CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION CATALOGUE
15-17 MARCH 2010 | CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE (CTICC)
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RAILWAYS | HARBOURS | INTERMODAL | COMMUTER | MINING
6 – 8 April 2011
EXPO CENTRE – JOHANNESBURG
Floorplan NOW OPEN!
Call for papers.
For further information, rates and booking details contact Phillippa Fox
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W W W. R A I LWAY S A N D H A R B O U R S . C O M
These have been tough months for the Instead, Metrorail is struggling to of that? Being a magazine dedicated
rail industry, but I think there’s light at satisfy suppliers waiting months to the railway scene, I suppose we are
the end of the Hex River tunnel - and for their money (never mind poor fortunate there is still a rail industry at
let’s hope that’s an oncoming train we commuters waiting for their trains) all - so let’s hope there is a miracle out
see! Thankfully there are definite signs while Montana warns of intercity there somewhere.
that things are turning round, though passenger services “collapsing” within
many enterprises have posted losses - two years, so alarming is the difference On a more positive note, it is a great
some very big indeed - and the impact between income and working costs. pleasure to welcome exhibitors and
in terms of jobs on our already skills- The Metrorail refurbishing programme delegates to the 16th International
strained industry is no joke. has been cut back - yet the age of Wheelset Congress and Exhibition.
coaches averages around 40 years, This exclusive technical event takes
Rather less amusing is the crisis that with hundreds still inoperable. In fact, place every three years, each time at
the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) he points out, refurbishing is not a a different world venue, and this is the
finds itself in. Regrettably, despite cost-effective business because the first year that it is has been hosted on
lengthy conversations with and present rolling stock is obsolete and the African continent. The complete
questions sent to several highly-placed badly needs to be replaced with new. congress catalogue has been included
communications people at the (There have been no new suburban in this issue of Railways Africa - we did
Department of Transport (DoT - to which trains in twenty years). the same for the Railways & Harbours
Prasa reports), no useful response has Conference and Exhibition in 2009 -
been forthcoming in terms of a tangible Cannot the frequently punted PPP and are sure you will find it useful.
rescue plan, nor any other plan for that (Public-Private-Paticipation) concept
matter. be brought in here? Government has The next Railways Africa happens to be
been patently unable to resolve the all about track, so get your editorial in
The unbelievably critical lack of funding growing railway financial impasse by and - yes of course - we would never
that CEO Lucky Montana spells out - itself, and only it knows why so many say “no” to some ad-spend (we are
blamed squarely on the government, billions are being pumped into projects very reasonable you know!)
National Treasury and/or DoT - is like minibus-taxi recapitalisation while
especially difficult to understand the trains - the backbone of any “world-
following so many often repeated class” city - are left out in the cold.
promises that the backlog was going
to be fixed by June 2010, that we Maria Ramos did a brilliant job Phillippa Fox
were to see “world-class” suburban discarding the loss-making bits at
train services in South Africa’s cities, Transnet, like Shosholoza Meyl. But
running every few minutes for 16 hours sidetracking this into the DoT stable
every day. The word “legacy” featured heaped yet more commitments on top of
prominently in these undertakings: Montana’s already overburdened (and
June 2010 was not going to be a once- anything but lucky!) encumbrances.
off, temporary, put-things-right-for- As for making no provision for picking
a-month affair. South Africans were up the intercity service’s financial
to enjoy a super-efficient transport obligations when it became part of
infrastructure and service for many DoT: c’mon guys - did nobody think CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION CATALOGUE
years to come.
15-17 MARCH 2010 | CAPE TOWN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION CENTRE (CTICC)
Transnet Rail Engineering 2
Opinion: Pete the Pundit 6
Africa Update 10
SA Rail News 18
Transnet Rail First Train at Moatize Ringrollers Heat
Konkola Deep Mining Project 24
Engineering’s Wheel > Page 12 Treatment Expands
Gautrain Update 26 Business > Page 2 > Page 22
Mishaps & Blunders 32
Middle East Update 36
World Miscellany 39
Railway Heritage 40
End of the Line 42
Konkola Deep Mining Gautrain construction Derailment at
Project update Pietermaritzburg
> Page 24 > Page 26 Station > Page 33
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 1
TRANSNET RAIL ENGINEERING
A TOTAL SERVICE SOLUTION
Transnet Rail Engineering’s Wheel Business specialises capability to profile 1,435 mm gauge wheel-sets to serve
in the refurbishing and assembly of all types of railway Gautrain wheels and other future standard gauge rail
wheels for the Southern African region. The business has projects.
the capability and facilities to assemble and build up new
wheels from components brought in from local and The Wheel Business has the skills and competency to
international suppliers. The Wheel Business is managed refurbish old wheels and assemble new wheels. The
from its head office situated at Transnet Rail Engineering’s Business has the capacity to produce about 100,000 wheel
Koedoespoort depot in Pretoria. The business has seven pairs annually for diesel or electric locomotives, passenger
facilities that are strategically located in the Western Cape coaches and freight wagons. As Transnet Rail Engineering
(Salt River and Saldanha), Uitenhage, Bloemfontein, Durban, has a history that goes back more than 50 years, it is
Johannesburg (Germiston) and Pretoria (Koedoespoort). able to draw on a core of highly experienced staff, that have
high levels of competence.
The Wheel Business dominates the African wheel market,
as it is the only large wheel repair and assembly facility The main activities in the Wheel Business include wheel
on the continent. The Business services the rail wheel re-profiling, the machining of axles, centres and tyres
requirements for the Transnet Freight Rail fleet (locomotives and the fitting of wheel bearings, driving gears and motor
and wagons), PRASA suburban and main-line passenger suspension tubes.
coaches, The Blue Train, the Phelophepa Health train,
various privately-owned rolling stock as well as the rolling Services offered include:
stock of a number of African railway operators. • Ultrasonic axle testing
• Axle machining and burnishing
The Wheel Business is ISO 9001:2000 certified, and also • Wheel re-profiling
complies with the standards laid down by the American • Wheel re-tyring
Association of Railroads (AAR). • Making up new and refurbished wheel pairs
• Removal and refitting of bearings
At its various centres, the Wheel Business is equipped with • Removal, re-qualification and refitting of motor
the latest technology, including wheel profiling portal suspension tubes and driving gears
lathes and laser beam measuring equipment. The wheels
it produces are geared for the 1,067 mm rail gauge. The Transnet Rail Engineering, an operating division of Transnet
Business has acquired new portal lathes that have the Limited, is the backbone of South Africa’s railway industry
2 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
TRANSNET RAIL ENGINEERING
with eight product-focused businesses, 132 depots, is constantly monitored and managed with employees
six factories and 13,163 employees countrywide. The receiving regular training in operational health and safety
organisation is dedicated to in-service maintenance, repair, awareness. Disabling injury frequency rates are ever
upgrade, conversion and manufacture of freight wagons, decreasing and numerous accolades are received including
mainline and suburban coaches, diesel and electric the highest safety award, the NOSCAR.
locomotives as well as wheels, rotating machines, rolling
stock equipment, castings, auxiliary equipment and services. As a responsible corporate citizen, society and the
environment are high priorities in the maintenance of
A SOLID HISTORY sustainability. Programmes extend to communities and
With origins dating back more than a century to the schools, improving the lives of the under-privileged and
mechanical engineering department of the former physically challenged through donations of computers,
South African Railways and Harbours, this engineering development of sport, occupational therapy and job
organisation has actively supported railways in the creation. Being an industrial consumer of electricity and
expansion of the country’s economy and over the decades fuel, savings campaigns are maintained for the reduction of
has developed some of the most innovative bogies and losses and the efficient use of energy for heating, lighting
wagons ever built for 1,067mm track. Through the years, and process power.
Transnet Rail Engineering has become the key supplier of
customised rolling stock for the coal, iron-ore, intermodal, COMPETENT SUPPLIER - TOTAL SOLUTION
agricultural, fuel and cement industries. Transnet Rail Engineering’s competency is based on its
sound knowledge of the technologies subsisting in its
AFRICAN SOUL – GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE products, supported by ongoing research and development
While focus is mainly on the South African market, investment and exceptional product application experience. A
in research and development to service the specific demanding standard of precision, combined with
integrated maintenance and life-cycle upgrading, ensure a
requirements of Africa and the rest of the world has led to
comprehensive ‘total-service’ solution for railway operators
an ever-expanding range of rolling stock products and a
to achieve optimum fleet availability and reliability. All work
comprehensive list of satisfied customers, further enhancing
is conducted in accordance with railway codes of practice
the organisation’s international reputation. The proximity
and standards such as those of the American Association
of the coastal plants to major ports facilitates the movement
of Railroads and all Transnet Rail Engineering depots are
of products to and from overseas markets.
ISO 9001:2000 accredited. Mobile maintenance teams
backed up by a network of support services take the total
OUR PEOPLE, OUR COMMUNITIES, OUR FUTURE solution into all operational areas. Rerailing and recovery
With its greatest assets being its people and their skills, service completes the support package to regional railway
Transnet Rail Engineering is committed to many initiatives operators.
such as the talent management programme, relationship
building, performance management, transformation, a WORLD CLASS SYSTEMS
comprehensive lifestyle well-being programme, as well as The core of Transnet Rail Engineering’s business systems
engineering bursaries and apprenticeship training to name is SAP. A Competency Centre based at the corporate
but a few. office supports the application modules, being Finance,
Controlling (management reporting), Production
The organisation takes seriously its moral and legal duty Planning, Sales and Distribution, Human Capital, Material
to ensure the health and safety of all employees. This Management, Document Management and Project
obligation also extends to clients, the communities in which Systems with Investment Management. The Centre is a
it operates and to the protection of the environment. member of the Gartner Best Practices Group and is a well
respected member of the SAP community. Architecture
Safety has become embedded in the organisation’s includes a portal with a completely duplicated infrastructure
culture. Performance achieved through the SHEQ system for disaster recovery.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 3
TRANSNET RAIL ENGINEERING
Programmes such as Lean Six Sigma, complemented by components, Compliance, Financial Risk Management and
agreements with original equipment manufacturers for Enterprise Risk Management.
skills and know-how transfer have placed Transnet Rail
Engineering firmly on the map as a world class manufacturing SUPPORTING RAILWAYS
organisation. Through its comprehensive set of rolling stock products
and services, Transnet Rail Engineering is the supplier of
DESIGN AND PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT choice for successful railway operations.
Transnet Rail Engineering’s design office makes use of
state-of-the-art programmes for computer-aided design,
finite element analysis and three-dimensional modelling as
well as mechanical and electrical integration software. New
products and upgrades of existing products are created by
highly qualified and experienced engineers, all specialists
in the varied technical disciplines of railway engineering.
The design, prototyping, testing, commissioning,
industrialisation and production processes are supported
by configuration management, project management,
quality control, SAP and non-conformance reporting. As the
process of manufacture is as important as the products
it produces, capital expenditure and maintenance
management are equal priorities to ensure modern well
serviced equipment, machinery and facilities.
Whether product development or capital expenditure, WE HAVE SEVEN FACILITIES AROUND THE COUNTRY:
every project tackled is meticulously analysed using • Salt River and Saldanha – Cape region
leading project management methodology. This involves a
structured approach in the use of the skills, tools, software • Bloemfontein
and techniques throughout the process, from • Germiston - Johannesburg
conceptualisation through initiation, planning, execution • Uitenhage
and control to close-out. Assisting this process is the • Durban
Project Support Office, which acts as a resource centre to • Koedoespoort - Pretoria
sustain the project management culture.
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE OUR FACILITIES ARE EQUIPPED WITH THE LATEST
Transnet Rail Engineering is firmly committed to sound TECHNOLOGY INCLUDING:
corporate governance and accountability, having adopted • portal lathes
a proactive approach to risk management in line with the • laser measuring machines
King II Code of Corporate Governance, the Companies • CNC Axle lathes
Act and the Public Finance Management Act. Committees,
offices and departments within the organisation manage • CNC Vertical boring mills
corporate governance and risk, integrating the three
4 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
PETE THE PUNDIT looks at
TRANSPORT COST OVERRUNS,
THE COST OF INVESTIGATING IRREGULARITIES and
RIFT VALLEY RAILWAY REVELATIONS
GAUTRAIN OVERRUN “Of course it’s possible technically - whether 3’6” or standard
In a hard-hitting article dealing mainly with Eskom planning gauge, but at what cost? The point is - is it possible for such
and shortcomings, the Financial Mail warns : “major capital a service to be a commercial success? The SAR Metroblitz
projects like power stations routinely run over budget - just [Pretoria-Johannesburg in 42 minutes in 1984] was excellent
look at how the cost of the Gautrain has ballooned.” technically but a marketing disaster. A fortune was spent
developing it, then it was put into service on a couple of
Memories being short, interested parties may need reminding return runs a day for which you had to pre-book. I did hear
that the original estimates for the train were somewhere in that a large part of the patronage was SAR pass-holders.
the region of R2 billion, which climbed to R7bn at the time What was needed was a regular-interval service, with tickets
when the green flag was waved. That was four years ago, in available on the train - but that was light years ahead of SAR
2005. The current “ceiling” is R25.4 billion. thinking of the day! SA Rail [magazine] at the time likened
it to the proverbial local farmer buying a Maserati and then
This figure refers only to capital outlay of course. There is using it to take his pigs to market!
still performance to be taken into account – performance in
“real time” as they say. Unfortunately, the number of people
expected to use major new transport projects routinely run
below the consultants’ estimates. Thus there may well be
shortfalls in operating cost coverage to be met. An example
has been seen in Johannesburg very recently, where
patronage of the newly opened bus rapid transit (BRT) is
far below what was foreseen, and no financial provision was
budgeted for such costly daily running expenses.
Cape Town contrived a similar, though considerably more
costly, analogy. It turns out that the first phase of the city’s
BRT scheme is going to need some R3 billion more than South Africa’s Johannesburg-Pretoria-in-42-minutes Metroblitz express (1984).
was estimated by the experts. A senior official (who has
since “left the council’s employ”) appears to have taken “If anyone seriously believes they can make a TGV
the rap, but it seems inexplicable that his own seniors – all [French intercity high-speed train] or similar type service a
Very Important Persons – could have accepted, without any commercial success in a suburban or inter-urban setting, I
query, calculations flawed to this unbelievable extent. think they need to go back to their economics text books.
What might work is a fast (80-100km/h) high-quality light rail
This is not the end of this particular story. The wonderful type operation. It has been proved in many cities (particularly
new bus system – so Cape Town’s ratepayer millions were in Europe) that if you are going to get people out of their cars
assured - would be so viable that it would cover its operating onto public transport the service has to be very high-quality,
costs. Well it won’t, it is now conceded – not by a very long fast, reliable and competitive. Whether such a system could
chalk - just like its counterpart in Johannesburg. The man be a commercial success under South African economic
now in charge thinks about R125 million might just cover one conditions - someone needs to do a serious marketing study
year’s operating bills, but warns prudently it might be “quite first - then worry about the technical details!”
a bit” more.
NIGERIAN SENATE PROBE
Back in March 2001, in a discussion on the practicability of Misleading estimates have led many well-meaning
Gauteng’s proposed high-speed train, Dr John Middleton (in politicians to spend far beyond their countries’ means. Their
his private capacity – he happens to work for the World Bank enterprising (or should we say less honourable) counterparts
in Washington DC) offered these views: run up enviable bills at taxpayer expense – on expensive
Gautrain – R2bn, then R7bn, now R25bn. Meanwhile,
severely underfunded Metrorail has been plunged into
what its CEO terms “dire financial straits”.
6 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
motor cars, overseas jaunts and other luxuries not all that concerns in the Senate and raised the political temperature
closely connected to the jobs in hand. A third category of of senators is the purported indictment of some former
heavy expenditure – one that, like the other two, ought to be and serving public officers and their recommendations for
avoidable - concerns the subsequent official investigations various sanctions.”
into irregular politically-connected goings on. Like the
following example – involving the transport sector in Nigeria
– which must be costing the none-too-affluent citizenry a
Sufuyan Ojeifo, writing in This Day, published in Lagos,
reports: “The report of the Senate Ad-Hoc Committee on
Investigation into Nigeria’s Transportation Sector, which
indicted some former and current public office holders for
allegedly violating due process in payments of contract sums
and recommended them for prosecution by the Independent
Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), has raised serious
concerns in the Senate.”
An immediate logistical problem concerns procedural
precedent, in terms of which every senator must get a copy
of the copious report (and its annexures and accompanying
documents) before the Senate can proceed to consider it. Nigerian railway scene
“The totality of the report, as submitted by the committee, RVR CONCESSION STILL IN PLACE
can fill a large-sized ‘Ghana-Must-Go’ bag. The feelers,” A late January joint governmental meeting convened in
Ojeifo writes, “are that this may dilate the process of Kampala to decide whether to cancel RVR’s concession
expeditious consideration of the report. But that, as learnt, resolved after lengthy deliberations that it would not do
serves the purpose of the committee: which is to, according so. Had it done otherwise, Jaindi Kisero pointed out in the
to sources, put the former and incumbent public officers Saturday Nation, the Transcentury group based in Kenya
allegedly indicted on the spot. Significantly, the indictment risked losing “an estimated $9 million it spent on acquiring
was not on the basis of funds embezzlement. its 20% stake in RVR as well as shareholder loans it has
extended to the consortium in the last two years.”
“Specifically, four former ministers of works, four former
ministers of state for works and four former permanent Meanwhile the East African press slammed the 25-year
secretaries in the ministry who were said to have awarded concession “as the most messy privatisation transaction
contracts without budgetary provision in the appropriation in Kenya’s history.” The thrust of the papers’ concern
Acts, designs and bills of quantities, were recommended appeared to centre around Transcentury’s representation
for prosecution for violation of the ICPC Act and other on the reconstituted RVR Board vis-à-vis that of Egypt’s
extant laws. Citadel, to whom South African-based Sheltam, with a 35%
stake in the RVR consortium, recently sold 49% of its interest.
“The committee also recommended that ‘ministers of Other RVR stakeholders comprise Transcentury (20%),
finance and the accountant-general of the federation and Tanzania’s Mirambo Holdings (15%), Prime Fuels of Kenya
other officials who authorised payments and released (15%) Babcock Investments Holdings of Australia (10%)
funds for the payment of contracts not appropriated by law and Centum Kenya Ltd (5%).
and/or released funds above provisions in the appropriation
Acts, be prosecuted for violation of extant laws.’ Early in February it was confirmed that RVR had paid
the governments of Kenya and Uganda Sh156 million
“It further recommended that ‘the director and other officials ($US2 million) and Sh78 million ($US1 million) respectively
of the budget monitoring and price intelligence unit (now in outstanding concession fees. The shareholders were
bureau of public procurement) who issued certificates of required to put in another $10 million (Sh750 million) by 10
award and payment for contracts not appropriated by law March.
be prosecuted for violation of extant laws’.
So for the present, RVR’s contentious concession continues
“In addition, the committee recommended that ‘the in force, though it was reported on 9 February that
engineering representatives and other engineers who issued Kenya’s parliamentary Public Investment Committee had
certificates of job completion to contractors when such summoned attorney-general Amos Wako, civil service head
jobs had not been completed according to specification Francis Muthaura, transport permanent secretary Cyrus
be prosecuted for fraud and accordingly sanctioned by the Njiru and his finance counterpart Joseph Kinyua to appear
relevant bodies.’ before it to explain why they saw fit to extend the RVR
concession, despite “overwhelming evidence that the
“It recommended that ‘the honourable minister of concessionaire had flopped in service provision”, coupled
transportation and the permanent secretary who approved with the committee’s specific recommendation that the
and transferred N1,210,500,000.00 into the private account concession be terminated “immediately.”
of the Digital Toll Gates Company Limited without due
process certification and in violation of the terms of
concession agreement be prosecuted and this amount
be recovered from this private company’. [The minister in
question, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke is the incumbent
minister of solid minerals development].
“There are so many other recommendations that are
damningly touching on the integrity of some former and Rift Valley Railways’ concession: Still in force (for now).
serving public officers. But the aspect that has created
8 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
“THE SUPERIOR” LOCOMOTIVE CONTROL UNIT
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Tel: +001 (450) 424 4112 Fax: +001 (450) 424 4026
730 Cite des Jeunes Saint Lazare PQ J7T 2BS Canada
ALGERIA The entity became state-owned in 2001, on expiry of a 99-
CANADA’S DESSAU TO BUILD ALGERIAN LINE year lease held by a British company. Management of the
Canadian engineering firm Dessau has won a $US38.8 railway by Transnet, AIM explains, has been the subject of
million contract for the preliminary and final design for a discussions in which Angola was represented by the GRN
new 170km double track between Algiers and Constantine (National Reconstruction Office) director-general Vieira Dias
in Algeria’s north-east. The contract is part of a $US2.3 “Kopelipa”. The rehabilitation of the three railways in Angola
billion government project. The contract was awarded has been the direct responsibility of GRN, “which participates
by a consortium comprising China Civil Engineering in the China International Fund (CIF).”
Construction Corporation (CCECC) and Turkish partner
Ozgun Construction. Both freight and passenger services CIF, it is explained, ”has the status of general contractor”. In
will use the line, running at a maximum 160km/h. that capacity, it sub-contracted several Chinese companies
which are carrying out the reconstruction along different
Dessau’s team of 50 Canadian and Algerian engineers will sections of the railway. The work has been delayed by
be responsible for designing bridges, viaducts, underpasses “technical and bureaucratic” difficulties, aggravated by the
and overpasses, drainage structures, road and railway extent of destruction suffered by the line. It is now expected
reconstruction, signalling and telecommunications facilities. that the railway (part of which is currently operational) will
reopen throughout in 2011.
Founded in 1957, privately owned Dessau is the second-
largest engineering construction firm in Quebec. It is the fifth AIM says that “further privatisation” is planned, “and in that
largest in Canada and one of the 100 largest in the world, context, investors and Spoornet will become partners of the
with 4,300 employees. state. The management of CFB by Spoornet will initially be
made by a management contract to come into force by the
ANGOLA time of reopening the road. The privatisation process will
BENGUELA LINE PROGRESS likely open two years later.”
Rehabilitation of Caminhos de ferro de Benguela (CFB),
Angola’s line from the Atlantic to the Democratic Republic The report concludes: “The entry of Spoornet into CFB is
of Congo (DRC) went ahead during February on the section seen as a reflection of their desire to increase the prominence
between Munhango (750km from Lobito) and Luau (1,289km). which already has the organisation and operation of networks
The China Railway 20 Bureau Group Corporation (CR-20) is of cross-border rail systems in Southern Africa. Italy’s Tor di
employing some 300 Chinese technicians and 300 Angolans Vale (AM 029) was the initially selected partner for the
on the project, which began in Chicala. CR-20 official Zhang CFB.”
Li Jun told the Angolan News Agency Angop that rails will be
in place as far as Luena (990km from Lobito) by May 2010,
when the first train is expected to arrive.
Tankcar supplied to Angola by the China South works.
TRANSNET TO RUN CFB?
According to the news agency AIM, “Spoornet” (sic) is
to manage the CFB Railway in Angola, once the current DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO (DRC)
rehabilitation works are complete. No confirmatory SNCC (DRC CONGO) REHABILITATION
information has been received from Transnet at this time. AIM On Friday 13 November 2009, DRC President Joseph Kabila
says Spoornet is the main rail operator in South Africa, owned officially launched a “titanic” project – the reconstruction
by Transnet, “the holding company of the state” It adds: “At of Société Nationale des Chemins de fer Congolais (SNCC
a later stage Spoornet will acquire equity stake in the CFB”. – the state railway in the Democratic Republic of Congo).
According to the official report: “With 3,641km of track
CFB stands for Caminhos de ferro de Benguela, the including 858km electrified and 12,500 employees, the
1,350km railway running from the port of Lobito to Dilolo on SNCC network is equivalent to that in five West African
the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). countries totalled together: Camrail in Cameroon, Transrail
10 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
in Sénégal and Mali, and Sitarail in Côte d’Ivoire and Burkina The companies, China Communication Construction
Faso.” The infrastructure, both track and rolling stock, is old Company (CCCC), China Railway Group, Overseas
and “20 years overdue for investment.” The workforce has Investment Alliance (OIA) from India, and a Russian entity,
an average age of 55 years and salary payments are badly are also carrying out studies of their own, ERC director
in arrear to the extent of “some $US1.4 billion”. Hailemariam Desalegn told Addis Fortune. “The company
that will get the project will be the one that comes with the
Following an international tender process, the Belgian firm financing,” Hailemariam said.
Vecturis SA was selected to assist in rehabilitating SNCC.
“Their technical assistance mission began in July 2009, fully The government decided to build a new railway instead of
funded by the World Bank.” continuing with upgrading the existing line because higher
speeds would be possible. At present there is no train
The chief executive officer of SNCC is Freddy Strumane. service between Addis Abeba and Dire Dawa, and “only very
Vincent Tshiongo has been appointed chief technology occasionally” between Dire Dawa and Djibouti. Upgrading
officer. Norbert Lubanda is managing director and Faithful of the existing line was initiated at a cost of $US50m “but it
Mwamba is chief financial officer. was interrupted for quality reasons,” Addis Fortune was told.
In 2009, a $US5.25 million contribution by the government
and $14.2 million from the African Development Bank
(ADB) maintained stabilising activities at SNCC within the
integrated programme of reforms, led by portfolio minister
Jeanine Mabunda and Copirep - the Steering Committee of
Reforms. However, SNCC is heavily dependent upon financial
assistance from outside the DRC. The resources needed to
effect complete recovery of the railway are being mobilised
by a team led by minister of transport and communications
Mpita Mathieu. It is foreseen that $360 million will be needed
immediately – “at least” $160 million from the World Bank
and $200 million and “Cooperation Sino Congolese”. It is
hoped that the bank will assist further in meeting SNCC’s
The “massive” envisaged investment programme involves
the acquisition of 35 new locomotives, 100 passenger
coaches, 200 freight wagons, two electric substations and A train at Dire Dawa, an important station on the 781km Ethio-Djibouti Railway,
all the equipment necessary for rehabilitating some 700km of CFDE (Chemin de fer Djibouti-Ethopien). The 473km section west of Dire Dawa is
track on the sections Sakania-Lubumbashi-Luambo-Tenke- not currently in operation. Photo: Dietmar Fiedel
and Kimanda-Kaniama-Mwene Ditu. KENYA
CITADEL ACQUIRES 17.5% OF RVR
The financial plan also includes the rehabilitation of 350
existing wagons and 17 locomotives, and provision for
pension benefits for employees who will reach retirement
age within 5 years.
During 2010 it is hoped to start construction on the renewal of
track between Tenke and Kisanfu, where many derailments
occur. The overhaul of locomotives and 25 passenger
coaches is being prioritised. Other work on the programme
will be carried out in the period 2011-2014.
Nairobi commuter train. Daily Nation file photo
Citadel Capital, a leading private equity firm in Africa and
the Middle East, with investments totaling $US8.3 billion,
confirmed on 22 February that it has acquired a 49% stake
in the Sheltam company, the largest single shareholder and
lead investor in the Rift Valley Railways (RVR) consortium.
Sheltam owns 35% of RVR, holder of a 25-year concession
to operate the railway linking Kenya’s Indian Ocean port of
Mombasa with the rest of the country as well as Uganda and
its capital, Kampala. Effectively, Citadel Capital now holds
17.5% of RVR. “We will look to inject more than $150m in the
A former South African Railways class 32.000 (GE U18C1) diesel locomotive that
ended its working days on SNCC. Photo: Jean Dulez
railway over the coming five years,” managing director Karim
ETHIOPIAN RAIL STUDY LAUNCHED “The first of several investments we are exploring in East
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed Africa, it is a natural extension of our interest in African
by four foreign companies and the Ethiopian Railway transport and logistics.
Corporation (ERC) for undertaking a study on the planned
construction of a new railway to the border with Djibouti at a “The Kenya-Uganda Railway has immense potential waiting
projected cost of $US1.5 billion. to be unlocked through the appropriate deployment of capital
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 11
and management talent,” Sadek explains. “We intend to Tete provincial director of transport Paz Catruza said that
acquire 100% of Sheltam, and to pursue other investments in reopening the line would speed production at the coal mines
Africa’s promising transport sector.” Transport in East Africa in Moatize, scheduled to start between the end of 2010 and
is among the costliest the world, that between Mombasa and early 2011. Equipment needed by the two largest companies
Kampala running at more than $0.13 per ton/km. A lack of holding mining concessions - Vale of Brazil and Riversdale of
operating capacity has resulted in rail capturing less than Australia – can now be moved in by rail.
10% of the region’s transport market.
Rail passenger transport between Beira and Moatize would
“An efficient rail network could, in time, bring East African resume shortly, Catruza promised.
transport costs down by as much as 50% due to the inherent
operational and fuel efficiency of shipping by rail,” Citadel
Capital’s managing director Amr El-Barbary says, pointing
out that the railway currently hauls just over 1mta of the
16mta being handled in the port of Mombasa. “New
investment and a fresh approach to management could see
that figure grow to 5mta within five years.”
MOROCCAN HIGH-SPEED TRAIN
Morocco’s new Tangier-Casablanca high-speed trains will
carry 8 million passengers per year, says Office National des
Chemins de fer (ONCF – the national railway of Morocco) CEO
Mohammed Rabie Khlie. With a capacity of 500 passengers,
each trainset will be “accessible to the average citizen” with
a departure every hour (every half-hour during periods of
heavy traffic). Infrastructural work on the project, scheduled
to commence in June 2010, is expected to be complete by
the end of 2014, with trains in operation by December 2015.
The Tangier-Casablanca section will form the first stage of
the country’s high-speed rail master plan, which envisages
more than 1,500km of new lines by 2035. The government
plans to promote economic and social development through
upgrading major infrastructure networks.
The project is being funded by the state (4.8 billion dirhams),
the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development (1
billion dirhams), French and European donations (1.9 billion
dirhams) and loans with favourable terms and conditions
(12.3 billion dirhams).
Tracklaying machine: Sena line.Photos: Antonio Teixeira.
FIRST TRAIN AT MOATIZE
On Saturday 30 January 2010, the first train to arrive at
Moatize in the western Mozambican province of Tete in more
than two decades was met by an impressive contingent:
members of the central committee of the ruling Frelimo
resident locally, Frelimo members of parliament, members
of the provincial and district governments, and a large
crowd of people. According to Moatize district administrator
Adelino Andissene, the railway will bring many benefits to the
province. He was sure, he said, that people living along the
line “will take advantage of this opportunity, by transporting
their agricultural surpluses to the commercial centres”.
New level crossing under construction near Moatize. Photo: Antonio Teixeira.
NEW GE LOCOS FOR NIGERIA
On 5 February, it was announced jointly by the Nigerian
ministry of transport and GE Transportation that the Nigerian
Railway Corporation (NRC) has taken delivery of the first five
new C25 six-axle diesel-electric locomotives. The balance of
the order for 25 units, intended for both freight and passenger
service, is to be shipped during the second half of 2010.
The locomotives were built by GE Transportation South
America, GE Transportation’s affiliate facility in Brazil. The
locomotives feature GE’s 7FDL12-cylinder, 2,500hp engine
supplied by GE Transportation’s diesel engine manufacturing
Sleepers laid through Moatize station. Photo: Antonio Teixeira.
12 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
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TRL director general Narasimhaswami Jayaram said that RVR commercial manager in Kampala, Geoffrey
plant in Grove City, USA. The locomotives were designed Corporation (CCECC). While inspecting the work early in
two goods trains comprising 23 wagons would be conveying Tindimwebwa says the rates will still be lower than those
specifically to accommodate Nigeria’s weight per axle, February, Aliero was quoted saying: “I think it would be
various commodities including cement from the Tanga charged by road freight hauliers. “Our rates have been
loading gauge and clearance characteristics. wrong for anybody to call this project a white elephant. A
Cement Company. steady since last Octobera project that has no direct and the
white elephant project is before the fuel prices rose bearing
price ofpeoplespiralled,” he to serve.” He said the project is
to the steel it is meant points out, whereas the truckers
GE Transportation South America has built GE diesel-
TAZARA raise rates every time the fuelproblems of ordinary people in
meant to solve the transport price changes. “Also, we have
electric locomotives including AC44, Dash 9 and the C
TAZARAin Brazil since 1967, and has produced more than had Federal Capital Territorythe weakening dollar as that can
the a negative result from (FCT). “This is a project most of
Series TARIFFS UPPED
New fares applicable on the Tanzania-Zambia Railway came our rates are in that currency. Itat once to the city centre, the
transport 500 to 1,000 people has been losing value, while
1,000 locomotives, operating in over 15 countries around the
into effect on 1 July. Ticket prices on ordinary passenger the prices of our inputs have been going up.” towns.”
airport, the industrial park and other satellite
world. Altogether, approximately 17,000 GE locomotives are
trains as more than 50 Tazara Express went up 20% while
in use in well as the countries.
parcels and luggage rates rose 30%. Travellers from Dar- ZAMBIA
He explained that, to date, the FCT administration had paid
es-SalaamandTanzania GEKapiri Mposhi inLorenzo Simonelli
President in CEO of to Transportation Zambia now pay RSZ TAKEN TO TASK total cost which amounts to about
15% of the project’s
Tsh72,600 ($US72) in “GE experts performed an extensive
was quoted saying: first class on the Tazara Express, up In an editorial, The Timesamounts are to be paid soon “to
$US840 million. Further of Zambia takes Rail Systems of
from Tsh60,500 ($US60).
analysis on Nigeria’s narrow-gauge railway network, haulage Zambia (RSZ),project”.
speed up the the concessionaire running Zambian Railways,
requirements and traffic patterns to determine the best-fit to task for buying “brand new motor vehicles worth $US1.4
To Makambako (Iringa) from Dar-es-Salaam now costs
million”, while apparently falling short in service delivery.
Tsh29,000 ($US29) instead of Tsh24,200 ($US24). To Rujewa “While theAPPROVE TRL LEASE right to purchase vehicles for
IFC MUST company has every CANCELLING
(Mbeya) the fare is now Tsh29,900 ($US29) instead of operations, we feel their priorities are misplaced,” Economic
Following the decision by Rail India Technical and the paper
Tsh24,900 ($US24). Services Ltd (Rites) to offer for sale its 51% stake in the
consortium established three years ago to operate Tanzania’s
Tazara managing director Clement Subulwa Mwiya points railway, it is understood that the International Finance
“Gone are the days,” it laments, “when the railway network
out that the company’s policy is to adjust tariffs annually. was the most(IFC) will have of transport in Zambia. “It wasthe
Corporation reliable mode the final word in terminating so
High operational costs are being experienced, notably in the reliable and cheap, that the According toZambia’s favourite
25-year lease agreement. rail line was The East African,
wage bill and the continually rising cost of diesel. Tazara is mode of transport, offloading goodsisand to decide on the
published in Nairobi, “the government yet passengers in
upgrading its facilities at a cost of $US10 million, he says, remote areas potential legal battles at the international court
offer, fearing where roads were inaccessible.
and 18 locomotives are being rehabilitated currently of arbitration and problems with the funders of the aborted
“The failure by RSZ to provide safety and reliability has forced
UGANDA many Zambians to abandon rail transport in preference for
MAIN-LINE AT JINJA REOPENS the faster and more reliablethe shares in Tanzania Railways,
The decision to purchase road transport. It was hoped that
The main-line to Kampala from Kenya, closed near Jinja on when Zambiainformationwas concessioned to RSZ, subject
according to Railways supplied to the paper, “is things
14 May following the collapse of an embankment due to a wouldIFC green light, upon assurances from the government
to an change for the better.”
as to who is responsible for carrying the debt, amounting to
blocked culvert, was reopened to traffic on 16 June. During $US7 million with interest.
the of Nigeria’s new GE locomotives.
One four weeks that the line remained inoperable, freight was [RSZ inherited a sorely run-down system which is taking a
offloaded at Iganga and taken forward by road. According great deal of time and money to put right. The rosy past of
to Rift Valley the arrival(RVR) project manager Glenn Kleyn,
Speaking at Railways of five new locomotives at berth 19 railways in the country share was used asdays when it was
“The Indian firm’s 51% dates back to the a loan guarantee
quoted by port, Vision (published in Kampala) a new three-
of Apapa New Lagos, early in February, Nigerian minister called Northern Rhodesiafrom the IFC as working capital but
to secure $US44 million – but nobody will want to remember
of transport Ibrahim Isa Bio announced that 25 drivers are
metre diameter galvanised iron culvert has been installed, that.World Bank finance body disbursed only $7 million of
the – editor]
to provide adequateAfrica for training “to effectively manage
to be sent to South outlet for stormwater to drain into Lake
Victoria, about a kilometre downstream. A senior government official told The East African in Dar-es-
Salaam that, after eight months of delay, the government told
Kleyn said the repair work was being done at help improve
He was quoted saying: “These locomotives will mile 323. In 4 - 6 March 2009
the IFC it did not have confidence in the railway consortium’s
addition, the company isthe railway system of at mile 289
mass transit through investigating a structure movement management, ‘prompting IFC to hold back the rest of the
of goods and services and contribute to the economic
towards Busembatia. loan.’ The official said that IFC then made a feasibility study
development of the country. Government has started the ZIMBABWE and advised the Tanzanian government that
of the contract
“It (mile modernisation any immediate danger but for are
railway 289) is not in project and the contract we the
NEW NRZ SERVICE needed an injection of $US100 million,
investigating andhas been up designs,” he told the paper.
standard gauge drawing awarded”. more than twice the proposed loan, and needed Tanzania
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has introduced
[GE says the new locos were specially developed for Nigeria’s a new Rites commitment as securityChicualacuala, 500km
and weekly passenger service to to release additional
UGANDA gauge”. Successive reports speak of the standard
RATES INCREASE funds.
south-east of Bulawayo on the line to Maputo. The existing
Rift Valley Railways (RVR) has increased freight rates Wednesday train to Chiredzi has been rescheduled to leave
gauge project having been scrapped, but the minister seems
between Mombasa and Kampala from $US80 per tonne to
to think otherwise. - Editor] Bulawayo Tanzania on Wednesday instead of 21:00. Arriving
“Instead, at 14:00 told Rites to prepare a business plan to
$110. Former managing director Roy Puffet explained in July: at 04:00the extent of the returns at 05:00 needed to revamp
decide on Thursday, it working capital to Mbizi junction,
“The tariff adjustment was driven by continued upward costs
ABUJA LRT BY 2012 and railway. The from parties to Chicualacuala. the business
the continues two there failed to agree on Following a
of energy, petroleum products and steel. The price of diesel
The new light rail system in the Nigerian capital Abuja will 14:00when Rites projected that Tanzania Railways would only
plan departure, it runs back to Bulawayo, arriving on Friday
has gone up by 24% in the last eight months and there is
be in operation by 2012, Senator Adamu Aliero says. The morning.to carry 1.7 million tonnes per annum by the year
be able The Chiredzi-Bulawayo service retains its former
double digit inflation as well as dollar revaluation”.
completion date was advanced from 2013 due to good timing while thedays of thegovernment insisted that the line
2015, on other Tanzania week.
has the potential of ferrying 10 million tonnes, a stand-off that
progress made by the China Civil Engineering Construction created doubts at IFC about the whole deal.
Thermitrex (Pty) Ltd
Tel: +27 (0)11 914 2540
18 RAILWAYS AFRICA
RAILWAYS AFRICA 3 | 2008
March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
“Hundi Lal Chaudhary, chief executive officer of Tanzania off projects, as well as the creation of investment funds for
Railways Ltd, told The East African that negotiations between venture capital.
Rites and the Tanzania government for the sale of the 51%
shares were ongoing but declined to disclose further details. Minister Zouari stressed the importance of major national
companies joining the spin-off programme, as this will boost
“MPs are now demanding that the government set a investment and create jobs. Minister Chelbi recalled the
timeline for termination of the contract as it is a burden on objectives in this sector focusing on doubling the number
the taxpayer, with the government subsidising Tanzania of spin-off projects created from 100 to 200 per year, saying
Railways on a monthly basis to enable it to pay the salaries that “according to investigations carried out abroad, the
of hundred of workers. chances of success of a new scheme will double if it is
created within the framework of a spin-off project”.
“Tanzania in 2006 concessioned Tanzania Railways operation
and maintenance to the Rites consortium for 25 years, with
the IFC providing the working capital. The seed capital from
the consortium was $US20 million and IFC was to provide
FUNDING FOR TANZANIAN-RWANDA STUDY
Tunisian push-pull train bound for Hammarmet and Nabeul at Bir Bou Regba.
Photo Richard Ågren.
ARMY TO REBUILD UGANDAN RAILWAY
Addressing the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA)
at the Ugandan Parliament in Kampala, President Yoweri
Museveni said the poor infrastructure in the region needed
immediate attention. “The problem of infrastructure in East
Africa is a matter of survival,” he said, “especially electricity,
the roads and railway. If we don’t improve, it will lead us into
The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), Museveni
The African Development Bank (ADB) has agreed to announced, is to rebuild the railway network in the country.
provide $US8.15 million to finance the viability study for
the proposed new Dar-es-Salaam-Isaka-Kigali-Keza- He told parliament
Musongati 1,435mm gauge railway, which will connect that the UPDF had
Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. According to the East set up an engineering
African Community (EAC) development programme, the brigade and was
railway line is “critical to the reduction of multinational quoted saying: “We
poverty through regional infrastructure development.” The shall use them to
study will provide the governments of Tanzania, Rwanda build the railway. I
and Burundi with data and decision-making tools “to facilitate talked to the army
the mobilisation of financing, project implementation and engineers and they
railway management.” Diesel loco in Uganda.
said it is okay”. The
colonialists, he said, used “rudimentary tools” to construct
According to The East African (published in Nairobi), axle the railway still in use in East Africa today. By contrast, the
loadings of 25 tonnes are foreseen on the new line, with present army was in a much better position and possessed
locomotives “pulling 2,000 wagons (sic) at a time”. better technology.
TUNISIA Electricity power generation in the region, Museveni added,
AIR & RAIL “SPIN-OFFS” IN TUNISIA was too low to sustain development. He gave the assurance
Tunisair and Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Tunisiens that even without foreign aid, Uganda could build its own
(SNCFT - the Tunisian National Railways) have signed a joint power stations.
agreement creating two “spin-off” companies. Minister of
transport Abderrahim Zouari; minister of industry, energy ZAMBIA
and small and medium enterprises Afif Chelbi; Tunisair ZAMBIAN RAIL ULTIMATUM
president and CEO Nabil Chettaoui, and Néjib Fitouri, SNCFT The Zambian parliamentary committee on government
CEO Néjib Fitouri were present at the signing ceremony. In assurances has given a 30-day ultimatum to the ministry
terms of these agreements, the two “spin-off” companies of communications and transport in which to stipulate the
undertake to create an organisational structure, to develop exact duration that will be required to complete the various
an annual programme fixing the number and terms of spin- railway development projects in the country.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 15
On 26 January, committee chairman Chishimba Kambwili Track Term 1.2 units installed on locomotives, together with
said that in respect of several uncompleted rail projects, the six computer terminals located at the Harare, Dabuka,
government keeps giving assurances that they would be Bulawayo, Sawmills and Thompson Junction control
developed “soon”. Acting ministry of communications and centres. At these points, continuous visual display updates
transport permanent secretary John Chipuwa was before are provided on locomotive positions and speed. Accident
the committee. investigation is significantly assisted through the data
recording facility, by means of which train movement history
Projects listed by Kambwili included Nseluka-Mpulungu, can be replayed and examined.
Chipata-Tazara, Mulobezi-Caprivi, Kafue to Lions Den and
the Njanji commuter railway. Chipuwa told the committee During recent years, NRZ was forced to fall back on the
that the government wanted the Chingola-Lumwana project elementary paper order system of train despatching,
to go ahead but this was stalled because of litigation by a following “total collapse” of the railway’s comprehensive
prospective developer. centralised traffic control system (CTC) through widespread
Regarding the Njanji commuter line. He said that only one
bid had been received. This is under consideration by the CTC was originally installed by the former Rhodesian
Zambia Development Agency. Railways in 1951, at which time it was one of the first systems
in the world to do so along the entire length of its main-lines.
NRZ INTENSIFIES SECURITY
The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has revamped
security standards to combat theft, vandalism and related
crime which has cost the organisation millions of dollars.
Following the graduating of professionally trained dog
handler security officers at a pass-out parade at Westgate
Dog Training School, NRZ increased its recruitment drive.
Security officers undergo 12 weeks of extensive training in
basic dog handling, obedience, guard-dog and obstacle
training handling and drill, kennel management and
Lineside scene in Zambia. Photo: Dietmar Fiedel.
Fuel storage tanks, copper warehouses and other facilities
ZIMBABWE which have been targets for theft and vandalism are now
GPS INAUGURATED AT NRZ accorded heavy security, augmented by dog patrols
The Global Positioning System (GPS) recently inaugurated searching for substances such as drugs and explosives.
by the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) comprises Star
Tel: +27 (0)12 653-4595 PO Box 9375, Centurion 105 Theuns St. , Hennopspark,
Fax: +27 (0)12 653-6841 0046, South Africa Centurion, 0157, South Africa
16 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
SA RAIL NEWS
South African Rail News
TRANSPORT COMMAND AND CALL CENTRE Though there is awareness of Transnet’s “multibillion Rand
A transport command and call centre will come into operation investment scheme, Barloworld Logistics marketing general
in March 2010, to serve as the central hub of co-ordination manager Kate Stubbs said nobody perceives much in the
for transport operations during the forthcoming Fifa Soccer way of visible improvement – neither in operating nor in
World Cup. infrastructure.
“The centre will enable the Department of Transport Of the 377 respondents that participated in the survey
to maintain overall command, control and co-ordinate – 16% of them managing directors or CEOs and 13%
transport operations across the country, including host general managers – most feel “an urgent need for public-
cities and provinces,” transport minister Sibusiso Ndebele private cooperation in the freight rail sector at a strategic
told local organising committee CEO Danny Jordaan during and decision-making level”. An opinion widely held is that
a meeting held to provide an update on transport plans for the sector could do with significant private sector direct
the World Cup. investment. Stubbs was quoted saying: “There is a huge,
desperate need for public-private cooperation to improve
The centre will provide live, real-time information that infrastructure.”
will also facilitate quick decision-making and responses
to incidents. Travellers will be able to access relevant More than 20% of the survey participants indicated that they
transport information through the call centre and a central spend more than 10% of the cost of their goods on transport.
website. One of the aims is to ensure that visitors to the
country have a central point of call, where they can be TRANSNET LOCOMOTIVES: 30 YEAR AVERAGE AGE
provided with travel planning information and assistance. Transnet acting chief executive officer Chris Wells told
Parliament’s portfolio committee on communications on
South Africa is expecting approximately 450,000 visitors 3 February that the country’s locomotives are on average
to descend on the country for the football spectacle which 30 years old. Sapa quoted him saying that the fleet totals
kicks off on 11 June. some 2,000: “We haven’t purchased a new locomotive for
well over ten years, which has caused a lot of problems in
NO PLANS TO CHANGE SA GAUGE performance”. However he said, “By the end of March 2011,
There are no plans to change the gauge of South Africa’s some 10% of our rail fleet should be brand new. That is very
railways from the existing 1,067mm “Cape Gauge” to the 1.435 significant for performance going forward.”
metre “Standard Gauge”, Transnet acting chief executive
officer Chris Wells told Parliament’s portfolio committee on
communications on 3 February. He was quoted saying it
is not thought “appropriate” to change the network in the
medium term. “There has been a lot of discussion of moving
to standard gauge, which will allow faster speeds,” he said.
“We don’t believe it appropriate. Unfortunately, we are all on
the rail gauge known as Cape Gauge”.
While there have indeed been new electric locos very recently (and before that
numbers in the eighties and early nineties), there have been no completely new
main-line diesels since the last class 37 in 1982 – ie almost 30 years ago. Guy
Hausler took this photo of 37.100 in February 2007 at Dullstroom (on the Steelpoort
branch in Mpumalanga).
TRANSNET ON THE PORTS
“No plans to change the gauge” – Transnet acting CEO Chris Wells.
Photo: Richard Grönstedt Aerial view of the port of Richards Bay.
SA FREIGHT TRANSPORT HEADACHES “Our new port at Coega is well-placed to be the midway
A good 80% of companies taking part in this year’s between the large ships from the east to offload at that
Barloworld logistics supply-chain foresight survey said that port and then return back and with short sea shipping
under 10% of their goods are transported by rail. No less up the coast of Africa or inland to South Africa,” Transnet
than 46% of the companies surveyed thought they might acting chief executive officer Chris Wells told Parliament’s
use rail for more than 20% of their freight – if “adequate” communications portfolio committee on 3 February. Near
railway capacity existed. Nearly half the entities polled were Port Elizabeth, Coega is “well positioned” to be a trans-
unhappy with the service given by rail.
18 RAILWAYS AFRICA March 2010 www.railwaysafrica.com
SA RAIL NEWS
shipment port between Asia and South America, Sapa GE AND BBBEE
quoted him saying. In December 2008, GE Transportation signed an agreement
with South African Broad-Based Black Economic
Transnet is cooperating with port authorities in Luanda, Empowerment (BBBEE) Mineworkers Investment Company
Angola, Wells told the committee, to assist in “congestion” (MIC), to establish the subsidiary GE South Africa
and “the utilisation of the Coega facilities in that regard”. Technologies (Pty) Limited (GESAT), allowing the company
to actively participate in South Africa’s social and economic
Plans are also under way to expand the coal port of Richard’s transformation in the rail industry.
Bay, which is operating at a capacity of 90 million tons per
annum but possesses the infrastructural capacity for only Commenting on the announcement of the contract for
70 million tons. “We are working with industry on planning 100 new GE locos, MIC executive director Tshidi Madima,
to increase that to 81 million tons in the medium term. The said, “We are delighted that GESAT has been successful
long-term view is it should be 90 million tons plus.” in winning this Transnet Freight Rail contract. This is an
excellent example of the type of participation in the South
NEW GE DIESELS FOR SOUTH AFRICA African economy that was anticipated in the creation of
Details of GE Transportation’s 100 new diesel-electric GESAT 12 months ago.”
locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) are as follows:
GE’s model C30ACi, the first AC diesel electric locomotive to
be introduced to sub-Saharan Africa, will have an engine that
delivers 3,300 gross horsepower (GHP) using an electronic
fuel-injection system that automatically supplies the exact
amount of fuel needed for optimal engine efficiency. The
locomotives will also feature GE’s unique AC propulsion
technology and dynamic braking. The first locomotives and
kits are scheduled to be delivered in early 2011; locomotive
assembly at Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE), using kits from
GE’s Erie plant and engines from that at Grove City, should
begin at the end of 2010.
GE Transportation explains that “the addition of these new
locomotives, which will be used to haul freight and coal, will
decrease life-cycle costs, improve fuel efficiency and reduce
emissions.” On 27 May 2008, Jacque Wepener photographed 34.058 at Willemsrus on the OFS
branch to Bultfontein. This GE U26C dates from the early seventies.
GE Transportation has an installed base of some 1,200 GE
locomotives in Africa some 900 of which are in South Africa. CASH-FLOW PROBLEMS AT METRORAIL
In 2008, the company points out, “GE Transportation took During January, Business Day reported, East Rand-based
South Africa’s Western Cape Orex line to the next level with Sinqobile Equestrian Security Services was forced to take
the longest production train in the world, made possible Metrorail to court to try to recover R2.4 million owed. It lost
through the LOCOTROL technology solution. This distributed the case, with the North Gauteng High Court decreeing
power system - a first in South Africa - allows longer, safer that non-payment is “a normal commercial risk”. However,
trains on the critical Western Cape Saldanha Bay iron ore the company has since managed to recoup R1.5m and was
export line. Orex is the only heavy-haul iron-ore railway line promised the balance “over the next couple of months”.
in South Africa and the second-longest iron-ore railway line
in the world at some 861km. It feeds the port of Saldanha “We supply about 450 security guards to Metrorail, of which
Bay, for export to a global market hungry for South African about 80 are mounted. So far we have managed to feed the
iron ore. Until now, the carrying capacity of the line itself horses and pay the guards,” Sinqobile director Andries de
has been a major barrier to increasing economy-boosting Klerk told the paper.
iron ore exports.
Member of Parliament Manny de Freitas quoted from a
“GE worked closely with TRE to develop a comprehensive letter written by B Sithole, described as a Metrorail financial
localisation plan that complements local strengths and manager in KwaZulu-Natal, saying that supplier payments
transfers world-class skills and technology where applicable. were being delayed due to Metrorail “experiencing cash
flow challenges in meeting its financial obligations”. “I have
more evidence of non-payment of invoices by Metrorail
and I am sorry to say it is mainly smaller black economic
empowerment companies that are being hardest hit,” de
Metrorail has serious cash-flow problems. During February, Malcolm Bates
A 2,750hp class 34.9xx GE type U26C, new in 1980, heads the Trans-Karoo express photographed the Strand Business Express (deputising for its Southern Suburbs
at Kimberley in June 1994. counterpart) near Plumstead.
www.railwaysafrica.com March 2010 RAILWAYS AFRICA 19