ACHIEVEMENTS SPECIFICALLY WITH THE CLASS 39-200, WHICH STAND OUT FOR YOU IN PARTICULAR? Aside from a programme in China, this was the first time we had built locomotives outside our London, Canada facility in recent history. This is a milestone in and of itself. RAIL INDUSTRYRAIL INDUSTRY RAILWAYS AFRICA June 20108 www.railwaysafrica.com
  10. 10. We worked with our partner, Transnet Rail Engineering, to produce the first locomotive by them, fulfilling their long- term vision. We completed the design in six months and began production concurrently, where our normal design cycle takes a year or more. This locomotive set new standards for fuel economy, emissions, tractive effort, driver comfort and safety, noise levels, and ease-of-maintenance in South Africa. RA: WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SKILLS TRANSFER, ESPECIALLY IN LIGHT OF THE NOW COMPLETED PROJECT? We trained an entire workforce from Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE) on how to build a world-class locomotive from the ground up. This involved training South African workers on the stringent EMD standards for welding and assembly. We taught TRE how to build the sub-assemblies such as the high voltage cabinet, the bogies, the cab structure - the entire locomotive. We also helped them build a world-class facility capable of producing 100 or more locomotives a year. We developed over 700 local suppliers utilising our stringent supplier quality standards. The whole idea of teaching TRE how to build locomotives was to make them better at maintaining their fleet. We often overlook this important transfer of skills. RA: WHAT IS YOUR PERSONAL VIEW OF THE RAIL INDUSTRY IN SOUTH AFRICA - AND IN AFRICA? The fleet of locomotives in Africa and South Africa is aging. The 50 class 39-200 locomotives that were just built and delivered provided Transnet with new equipment and technology that had not been updated in over 20 years. The Class 39-200 locomotive offers improved horsepower, fuel economy, emissions, and tractive effort. The potential market in Africa appears strong. We are entertaining bids for new or refurbished locomotives throughout Africa to include Botswana, Mozambique, and Namibia. Once these other countries see the performance of Transnet class 39-200 locomotives in South Africa, interest will peak even more. The market appears strong for new locomotives, rebuild locomotives, and locomotive parts. RA: WHAT IS EMD’S LONG TERM VIEW IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN MARKET? We have met with Transnet executives and have determined their ongoing need for locomotive power. With a growing demand for more power, Transnet is also faced with the need to update its aging fleet. These 50 locomotives were just a start and have whet Transnet’s appetite for more. We trust we will be their partner of choice for more diesel electric locomotives. RA: A CLOSING STATEMENT OR PASSING THOUGHT? We should all be proud of what was accomplished with the production of 50 class 39-200 locomotives in South Africa. It turned out to be a successful partnership for both EMD and Transnet, strengthening the relationship of not only our two companies, but between South Africa and North America as well. 6 – 8 April 2011 EXPO CENTRE – JOHANNESBURG WWW.RAILWAYSANDHARBOURS.COM JOHN S HAMILTON President and chief executive officer Electro-Motive Diesel, inc 9301 West 55th Street LaGrange, Illinois 60525 Unitedb States of America 708.387.6662 john.s.hamilton@emdiesels.com John Hamilton became the president and CEO of Electro- Motive Diesel (EMD) upon the closure of Berkshire and Greenbriar Equity’s acquisition of the company in April 2005. He had been an integral member of the deal team pursuing this opportunity for the prior two years. EMD is a leading manufacturer of diesel-electric locomotives, serving railroads across the world. Prior to working with Berkshire and Greenbriar, John served as president and CEO of Tokheim Corporation, a provider of fuel dispensers, electronic point-of-sales systems, and after-market services. Before joining Tokheim, John’s career had been spent improving underperforming businesses, both as the business unit manager, and as an operating executive for a private equity firm. His previous positions include group president for The Harbour Group, a private equity firm, senior vice-president and chief operating officer of The Fairchild Corporation, a manufacturer of fasteners to the aerospace industry, and a number of senior management positions for Allied Signal Aerospace. John has a BSE in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University, and an MBA from the University of Chicago. RAIL INDUSTRYRAIL INDUSTRY June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 9www.railwaysafrica.com
  11. 11. RAILWAY TOURISM So easy to attract, so easily thrown away Every country loves tourists. They bring lovely foreign money with them, money they are determined to spend. For a very special brand of tourist – the railway enthusiast – South Africa has always been a favourite destination. Minimal effort was needed to attract and entertain rail buffs from around the world - the country’s spectacular scenic lines and photogenic rolling stock saw to that. In recent years however, even minimal effort has been too much. The amount of enthusiasm shown by most South African authorities towards railway tourism has tended to vary between zero and downright negative. Opportunities to earn millions of Pounds, Dollars, Deutchmarks, whatever – have been thrown away. What could have been is illustrated in an enlightening analogy from Down Under. See what Bruno Martin found and photographed during his recent visit to Tasmania: “Many of the small towns in Tasmania have beautifully maintained old buildings dating back to when the British first settled the island. Hobart, apart from being the second oldest city in Australia, has something in common with Cape Town: it lies at the foot of an imposing mountain (Mount Wellington), apparently first also named Table Mountain -although its shape does not resemble its famous counterpart at all. At 1,271 metres, it rises a little higher than Table Mountain and the top can be reached by road. “One deduces from the shiny rails encountered at level crossings that the main-line from Launceston to Hobart is operational, and the branch from Launceston to Devonport and Burnie appears to be in use. In any event, I saw only one train – carrying containers – in the distance.” THE WEST COAST WILDERNESS RAILWAY “There are only freight trains on the government railway in Tasmania - scheduled passenger services were discontinued some 30 years ago. However, the highlight of my trip was a ride on the West Coast Wilderness Railway, operating between Queenstown and Regatta Point. This 1,067mm gauge line – like those in South Africa - was originally built between 1896 and 1899 by the Mount Lyell Mining and Railway Company Ltd. It incorporated a section of rack (Abt system) graded at 1:20 (4.42km) and 1:16 (2.2km) while the remainder of the adhesion-only line was graded up to 1:40 with a minimum radius curve of 100 metres. The rack section was operated by a fleet of five 0-4-2T rack-adhesion locomotives. Four came from Dübs & Co and the last – no 5 - was delivered by North British as late as 1938. “On the adhesion-only section, a fleet of seven steam locomotives hauled the trains to the wharf at Regatta Point. These were joined in the 1950s by two Vulcan/Drewry diesels. The whole operation was shut down in 1963, having succumbed to road competition, flooding and landslides. The permanent way was torn up, most of the line’s 50 timber trestle bridges collapsed and the rain forest reclaimed the track bed. “Fortunately, four of the five rack locomotives were saved: three were stored at various museums while Abt no 1 was plinthed under cover at Queenstown. Engine no 4 is believed to be buried at the Mount Lyell limestone quarry. “Fast forward to 1998, when a Federal Government grant of A$24.45 million was allocated to funding the reconstruction of what is now purely a tourist railway. Additional funding by the Tasmanian state government was used to acquire and restore to working order three rack locomotives (nos 1, 3 & 5), together with both Vulcan/ Drewry diesels. In addition to the locomotives, new purpose- built passenger carriages were ordered to resemble the Mount Lyell “O class” saloon cars. The 35km of line was officially opened for tourist traffic on 27 December 2002 - the final cost to restore the railway having come to around A$35 million (ie $1 million per kilometre).” TWO TRAINS MOST DAYS, SOMETIMES THREE “Two trains are run most days (plus a third during the summer peak season), with simultaneous departures from Queenstown and Regatta Point all year round except Christmas Day. Two levels of travel are offered: Tourist Class ($110 one-way) and Premier Class ($210 one-way) which includes a generous packed lunch. Premier Class passengers are pampered with complimentary food and beverages during the journey, have fully upholstered seats, a rear observation balcony and a dedicated tour guide. The trip takes 5 hours (one way!), with the train making several stops en route. “At the first station out of Queenstown, Lynchford, it stops for 30 minutes to allow passengers to visit a nearby mine, where they learn how to pan for gold. The rack is engaged after the next stop, Halls Creek, where the grade steepens to 1:16. On this stretch the loco works very hard to pull its load of 3 carriages at a snail’s pace to the summit at Rinadeena. Here another brief stop is made.” LUNCH-TIME AT DUBBIL BARRIL “From here the train proceeds cautiously down the 1:20 grade to Dubbil Barril - the end of the rack - and the cross- over station (not for the trains, but for the passengers). Within five minutes of arrival, the diesel-hauled train from RAILWAY TOURISM South Africa’s vintage Union Limited, extremely popular with overseas tourists until sidelined: this is what the historic dining car “Protea” looks like today. Photo: Dylan Knott. “In 1998, a Federal Government grant of A$24.45 million was allocated to funding the reconstruction of what is now purely a tourist railway. Additional funding came from the Tasmanian state government.” RAILWAY TOURISM RAILWAYS AFRICA June 201010 www.railwaysafrica.com
  12. 12. Carswell Park Depot Lower QUEENSTOWN km Tasmania Point Braddon KELLYCHANNEL Ruling gradient 1 in 40 (2.5%) Ruling gradient 1 in 40 (2.5%) Abt Rack 1 in 16 (6.25%) Abt Rack 1 in 20 (5%) metres 5 LowerLanding Teepookana Lowana RegattaPoint DubbilBarril Rinadeena HallsCreek Lynchford 3530252015100 0 50 100 150 200 250 AUSTRALIA CCOMPILED BY BRUNO MARTIN 3/2010 kilometres 0 5 H A R B O U R M A C Q U A R I E Abt Rack Diesel traction Steam traction 0.0 km 5.5 km 12 km 13 km 19 km 23.5 km 26 km 29.5 km 34.5 km Abt Rack 1 in 20 (5%) Abt Rack 1 in 16 (6.25%) Landing Lowana Lynchford Halls Creek Dubbil Barril Rinadeena Gates Hells King Pt. Yellow Bluff Neck I. Cat I. LongBay Bay Lettes RIVER QUEEN RIVER KING (closed) Mount Lyell Mine Mt. Huxley 925 Mt. Owen 1146 Teepookana Regatta Point Strahan QUEENSTOWN KELLYCHANNEL H A R B O U R M A C Q U A R I E LongBay Bay Lettes RIVER QUEEN RIVER KING WEST COAST WILDERNESS RAILWAY Tasmania 0.0 km 5.5 km 12 km 13 km 19 km 23.5 km 26 km 29.5 km 34.5 kmCarswell Park Depot km Point Braddon Ruling gradient 1 in 40 (2.5%) Ruling gradient 1 in 40 (2.5%) Abt Rack 1 in 16 (6.25%) Abt Rack 1 in 20 (5%) metres 5 3530252015100 0 50 100 150 200 250 TASMANIA - AUSTRALIA AUSTRALIA CCOMPILED BY BRUNO MARTIN 3/2010 kilometres 0 5 Abt Rack Diesel traction Steam traction Abt Rack 1 in 20 (5%) Abt Rack 1 in 16 (6.25%) Gates Hells King Pt. Yellow Bluff Neck I. Cat I. WEST COAST WILDERNESS RAILWAY (closed) Mount Lyell Mine Mt. Huxley 925 Mt. Owen 1146 Lower QUEENSTOWN LowerLanding Teepookana Lowana RegattaPoint DubbilBarril Rinadeena HallsCreek Lynchford Landing Lowana Lynchford Halls Creek Dubbil Barril Rinadeena Teepookana Regatta Point Strahan QUEENSTOWN Map by Bruno Martin. 0-4-2T rack/adhesion loco no 5 at Queenstown. Loco no 5 at Lynchford. Abt rack section, looking towards Rinadeena. Sign warns against walking along track: “Limited clearance”. Abt rack section, looking towards Rinadeena. Sign warns against walking along track: “Limited clearance”. Regatta Point pulls up. Passengers on the diesel-hauled train change over to the carriages from Queenstown, and vice versa. Attached to the train from Regatta Point is the counter car which provides packed lunches and sells beverages and souvenirs. The platform is sufficiently long to accommodate two trains and provide seating for all to enjoy their lunches. During the one-hour stopover there is ample time for a short walk through the rain forest. “While the passengers are enjoying their lunches the locos are turned on the turntable, and re-attached to their respective trains. The continuation to Regatta Point is now behind the diesel while the steam loco returns its train to Queenstown. For the remainder of the journey the diesel trundles at a sedate pace along the King River. A short stop is made at Teepookana where passengers have the opportunity to taste and purchase Leatherwood Honey, a speciality of Tasmania, before reaching the terminus at Regatta Point. A courtesy road coach service is provided to return passengers to their respective points of origin. The rail trip runs through spectacular mountain scenery, across wild rivers, through deep gorges and dense rain forests. Not cheap by any means, but well worth doing.” Railways Africa / / /www.railwaysafrica.com RAILWAY TOURISMRAILWAY TOURISM RAILWAYS AFRICA June 201012 www.railwaysafrica.com
  13. 13. Transnet Rail Engineering Specialists in maintenance, repair, upgrade, conversion and manufacture of rolling stock, components and rail support services. Tel: +27 (0)12 391 1304 Fax: +27 (0)12 391 1371 Email: sales@transnet.net
  14. 14. INDUSTRY COMMENT A TAKE ON THE STATUS QUO The writer does not address this article to those who believe that the general decline of railways in Sub-Saharan Africa will spontaneously turn around and all will be well again. Of course, serendipity may play a role, but pragmatists will mull over what they can and should do to sustain its railway industry, and hopefully to achieve renaissance. The largest network on the continent, South Africa’s, attained 150 years of railways in 2010. Customarily a cause for hearty celebration, the event seems to be low-key. Is that because the Soccer World Cup has overshadowed it, or does the state of railways not justify hearty celebration? Perhaps the latter – a media report revealed that key role players had recently received a drubbing from parliament. South Africa’s only railway celebration to date in 2010, and a worthy one at that, has been Gautrain’s commencement of operations. What irony that a project that initially attracted scorn should provide a solitary ray of light in an otherwise gloomy railway year! What lesson does the only railway in South Africa now built to standard gauge, with contemporary technology to match, teach us? Research on railway corporate citizenship has found Fortuitous, Insecure, Enlightened, Progressive, and Assertive railway clusters. No railway in Africa has yet transcended the Insecure cluster, while elsewhere in the world Enlightened, Progressive, and Assertive railways are enjoying renaissance (to be objective, several countries in Asia, Europe, and South America also do not make the upper railway echelon). Research by Railway Corporate Strategy has found many reasons: In the African context, a colonial legacy unquestionably represents a substantial obstacle. Corporate citizenship embodies the mutually enriching interchange between railways (and many other entities too, including other transport modes) and society. Railways essentially shoulder the heavy lifting component of the national transport task, both logistics and mobility. In so doing, they contribute jobs, not only directly in operations and maintenance, but also in the collective life-cycle activities between conception and ultimate recycling. They also add collateral value - in design, construction, and manufacture; provision of energy and financing; and logistics - and mobility integration. When pitched competitively, railways can minimise a country’s logistics and mobility cost function, thereby stimulating economic growth and national competitiveness. In addition, they provide substantial general well- being. Why would anyone not want railway renaissance in Africa and South Africa? DRIVERS OF CHANGE By way of recognising Railways Africa’s continental perspective, this article upholds South Africa, the leading economy in Africa, as example of how railway renaissance might start and ripple out to the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa. One can reasonably expect railway renaissance to stimulate a substantial shift to rail of traffic from other modes, primarily road, but also air in some corridors. Such a shift would compound the challenge of achieving renaissance lift-off: Railways would need to catch up on many fronts, while concurrently growing vigorously. These thrusts would demand solid support from all stakeholders. Consider the following categories of people who hold the outcome in their hands: Leaders who are intimately in touch with positioning railways for competitiveness and sustainability are rare, even in the global situation. This is not because of ignorance or decline, but because the very fabric of the industry is changing in an extraordinary way. The nature of the challenges, and the insight and skills required to position railways to meet them, reside on a higher level than applicable to protected state railways. Dare we entertain the notion that those who still struggle to manage the latter railways, who have not learned to recognise and to deal with the challenges of the globalised railway industry, might relegate their railways to a backwater? Young people are the future decision makers. Speak to them, and hear that South Africa has raised a generation of people who have not experienced good railways - the country has essentially lost its community memory in that regard. Most young people have not had an opportunity to travel overseas and so to experience well-positioned railways first-hand either. At best, they are uninformed regarding railways and at worst, they have acquired negative perceptions. Therefore, they make their decisions on what they see around them. If buses and taxis have established their frame of reference, it is axiomatic that they will aspire to their own cars as a priority. The alternative solution, namely an effective rail-based mass mobility system integrated with and supported by other transport modes, must be simply unimaginable to them. The same goes for freight logistics. Hard-nosed business people at best have no emotional attachment to rail and at worst have no tolerance for unacceptable performance. Once more, South Africa has produced a generation of logistics managers who instinctively turn to air and road, even when they need to move heavy bulk commodities. Skilled resources are at a low ebb: A critical South African challenge is to nurture skills and to raise their levels faster than they atrophy. From where will it recruit resources to support a railway renaissance? Develop its own? Yes! Great in principle, but railways employ unique technologies that both set them apart from other transport modes and give them their competitive advantages in market spaces Achieving railway renaissance Dave van der Meulen, managing member, Railway Corporate Strategy CC South Africa’s very first passenger train, between Durban and the Point on 26 June 1860, was not the first on the continent. This colourful early locomotive ran in Egypt, which operated its first train in 1854. INDUSTRY COMMENT RAILWAYS AFRICA June 201014 www.railwaysafrica.com
  15. 15. INDUSTRY COMMENT where railways stand strong – eg heavy-haul, double- stacking, high-speed intercity, and heavy metro. Traditionally, railways have therefore recruited good people and then developed them into skilled resources. However, a declining industry is unlikely to attract the best job market entrants for development into skilled resources. While one can instil basic operating skills, deeper insight at higher levels associates with self-development in a vibrant environment. Absence of a stable indigenous railway human resources foundation lays a country vulnerable to foreign opportunists. Having shaken off the yoke of colonialism, but still being burdened by elements of its railway legacy, Africa should be wary that unsustainable railways do not become the weakness that admits the thin end of the wedge of re-colonisation. China comes to mind, because it is conspicuously active in African railways and resources. Workers who make a railway function efficiently generally have the right to organise and to negotiate the best deal they can from their employers. It is however salutary to note that, around the world, when railways have gone into deep decline, organised labour has passionately endeavoured to protect the faded glory and the jobs that went with it. Without deprecating constitutional rights, intractable labour relations in declining industries usually signals imminent change – arguably the last straw that breaks the camel’s back. Will labour unions be a positive driver of railway renaissance in South Africa, or an impediment? Will they contribute to building a competitive, sustainable railway industry, or will they mount a rearguard action that will frustrate or prolong the passage to renaissance? Appreciate that one measure of good corporate citizenship is the value of jobs that an industry creates in a competitive setting. The global consulting community has mastered performance metrics and can fettle a railway by the numbers. However, it seems not to appreciate that one cannot omit track gauge from the analysis, most likely because it takes this parameter for granted in its native setting. All other things being equal, the difference in track gauge will force narrow gauge railways to underperform while concurrently attracting a capital premium, both proportional to that difference. Thus, despite the best efforts of the global consulting community, this double whammy prevents narrow gauge railways from approaching the capital- and operating efficiency of standard gauge railways. If Africa does not cultivate people with the requisite insights to deal with this question, and they are not available in the global market, to whom should it turn? The investor community is willing to come to the railway renaissance party in South Africa, and is pursuing railway opportunities in South Africa and beyond. In many countries, various types of participation models have evolved as workable instruments for attracting private investors to extend the spread of government funding. However, investors are averse to risk beyond their control. The type of investment instrument envisaged can moderate that control, from relatively small in PPPs, to relatively large in unsolicited bids. Appreciate nevertheless that while relatively small participation in a PPP may minimise risk to the private investor, it leaves most of the strategic freedom with the host government. Unsolicited bids can allow the private investor greater strategic freedom to determine direction, in return for a higher level of investment. Governments or authorities have the prerogative to determine what share of project funding they will allow private investors to take up. However, increasing private funding tends to bring with it decreasing government influence on strategic direction, and vice versa. Given the investment backlog in South Africa’s railways, one might think it attractive to maximise the quantum of private investment. On the other hand, government does have its development priorities. Because government and private objectives may not naturally align, to the extent that a government wishes to influence strategic direction, it will need to put its money where its mouth is. Can all stakeholders have their cakes and eat them? Alternatively, should they rather seek a pragmatic compromise that will maximise the size of the cake available to share among them all? OPENING MOVES Readers will note that this series of articles questions the status quo, and the established beliefs and wisdom on which it rests. Having calibrated that status quo, on a scale of effective to ineffective railway positioning, insight with which to set railways in order in South Africa and in Africa should follow. In the meantime, South Africa needs to heed the wake-up calls. First, the railway industry will need to recognise and demonstrate whatever inherent competitiveness it has in the South African situation. The alternative, that those who do not appreciate its strengths, or who have not successfully revitalised comparable railways, will spontaneously engineer its salvation, seems improbable. Second, rail’s contribution to the national economy and the national transport task is below par. One consequence is that the cost of logistics in South Africa is inordinately high. This writer is on record regarding the inefficacy of narrow gauge railways, as well as the downside of state ownership. The country needs to align railway technology and institutional arrangements with the global mainstream - it is simply way out of line. Third, government will need to match rail funding with that applied to other modes, particularly road. Absent such matching, the likes of the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project sends the unmistakable signal that South Africa is road domain. At the poles of a funding continuum, government will need either to pony up what is required, or to allow the private sector to do what it does best - get sustainable projects moving. The ideal, pragmatic, solution probably lies between these poles, a trade-off between ideological objectives and effective implementation. What hope has Railway SA if these questions are not resolved? No movement seems possible if all stakeholders stick to their going in positions. The first few years of the next 150 would appear challenging without some give and take. Even if it comes in year 151 or 152, breaking the logjam that impedes railway renaissance in South Africa would justify a hearty celebration. The Gautrain fleet exemplifies advanced overseas technology. INDUSTRY COMMENT June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 15www.railwaysafrica.com
  16. 16. BENGUELA LINE The Angolan government has invested more than $US89 million in the acquisition of new equipment for the Benguela Railway, according to Caminhos de ferro de Benguela (CFB) managing director Daniel Quipaxe. Speaking during the signing of a contract between the CFB board and the Chinese Machinery Equipment Import and Export Corporation (CMEIEC), he said this amount is earmarked for the acquisition of eight locomotives, 66 passenger coaches and 94 freight wagons. As part of the investment, Angolan technicians are to be trained in China. According to Angola’s deputy minister of transport Jose Joao Kuvingwa, speaking in Huambo on 26 July, CFB may be able to resume full operation during the first half of 2011, one year earlier than the schedule previously set. The government is investing some $US200 million in rehabilitating the line, he said. LUANDA-MALANJE SERVICE Caminhos de ferro de Luanda (CFL) has begun a twice- weekly goods service between Luanda and Dondo (190km). Intermediate localities served include Viana (Luanda), Catete and Maria Teresa (Bengo), Zenza do Itombe and Cassualala (Kwanza Norte). Public service along the entire line from Luanda via Ndalatando to Malanje is scheduled to start in December this year. A test train arrived in Malanje, endpoint of the 424km line from Luanda, on 25 July, conveying a party including CFL president Osvaldo Lobo do Nascimento. The delegation visited the CFL stations at Catete, Zenza do Itombe, Ndalahui (ex-Bela Alta) Luinha, Canhoca, Lucala and Ndalatando (Kwanza Norte), Kizenga, Cambuze, Cacuso and Lombe as well as Malange. Destroyed during the years of armed conflict, all have been rebuilt. Extensive rehabilitation of the line began in 2005, following 13 years out of operation. Assistance from the China International Fund (CIF) made it possible to rebuild 600 culverts, 16 stations and 40 bridges, as well as clearing land and easing gradients. The stations, all with two floors, have an administrative area, restaurant, AFRICA UPDATE ALGERIA MAGHREB MEETING Recommendations adopted at the recent meeting in Algiers on the development of rail transport in the countries of the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) are to be submitted to the Maghreb Transport Ministers’ Council (MTMC). Participants called on AMU member governments to speed up work on the Trans-Maghreb high-speed rail project from Morocco to Tunisia. AMU representative Abdelakader Bouchentouf recalled that the MTMC approved the route in 2007. Algerian transport minister Amar Tou noted the significant budget allocated for modernisation and development ($US24bn during the 2005-2009 plan and $30bn during the 2010-2014 plan). NEW ALGERIAN LINE Inaugurating the new 580km railway west and south-west from Algiers on 2 July, transport minister Amar Tou said commercial service is to start “very soon”. The line crosses the regions of Tabia, R’jem-Demouche, El Biodh, Mecheria, Naama, Ain-Sefra, Beni-ounif and Bechar. Traffic is projected at some 650,000 passengers and 700,000 tonnes of freight annually. ALGIERS – ELECTRIC DEPOT Algerian transport minister Amar Tou inspected the DZD 8.7 billion new electric rolling stock maintenance centre in Algiers on 30 June, announcing afterwards that it is 90% complete and due to be finished within four months. A fleet of 64 electric coaches will be maintained at the facility, “using the most advanced technologies.” The minister stressed the importance of meeting delivery deadlines set by Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviares (SNTF - the state railway of Algeria). ANGOLA PROGRESS WITH CFN (MOÇAMEDES) Speaking on 16 July in Lubango, southern Huila Province, after a 700km journey on the rehabilitated Caminhos de ferro Namibe (CFN – formerly the Moçamedes Railway), Angolan deputy minister of transport José João Kuvingua said some 600 families have to be relocated from railway land in Lubango City and 32 others in Menongue. Reopening of the line throughout to Menongue, scheduled for 2011, will speed development of the region, he said, by virtue of the cheap transport offered for large quantities of goods. Map courtesy Railway Gazette International. AFRICA UPDATE RAILWAYS AFRICA June 201016 www.railwaysafrica.com
  17. 17. 90% of funding being made available under a World Bank- backed multimodal transport project. The World Bank agreed a $US255m grant on 29 June, warning that an SNCC collapse would have “incalculable consequences” for the economy, including the potential growth of the mining sector. The government is to provide a further $US373m for the SNCC recovery plan, and $US25m is coming from the World Bank’s private sector development & competitiveness project. EGYPT TUNNEL UNDER SUEZ The Egyptian government, keen to encourage investment in the Sinai peninsula and in the cities along the Suez Canal, intends to construct a $US1bn tunnel beneath the canal near Port Said, carrying a rail track and two road traffic lanes. The planned location is 19km south of the canal’s northern entrance. Existing crossing points are restricted to a rail bridge, a road tunnel and a road bridge near Ismailia. EGYPT SEEKS PRIVATE PARTNERS Egypt plans to offer road, rail and other projects worth 10 billion Egyptian pounds ($US1.8 billion) for public-private partnerships, it is reported. Investment minister Mahmoud Mohieldin is quoted saying: “The public budget does not have enough allocated, meaning the private sector needs to join in completing projects.” The daily Al-Masry Al- Youm comments: “A series of road, rail and sea accidents in Egypt in recent years have triggered an outcry over the government’s handling of transport safety and prompted calls for increased spending on improving infrastructure.” The transport ministry, the paper says, is considering a project to extend Cairo’s underground metro to suburbs not now on the network. Cairo currently has two metro lines. ETHIOPIA INDIAN INTEREST IN ETHIOPIAN RAILWAY According to a report from Delhi, India has been interested in the 781km Ethio-Djibouti Railway, CFDE (Chemin de fer Djibouti-Ethopien), since 2006 when Rail India Technical and Economic Services Ltd (Rites) bid for the right to rehabilitate and operate the line. In the event, Comazar from South Africa was awarded the concession, but did not take it up. An Italian concern was then commissioned but the Ethiopian government felt “the pace and quality of work was inadequate.” A new concession is now in the offing and this time Rites appears to be competing with China. In the words of the Delhi report, “As India waited for Ethiopia to come with a specific request for help, the Chinese moved in quickly and offered cash upfront for rehabilitating the crucial 100-year- old imperial rail link to the port of Djibouti.” The metre-gauge line requires urgent upgrading, with several derailments reported every month. Many bridges along the routes are decrepit. medical clinic, offices, residences for officials, area traffic control and waiting rooms with capacity from 200 to 500 passengers. The Luanda railway opened in 1909, covering a total distance of 479km, including branch lines. After the country’s independence it fell into a long period of decline, suffering the loss of qualified staff, financial difficulties and lack of investment. Cargo transported dropped from 301,000 tons in 1973 to 54 tons in 1990. BENIN BENIN TECHNICIANS ON COURSE IN INDIA A railway technical team from Benin recently underwent comprehensive training in diesel locomotive maintenance at the Golden Rock Railway Workshops in Tiruchi, India. The facility has exported metre-gauge locomotives to Benin and other third-world countries after necessary modification. A group of eight received theoretical and practical training on various aspects such as diesel locomotive design features, layout, system working, stripping and overhauling of Alco engines and troubleshooting. This was the second batch of technical personnel from Benin to undergo training at Golden Rock. An earlier team went for training in 2008. Other visitors to the facility have included railway technical personnel from Tanzania, Senegal, Mozambique and Sudan. BOTSWANA RAILWAY FROM BOTSWANA TO MAPUTO On 16 July, the governments of Mozambique and Botswana signed a memorandum of understanding for the developing of a deep water port at Techobanine Point, in Mozambique’s southernmost district of Matutuine, and the building of a 1,100km connecting railway through Zimbabwe from Serule in Botswana. The estimated cost is approximately $US7 billion. The main cargo would be coal, Botswana having an estimated 212 billion tonnes of coal reserves. Both governments believe that the port and railway could be leased out to private management and that private finance will be forthcoming. The envisaged port, which would be able to handle bulk mineral ships, oil tankers and passenger vessels, would free Botswana from dependence on the harbours at Durban and Richards Bay which give priority to South African exports and experience congestion problems. The Southern African Development Community (SADC), says executive secretary Tomas Salomao, will give its full support and would encourage other member states, much as South Africa (“just 30km from Techbanine”) and Swaziland, to participate in the initiative. DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC) WORLD BANK GRANT FOR DRC’S SNCC In terms of a recovery plan to restore the financial and operational viability of Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Congolais (SNCC – the state railway in the Democratic Republic of Congo), the department has been allocated AFRICA UPDATE Belgian-built (1960) 1,067mm gauge Ragheno diesel railcar at Kinshasha in 1991. Photo: Martin Welzel. The remains of a “Littorino” railcar at Dire Dawa, one of three built by Fiat for CFDE (Chemin de fer Djibouti-Ethopien). Photo: Dietmar Fiedel. AFRICA UPDATE June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 17www.railwaysafrica.com
  18. 18. MOROCCO HIGH-SPEED CONTRACT Office National des Chemins de Fer (ONCF – the national railway of Morocco) has awarded a $US2.3 billion rail contract to a consortium of France-based Egis and Moroccan partner Ingema. The project, to be completed in 2015, involves the design and construction management of an 87km portion of the Kenitra-Tangiers high-speed line. The Moroccan government is expected to contribute some $541 million towards the cost. ONCF plans to order a fleet of Alstom Duplex double-deck high-speed trainsets. NAMIBIA TRANSNAMIB MAKEOVER From an article in The Namibian by Jana-Mari Smith “TransNamib is determined to overhaul its image as a battling state-owned enterprise and to revive the ‘glory days’ of railways in Namibia. Senior managers of TransNamib met with high-ranking officials from the ministry of works and transport and members of the TransNamib Board to clear the air on the company’s past, current and future challenges and to persuade the public that TransNamib was committed to becoming a vital part of the country’s economic growth.” CEO Titus Haimbili said Trans-Namib acknowledged the “legacy of challenges” it had to overcome and was committed to address. He added that TransNamib was “not promising miracles” but was ready and willing to “lay a sound foundation for the railways in Namibia”. A well- functioning railway can be a critical asset, as the uranium- mining industry continues to grow and rail traffic volumes could double. The company had to battle “an image of being a non- performing state-owned enterprise (SOE)”, Haimbili said, and had been “haunted by a stigma of secrecy and a lack of active stakeholder involvement. TransNamib employs AFRICA UPDATE KENYA FUNDING FOR RIFT VALLEY RAILWAYS Rift Valley Railways (RVR), holders of a 25-year concession to operate some 2,200km of track linking the port of Mombasa in Kenya with the interior of both Kenya and Uganda, is to receive about $US250 million to fund its capital expenditure programme. The financing structure for the funding is still under negotiation with various institutions, but is likely to comprise a 2:1 debt to equity ratio, according to the Financial Times. In February 2010, Citadel Capital of Egypt acquired a 51% holding in RVR through its subsidiary Ambience Ventures Ltd. The Trans-Century group has a 34% stake and an Ugandan investor owns the remaining 15%. LIBYA NEW RUSSIAN RAIL-WELDING PLANT President of Rossiiskie Zheleznie Dorogi (RZhD – the Russian State Railway) Vladimir Yakunin was present at the opening in Tripoli of Libya’s first international railway exhibition and conference, Lirex 2010, where railway companies and administrations of virtually every major country were represented. Yakunin also attended the ceremonial opening of a rail-welding plant in the town of Ras Lanuf, built under Russian Railways’ contract for the construction of the Sirt - Benghazi railway line. The maximum capacity of the plant is 700km of track per year. On 17 April 2008, an agreement was signed by Libyan Railways and Russian Railways for the construction of a line linking Sirt and Benghazi, after RZhD won the tender. Changamwe West 7.2 Golf Club Mombasa 0 Kipevu Container Port 4.5 MOMBASA Scale 1.300,000 46a Beach Line Jn 3.2 1. Kilindini 2. Kilindini Road 3. Fort Jesus Road 4. Post Office 5. Treasury Square Fort Jesus Railways in Mombasa – From World Rail Atlas, vol 7, reviewed on page 40 in this issue of Railways Africa. TransNamib GE U20C no 457 at Holoog is one of the locomotives of the class already refurbished. Photo: J Batwell. TransNamib is now able to procure spare parts more expeditiously for its Chinese-built SDD6 units. Photo: J Batwell. AFRICA UPDATE RAILWAYS AFRICA June 201018 www.railwaysafrica.com
  19. 19. AFRICA UPDATE 1,636 people, making it one of the largest SOE employers in Namibia.” Introducing the company’s top management team, he said their qualifications and crucial roles should be enough to refute criticism describing them as “incompetent” and “political appointees”. Other challenges include an aged railway network, which is approximately 100 years old. Its trains are past their sell-by date too, and the recently acquired Chinese locomotives have been heavily criticised. “Profits since 2000 have been ‘elusive’, Haimbili said. He added that ‘this negative profit trend’ could have been influenced by the lack of updated annual financial reports and ‘unaccounted asset register and evaluations’. “On the other end of the scale”, major achievements include an agreement with the Ohorongo Cement factory outside Otavi (projected to “rake in” N$60 million annually) with TransNamib responsible for transporting the coal and cement. Also, GPT Infraprojects Ltd has agreed to set up a factory in Tsumeb for the manufacture of concrete railway sleepers, for use in upgrading lines across Namibia. An important milestone is a reworked agreement with Beijing Zongs Railway Supplies. Cash settlement in advance is no longer stipulated and the delivery of parts should improve. Haimbili also highlighted an N$80 million programme to refurbish 18 General Electric locomotives. NIGERIA ENUGU SERVICE TO BEGIN The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) is set to commence the Enugu leg of its intra-city mass transit train service on 26 July 2010. This followed the inauguration of service at Kano on 5 July, where patronage has been excellent. Three new halts have been provided and three existing stations renovated. The corporation has completed rehabilitation of rolling stock and all infrastructure including level crossings. The commuter train makes six daily trips between the main station in Enugu and Agbani in the Nkanu West local government area. It is to stop at the Zik Avenue, Timber Shed, and Orie Emene halts and at Emene station. TANZANIA HARD TIMES FOR TRL STAFF In December 2009, according to East African Business Week employees of Tanzania Railways Limited (TRL) were placed on paid leave following serious washaways during the El Nino rains in the Morogoro region west of Dar-es- Salaam. Repairs to the most badly damaged bridge were completed recently and train services on the Central Line resumed after a break of almost six months. In March, since it was receiving minimal revenue, TRL announced its intention to place about a thousand people on unpaid leave for six months. Predictably the move was opposed by labour and subsequently the government- Rites joint concession was cancelled. The metre-gauge railway, the paper points out, has been the main “lifeline” for transporting produce from the country’s hinterland to Dar-es-Salaam since the beginning of the previous century. The Central Line is the main artery for the landlocked countries of Rwanda and Burundi, as well as the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). [The report incorrectly includes Zambia and Malawi in the list. In fact, these are linked to Dar-es-Salaam by the completely separate Tazara railway, which is not even the same gauge as the Central Line. Uganda is listed too, though most of that country’s imports and exports move through Kenya’s Mombasa. – Editor] TUNISIA CHINESE RAILCARS FOR TUNISIA Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens (SNCFT - the Tunisian National Railways) has ordered 20 diesel railcars from China South Locomotive & Rolling Stock (CSR). Starting in March 2011, Voith Turbo is to deliver 42 rail packs with T212bre turbo transmissions, SK/KE 485 final drives, roof-mounted cooling systems, cardan shafts and Schaku couplers for the project. Each vehicle has two Voith Turbo power packs rated at 530kW. The vehicles, all to be delivered by 2012 for use on routes around Tunis, will be manufactured in Nanjing, China, with the first prototype railcar set scheduled for testing in Tunisia in mid-2011. UGANDA STANDARD GAUGE FOR UGANDA It has been officially announced, East African Business Week reports, that the Ugandan government intends to build a standard gauge railway from Kampala to the border at Malaba, to connect with one envisaged by Kenya, running from Mombasa via Nairobi. Design work by consultants is expected to take “at least a year before building can start”. The 1,435mm gauge, Business Week notes, is “the preferred mode for 80% of the world’s railways. Industry sources quote speeds up to 120km/h on freight trains and 160km/h on passenger.” The paper explains: “The Uganda and Kenya railway services …… fell into disrepair following the break-up of the East African Community and were characterised by a lack of maintenance, no investment and poor coordination between the owners, so of course nobody could invest in them.” ZIMBABWE “NRZ FACES COLLAPSE” - GM Speaking on 7 July, National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), general manager Mike Karakadzai said the entire rail network “is fast deteriorating and on the verge of collapse due to lack of periodic maintenance. NRZ has limited resources to maintain the rail network and we don’t have enough financial resources to undertake such a huge task.” He said the government should speed up the opening of the country’s rail sector to private players. NRZ is reportedly operating at between 30% and 50% capacity. In terms of a plan put forward by NRZ, private players would be charged a rail access fee similar to airport and port tax. All players, including NRZ, would contribute funds that would be channelled towards maintenance of infrastructure. Class 14A NRZ 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 Garratt loco, dating from 1953.Class 14A NRZ 2-6-2 + 2-6-2 Garratt loco, dating from 1953. (from a Farrail photo).(from a Farrail photo). AFRICA UPDATE June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 19www.railwaysafrica.com
  20. 20. SA RAIL NEWS TRANSNET RESULTS Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) achieved a better-than-expected increase in revenues in the most recent financial year, despite a decline in export coal traffic and general freight. Revenues rose by 11.8% to R20.6 billion in the year ending 31 March, buoyed by an increased share of the intermodal market and rising bulk volumes in the latter part of the year. Export coal volumes decreased by 0.2% to 61.8 million tonnes, principally because of operational issues on the railway. However, export iron-ore volumes continued their strong upward trend, rising 21.5% to 44.7 million tonnes, a 41% increase over 2005 levels. General freight declined from 78.4 to 72.1 million tonnes. A cost cutting campaign bore fruit with net operating expenses rising only 3.2% to R13.4 billion. TFR hopes to strengthen its financial performance by concessioning under-utilised freight lines to other operators. Expressions of interest were invited recently for the operation of 7,300km of branch lines, only 3,928km of which are currently operational. The parastatal is assessing the possibility of leasing locomotives and rolling stock to concessionaires. PRASA’S NEW NASREC STATION The new Nasrec station in Johannesburg was refurbished at a cost of about R70 million, to handle thousands of people going to the Soccer City stadium during the Soccer World Cup event. The station was at the centre of rail, bus and taxi hubs to cope with 20,000 people expected to stream though every hour during peak time. The upgrades to the station include: • “Super-wide (9m)” platforms with a 3m wide, centrally located stairway; • Three stairways, wide entrance ramps and a lift for passengers with special needs; • Adequate lighting and CCTV cameras; , • Ticket sales and verification points sheltered from the weather; • An integrated control system that allows train arrivals and departures to be monitored via the internet; and • A standby generator and UPS in case of power failure. INTEGRATED RAPID PUBLIC TRANSPORT More than R14.5 billion is to be spent on developing integrated rapid public transport networks (IRPTNs) in South Africa over a three-year period, transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele has announced. More than R6 billion has been committed during the 2010/11 financial year and a further R85 billion will probably be allocated in the two years after that. This would be in addition to the R25 billion to be spent on improving South Africa’s passenger rail service over the next three years. The IRPTNs are at the core of South Africa’s public transport strategy (PTS), which is aimed at accelerating the improvement of public transport services for more than half the country’s population. Priority rail corridors and bus rapid transit is to be introduced in the cities. In the long term, the aim is to have 85% of all metropolitan residents within a kilometre of such a network. DUAL PURPOSE HIGH-SPEED JBG-DBN LINE If a high-speed railway is built to link Durban and Johannesburg, as recommended in South Africa’s rail master plan, it would not be financially viable unless it carried both freight and passengers, says Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Tshepo Lucky Montana. His statement is based on a “pre-feasibility” assessment. The next step is a full feasibility study. As far as passenger trains are concerned, speeds of between 300km/h and 350 are foreseen, reducing journey time for the 720km from the current 10 hours to about 3½. Montana told Engineering News that a public–private partnership (PPP) would be a possibility, offering a 35-year concession to a suitable party. “Otherwise, the cost may be prohibitive.” The paper added: “Montana does not want to elaborate on the possible rand value of building such a rail link, which will require quite a bit of tunnelling through the Drakensberg.” [One or two terminology definitions would be useful, eg “viable”, “prohibitive” and “quite a bit”. - Editor] PRASA’S NEW STATIONS The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) upgraded a number of stations around the country to handle thousands of people going to the various city stadiums during the Soccer World Cup event. All were opened in good time. According to Prasa CEO Lucky Montana: “Modern developments optimise the revolutionary work being undertaken at stations across the country, the result of which I believe will bring a renewed sense of pride to South Africa. An entirely new and aesthetically pleasing design has been applied to the key stations, creating a safe and satisfying transport hub for all to enjoy.” The upgrades were aimed at enhancing the commuting experience through improving the general physical environment, safety, security and hygiene of stations. The refurbished stations include: South African Rail News TFR freight near Leeudoringstad, 253km south-west of Johannesburg. Photo: Jacque Wepener. Newly completed 4-platform station at Nasrec, Johannesburg. SA RAIL NEWS RAILWAYS AFRICA June 201020 www.railwaysafrica.com
  21. 21. SA RAIL NEWS JOHANNESBURG: • New Canada and Nasrec (R90 million); • Ellis Park and Doornfontein (R77 million); • Orlando (R70 million). PRETORIA: • Loftus and Bel Ombre (R20 million); DURBAN: • KwaMyandu and KwaMashu (R50 million). • Reunion (R6 million). CAPE TOWN: • Athlone, Heideveld and Langa (R60 million). PORT ELIZABETH: • North End (R16 million). “One of the reasons rail use has declined over the years,” Montana suggests, “may be because people felt it was unsafe. However; a safe and effective public rail transport system was paramount to the success of the Fifa World Cup. This is why Prasa has spent over R160 million to bring back railway police. We knew we’d done our job when fans stepped off our trains with a smile, took advantage of all the wonderful facilities at our stations and enjoyed a gentle five minute stroll to their seats in the stadium”. 2.6km GREEN POINT STADIUM RAILWAY STATION CIVIC CENTRE CBD Prasa boasted its 5-minute-walk-to-all-the-stadiums claim in widely distributed publicity handouts, all specifically including Cape Town. “A gentle 5-minute stroll” to Green Point did stretch credulity somewhat: the official distance from the station is 2.6km. June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 21www.railwaysafrica.com SA RAIL NEWS
  22. 22. SA RAIL NEWS HIGH-SPEED JBG-DURBAN “NO PRIORITY” Alstom says it is interested in a proposed new rail link from Durban to the King Shaka International Airport, for which pre-feasibility studies are in progress, but doubts any early justification for high-speed trains between Johannesburg and Durban. Alstom director for business development in SA Philippe Roch suggests focusing on metropolitan commuter needs first. “It is absolutely possible in South Africa, not as a first priority, but as a second priority,” Roch was quoted saying. During June, Prasa CEO Lucky Montana said such a line would have to be a combined freight and passenger rail operation to be viable. According to Roch, combining freight and passenger rail would result in slower journey times. Passenger trains would not be able to travel at high speeds of up to 275km/h if they were to share the track with freight. Freight trains carry much heavier loads, which result in differing maintenance and operational requirements. According to lecturer in politics at the University of the Witwatersrand Anthony Butler, “KwaZulu-Natal interests are hoping to replicate the remunerative elements of the World Cup bid, but on an altogether bigger scale. Instead of a Gauteng-style toy train, they propose a high-speed rail link between Johannesburg and Durban. Sceptical citizens are told not to count the costs because it is all needed for the Olympics. “The multipurpose Moses Mabhida Stadium was conceived all along as the plausible centrepiece of an Olympic bid. According to the adherents of Blatternomics, even bidding for a mega-event brings economic benefits - albeit ones of the so-called ‘intangible’ kind beloved of event entrepreneurs.” HIGH-SPEED RAIL FOR OFS According to Congress of the People (Cope) representative in the National Council of Provinces for the Northern Cape Ken Sinclair, OFS economic development, tourism and environmental affairs MEC Mxolisi Dukwana announced a high-speed rail project in his budget vote speech earlier this year. Sinclair asked national transport minister Sbu Ndebele to confirm that the Free State provincial government is negotiating with a Chinese construction company over plans to build a high-speed railway between Sasolburg and the Gariep Dam. Ndebele’s spokesman Logan Maistry told the press that all rail projects are assessed to see whether they conform with the national transport master plan. In his reply to Sinclair, minister Ndebele said the national transport department was not involved in the reported negotiations, “However, I have been informally briefed by the Free State provincial government, through its department of economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, about a Chinese high-speed railway project. I have advised the Free State provincial government to develop a formal business case and forward it to the Department of Transport.” Sinclair said the Free State had no need of high-speed links, the main priority being to improve the efficiency of freight rail to take freight transport off the roads. “It does not make sense if you look at the bigger developmental patterns of SA. It is all pie in the sky,” he said. CAPE TOWN AIRPORT RAIL LINK DELAYED Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Tshepo Lucky Montana, quoted by Engineering News, says the building of the proposed passenger rail line linking the Cape Town international airport to the city’s central business district has been delayed owing to “complications” over funding. “He says the project has been put on a waiting list owing to difficulties in securing the budget and structuring a funding deal for the 4.6km, R2.1 billion project, as well as concerns from the city council that the project may diminish passenger numbers on its newly introduced bus transit system. Press reports suggest that the buses are carrying only 10-15 passengers on an average trip. “However, Montana says passenger volumes at the airport are expected to grow from eight million passengers a year to 15 million in a few years’ time. ‘No bus system will be able to carry this number of people.’” He says the project has been put on a waiting list, though two bidders have already been short-listed for the project which “remains one of Prasa’s top priorities.” TRANSNET TO RUN TRAINS ON TIME Transnet says it has set itself a target to improve productivity by 20% over the next three years. The group admits that poor operational performance underlies failure to provide a reliable service. CEO of the Agriculture Business Chamber CEO John Purchase is quoted saying that many in the agricultural sector have moved their business from rail to road transport as they cannot depend on Transnet. Inadequacies at SA’s ports and rail operations have been blamed for holding back economic growth by not providing a predictable service to key industrial and mining customers. Speaking on 10 June, acting Transnet CEO Chris Wells said that R74 billion has been spent on infrastructure over the past five years, but this “did not translate into an improved service to customers”. A “focused recovery plan” is now in place, he explained. Initiatives have been devised to raise productivity, and improve operating efficiency and safety, “and we have implemented a durable solution to the lacklustre performance of the coal line.” Export coal had a compounded 10.4% drop in volume over four years. For this, Green Point Table Mountain Sea Point Camps Bay Hout Bay Noordhoek Bergvliet Mitchells Plain Constantia Claremont Athlone Bellville Blouberg PROPOSED AIRPORT LINE TableView Milnerton Blue Downs Lansdowne Langa Bonteheuwel Guguletu Nyanga Khayelitsha Hanover Park Heathfield Retreat Muizenberg Fish Hoek Simon’sTown 10kms CBD N The airport lies 19km from the CBD. The proposed 4.6km will be a branch off the Cape Town-Langa-Bonteheuwel-Bellville line. SA RAIL NEWS RAILWAYS AFRICA June 201022 www.railwaysafrica.com
  23. 23. SA RAIL NEWS “operational issues”, cable theft and planning deficiencies are blamed. It is aimed to raise export coal volumes by 4.9% in each of the next five years. Transnet’s strategy to improve customer service has been dubbed Quantum Leap. It aims for a 20% improvement in productivity over the next three years. In the next five years the group hopes to improve turnaround on rail services by 20% and improve on-time departures by 25%. Transnet is to spend a further R93.4bn on new infrastructure over the next five years. In Wells’ words: “We aim to build capacity ahead of demand to ensure that we are able to provide a predictable and reliable service”. The group plans to increase rail capacity over the next five years by 32%. Altogether 554 new or additional locomotives are to be acquired, as well as 7,231 more wagons by 2015. TOUGH 12 MONTHS FOR ROVOS In an interview with Sunday Times columnist Chris Barron, Rohan Vos spelled out some of the problems Rovos Rail has faced in the past 12 months. First there was the global recession – and 90% of his customers come from overseas: “We’re totally dependent on incoming tourism. Every political event affects that.” Rovos trains ran at an average 37% loading in 2009, down from 57% in 2008. “It just robbed us of any profit at all during the last year. In fact, we went into a loss situation,” Vos told Barron. Then there was the ash cloud, courtesy of Iceland’s volcano. “We had a total train cancellation because of a group that couldn’t get out of London. That was the day before the Pretoria crash. “ June2010,inevitably,wasboundtobea“disaster”.TheSoccer World Cup meant potential customers were not able to get flights or hotels. Prices everywhere were inflated (though not by Rovos which maintained all its normal fares and schedules). “What blew it away were the block bookings or the blanket control of flights and hotel rooms by Match”. TRANSNET FREIGHT RAIL AUCTION At the TFR auction which closed on 27 May 2010, 60 wagons were sold for R1,520,000 together with an historic (burned out) 1937 2M1 motor coach converted for driver training. Two class 31 diesel locos (31-025/041, GE U12B, 1958) are believed to have fetched R131,000. Eight L1T coaches went for R175,000*. [*These were from the mid-eighties’ “Metroblitz” trainsets (photo on page 30) which linked Pretoria and Johannesburg in 42 minutes, reaching speeds of 160km/h. By way of comparison, Gautrain is to link Pretoria and Johannesburg in 42 minutes, reaching speeds of 160km/h. – Editor] The old 2M1 motor coach recently auctioned. SA RAIL NEWS June 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 23www.railwaysafrica.com
  24. 24. 150 YEARS OF RAILWAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA It is remarkable that, in 1860, a small town like Durban had the distinction of operating the first commercial steam railway in South Africa. It was the second on the African continent, the Cairo to Alexandria line preceding it by four years. The development of railways in the 19th century as a more efficient form of transport with improved speed and carrying capacity, served to extend frontiers and accelerate development, especially in South Africa and Natal. The population of Durban in 1862 was 4,313 of which 1,593 were Africans. The first indentured Indian labourers for the sugar farms were only to arrive on 17 November 1860. The economy was somewhat limited to service industries such as blacksmiths, carpentry, wagon building, transport riding and inns. The sugar industry was still in its infancy. Transport by ox-wagon was expensive and slow, taking some three or more days to Pietermaritzburg. Roads were exceptionally poor and the streets of Durban only sandy tracks, making the railway an extremely desirable option for development. The first semblance of a railway in South Africa, albeit not with steel rails and a steam locomotive, was the Bluff wooden track in 1856-57. In January 1859 the Natal Railway Company was formed to build a line between the harbour at the Point and the town centre of Durban. The Natal Legislative Council passed a private law which granted the company the sole right to provide rail transport for 14 years. Early in 1860 work started on building the 3km long 1,435mm gauge railway with bullhead rails mounted on “potlid” sleepers. The rolling stock comprised the 24hp 0-4-0 locomotive named Natal, six goods wagons and one 4-wheeled passenger carriage. This had one carpeted first class compartment that seated up to 10 on cane seats and two second class varnished oak compartments, each seating 20. The Point station was on the wharf built at a deeper part of the harbour where the present B and C Sheds are located. THE FIRST RAILWAY IN SOUTH AFRICA This article by Michael Cottrell in the Natal Newsletter of the Railway Society of Southern Africa - with whose kind permission it is reproduced here – has been slightly shortened. 2010 – RAILWAY MILESTONE YEAR The year 2010 marks three important railway milestones in South Africa – opening of the first railway, the centenary of railway unification in the country and the fifty-year anniversary of the Railway Society of Southern Africa. Reconstructed 0-4-0 locomotive Natal on Durban’s main station today. According to the plaque on the Natal locomotive mounted in the concourse of Durban railway station today: “The first train in South Africa operated between the Point and Durban on 23 June 1860. This locomotive is a reconstruction on the original chassis and wheels, which were recovered in the Umzimvubu River near Port St Johns”. The very first journey, as opposed to the official opening on 26 June, was a test run which took place three days earlier. The train consisted of five goods wagons containing 40 tons of sugar mill machinery and a few passengers, including the chairman and secretary of the Natal Railway Company. THE FIRST OFFICIAL STEAM TRAIN JOURNEY, 26 JUNE 1860 Summarising George Russell’s account of the opening: The inauguration took place at 11 o’clock by His Excellency Major Williamson after the Rangers and the 85th presented arms, while the band played the national anthem. Bishop Colenso invoked Divine blessing on the enterprise while the wind snapped flagpoles, damaged decorations and blew off hats. The all-pervading sand made the scene both memorable and unpleasant. Everyone was thankful for the chairman’s bow to His Excellency who headed for the first class compartment in the coach. The rest of the guests seated themselves in the other compartments. Good- humouredly, they made the best of the circumstances. With a prolonged, wailing shriek Jacobs turned on the steam, This watercolour by Natal Railway Company manager Robert Tatham of theThis watercolour by Natal Railway Company manager Robert Tatham of the official opening of the first railway in South Africa gives an interesting glimpseofficial opening of the first railway in South Africa gives an interesting glimpse of this important occasion at the Market Square Station in Durban. On the left isof this important occasion at the Market Square Station in Durban. On the left is the Natal locomotive, described by George Russell in histhe Natal locomotive, described by George Russell in his History of Old DurbanHistory of Old Durban as “blowing off steam in fretful impatience,” waiting for driver, Henry Jacobs,as “blowing off steam in fretful impatience,” waiting for driver, Henry Jacobs, to couple to the only four-wheel passenger coach for the important guests. Ato couple to the only four-wheel passenger coach for the important guests. A freight wagon that Russell converted temporarily provided additional passengerfreight wagon that Russell converted temporarily provided additional passenger accommodation. The locomotive was somewhat rustic with no covered cab foraccommodation. The locomotive was somewhat rustic with no covered cab for the protection of the driver, who felt the weather particularly on this windy day.the protection of the driver, who felt the weather particularly on this windy day. As there was no turntable or turning triangle, theAs there was no turntable or turning triangle, the NatalNatal ran backwards with thisran backwards with this official train to the Point. In the background is the original St Paul’s Anglicanofficial train to the Point. In the background is the original St Paul’s Anglican Church with no other building visible on the vast Market Square. There was noChurch with no other building visible on the vast Market Square. There was no station apart from a hastily erected platform on which the official guests waited,station apart from a hastily erected platform on which the official guests waited, including the acting Lieutenant-Governor, Major Williamson; members of theincluding the acting Lieutenant-Governor, Major Williamson; members of the Natal Legislative Council; W Hartley, Mayor of Durban: and J Ackerman, MayorNatal Legislative Council; W Hartley, Mayor of Durban: and J Ackerman, Mayor of Pietermaritzburg; Bishop Colenso and clergy; the railway directors, and theof Pietermaritzburg; Bishop Colenso and clergy; the railway directors, and the Royal Durban Rangers. In the foreground on the left is the 85th Regiment and onRoyal Durban Rangers. In the foreground on the left is the 85th Regiment and on the right a group of onlookers. Source:the right a group of onlookers. Source: Durban Local History MuseumDurban Local History Museum. 150 YEARS OF RAILWAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA RAILWAYS AFRICA June 201024 www.railwaysafrica.com