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Rail News

Resumption of Cape Town Prasa service marred by train derailment

By: African News Agency      18th January 2018 The resumption of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) services on Thursday morning was marred when a train came off the rails along the notorious Central Line in Cape Town The train service had been suspended for nearly two weeks because of safety concerns sparked by the shooting of... 

Gibela moves to Dunnottar plant; takes first manufacturing steps

By: Irma Venter     17th January 2018 Gibela has initiated manufacturing trials of the first locally made train car at the Gibela train factory, in Dunnottar, on the East Rand. The first train’s car body shell – essentially, its panel-clad metal frame – is expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2018, with the... 

Gibela moves to Dunnottar plant; takes first manufacturing steps
Photo by Duane Daws
Work on the first car-body shell has started

PRASA, UNTU in talks to reopen Central Line

By: Natasha Odendaal     16th January 2018 State-owned passenger rail service Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and the United National Transport Union (UNTU) are in advanced stages of discussions to have the suspended Central Line, in Cape Town, reopened on Wednesday. The line was closed on January 10 for safety reasons... 

Transnet digs heels in over revised wage offer

By: Natasha Odendaal     15th January 2018 State-owned rail, port and pipeline company Transnet has tabled a revised – and final – three-year wage offer, as the company reiterates its “difficult” financial situation since ratings agencies downgraded the country to junk status. Transnet proposed a 6.5%, 7.25% and 7.5% increase in 2018,... 

Safety regulator lifts PRASA’s prohibition directive

By: Creamer Media Reporter      15th January 2018 The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) has lifted the prohibition directive issued to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), with conditions, after the parastatal submitted a corrective action plan to the regulator. PRASA Rail relayed to the RSR how it intends dealing with the issues... 

Regulator clamps down on PRASA’s manual operations after crash

By: Natasha Odendaal     10th January 2018 The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) has banned the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) from operating trains under “abnormal conditions”, or manual authorisations, following a second accident in less than a week involving passenger trains. Two Metrorail trains were involved in a rear-end... 

Regulator clamps down on PRASA’s manual operations after crash

Gibela moves team to Dunnottar

By: Natasha Odendaal     9th January 2018 With plant construction two months away from completion, the Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, in which Alstom holds an interest, has moved its dedicated team into the new train manufacturing plant and training centre complex in Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni. “All teams are now on board and ready to... 

Two trains collide in Germiston, hundreds injured

By: African News Agency      9th January 2018 Metrorail said on Tuesday that it would launch an investigation into the cause of the accident that left more than 200 people injured when two passenger trains collided at Geldenhuis Station in Germiston, east of Johannesburg. Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said that one passenger train... 

Fifteen still missing after Free State train crash 

By: African News Agency      8th January 2018 Nineteen people have been confirmed dead in the horror Free State train crash but the death toll could rise even further after officials on Monday revealed that as many as 15 more people are still unaccounted for. Daisy Daniel, spokesperson for the Shosholoza Meyl passenger train, said 15 people... 

Next 12 months crucial as PRASA prepares to receive new rolling stock

By: Irma Venter     8th January 2018 Commuters making use of the 18 new X’Ttrapolis Mega commuter trains, supplied by Gibela to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) are “extremely happy” with the new rolling stock, says PRASA strategic asset development group executive Piet Sebola. The Gibela Rail Transport Consortium... 

Next 12 months crucial as PRASA prepares to receive new rolling stock
Photo by Duane Daws
Piet Sebola

SA Parliamentary committee anguished over deadly train crash

By: African News Agency      5th January 2018 Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Transport has described Thursday’s train accident in the Free State in which at least 18 people died as “anguish beyond measure”. In a statement, the committee sent its condolences to the families whose relatives were involved in a train crash that took place... 

SA Parliamentary committee anguished over deadly train crash
Photo by Earl Ryan September on Facebook
Shosolosa Meyl accident

Death toll in South Africa train crash rises to 14 – train service official

By: Reuters     4th January 2018 The death toll in a train crash in South Africa's Free State province on Thursday has risen to at least 14, a train service official said. "It is not yet confirmed but the death toll for now is sitting at 14," said Daisy Daniel, spokesperson for long haul passenger rail service Shosholoza Meyl. 

Death toll in South Africa train crash rises to 14 – train service official
Photo by Earl Ryan September on Facebook
Shosolosa Meyl accident Jan 2018

Volunteers restore, relaunch iconic Apple Express tourism train 

By: Henry Lazenby     27th December 2017 A group of Port Elizabeth-based railway enthusiasts has painstakingly restored and successfully relaunched the iconic Apple Express tourist steam train. The two-foot narrow gauge steam train made its maiden trip at 09:00 on December 26, carrying fare-paying passengers between the city’s Kings... 

Volunteers restore, relaunch iconic Apple Express tourism train
Photo by Apple Express Rail Company
The Apple Express was officially relaunched by acting mayor Andrew Whitfield and Apple Express Rail Company CEO Nerina Skuy

Japan's Sumitomo, Jindal Steel among 8 bidders for India rails tender – source

By: Reuters     22nd December 2017 Japanese trader Sumitomo Corp and India's Jindal Steel and Power are among eight bidders competing for Indian Railways' first global tender to supply 487 000 t of rails, a government official told Reuters. The other bidders are East Metals, a unit of Russian steel and coal producer Evraz,... 

Japan's Sumitomo, Jindal Steel among 8 bidders for India rails tender – source

AfDB to support Mozambique rail project with $300m

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     20th December 2017 The African Development Bank (AfDB) is taking the lead in facilitating the takeoff of one of Africa’s largest infrastructure project − the $5-billion Nacala corridor rail and port project, supporting the project with $300-million from its private sector window. After years of financial... 

AfDB to support Mozambique rail project with $300m

Prasa lifts supsension from UNTU members

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     19th December 2017 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) lifted the suspension of train drivers and metro guards of the United National Transport Union (UNTU) who refused to work under unsafe working conditions with immediate effect and agreed that no disciplinary steps will be taken against them.... 

Update on multimodal project progress set for next year

By: Donald Makhafola     15th December 2017 In the first quarter of next year, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is set to provide further update on the Moloto rail corridor expansion project which aims to link Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo to ensure that passenger rail is the backbone of an integrated multi-modal... 

Gibela rail plant on track for March completion

By: Irma Venter     15th December 2017 Construction of the Gibela plant, in Dunnottar on the far East Rand, is on track for completion in March next year, says Gibela Rail Transport Consortium CEO Thierry Darthout. Darthout, former Gibela operations VP, took over the reins from Marc Granger on August 1. The 53-year-old is a mechanical... 

Plans on track for rapid rail network extensions in Gauteng

By: Donald Makhafola     15th December 2017 The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) is hopeful that the National Treasury will approve the much-awaited Treasury Approval 1 (TA1) for the planned extension of a rapid rail network, following the submission of the feasibility study early this year. “We . . . handed in the documents to the... 

Mega engineering projects could boost SA economy

By: Donald Makhafola     15th December 2017 As South Africa is embarking on a mega railway infrastructure development that will take an estimated 20 years to complete, transportation systems developer Futran Group of Companies director Andries Louw says such projects should be used as an anchor to re-establish the culture of mega... 

Legislation, regulation to ensure rail success

By: Donald Makhafola     15th December 2017 Industry related forum Transport Forum custodian Harry van Huyssteen believes that the major rail infrastructure projects in South Africa could be better implemented if there was improved regulation and legislation. 

Gibela factory on track 

     12th December 2017 Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Irma Venter recently met with the new CEO of Gibela Rail Transport Consortium Thierry Darthout to discuss the latest developments with regard to the construction of the company’s train manufacturing plant in Dunnottar, Gauteng. She speaks to Creamer Media’s... 

Gibela factory on track
Gibela factory on track

Court action to stop PRASA 'conspiracy'

By: News24Wire      12th December 2017 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has missed a deadline to respond to demands by the UniteBehind coalition. Legal action will now be taken against the agency responsible for Metrorail, GroundUp reports. 

Metrorail must provide alternative transport for Cape Town commuters – Sanco 

By: African News Agency      12th December 2017 The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) on Tuesday called on rail service provider Metrorail to provide alternative transport for commuters left stranded by the suspension of its service on the key Central Line in Cape Town. The civic organisation said that the inconvenience and... 

Heartland-to-heartland linkages sought in China-driven industrial superproject

By: Schalk Burger     12th December 2017 The China-driven superproject, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), which is a conceptual redevelopment of the ancient global tradeways of the Silk Road, aims to link the heartlands of countries by land, sea and air routes, said Renmin University School of International Studies Professor Wang... 

Gibela factory on track for March completion, says new CEO

By: Irma Venter     11th December 2017 Construction of the Gibela plant, in Dunnottar on the far East Rand, is on track for completion in March next year, says Gibela Rail Transport Consortium CEO Thierry Darthout. Darthout, former Gibela operations VP, took over the reins from Marc Granger on August 1. The 53-year-old is a mechanical... 

Gibela factory on track for March completion, says new CEO
Thierry Darthout

Metrorail suspends all train services on Cape Town central line

By: News24Wire      11th December 2017 Metrorail Western Cape announced its decision on Monday to suspend all trains running on the central line, which services areas such as Khayelitsha, Philippi, Mitchells Plain, Bishop Lavis and Langa, until further notice. "Stations will be closed and no tickets will be on sale until further... 

Transnet Freight Rail accepts delivery of the first TRAXX Class 23 E locomotives

By: Shirley le Guern     7th December 2017 Transnet Freight Rail on Thursday formally accepted the first of 460 TRAXX Class 23 E locomotives at the Transnet Engineering head office, in Durban. To date, 15 locomotives are in the final stages of dynamic acceptance testing and are expected to start work in the new year. A further eight are... 

Transnet Freight Rail accepts delivery of the first TRAXX Class 23 E locomotives
The new TRAXX 23 E made its entrance in Durban yesterday

More than 180 Transnet Freight Rail employees qualify in railway operations management

By: Samantha Herbst     7th December 2017 More than 180 employees of State-owned rail transport agency Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) graduated from Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) on Thursday with a variety of degrees and qualifications in railway operations management. GCU principal and vice-chancellor Professor Pamela Gillies led the... 

More than 180 Transnet Freight Rail employees qualify in railway operations management

Tanzania-Zambia railway halts copper transportation after strike

By: Reuters     6th December 2017 The Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority (TAZARA) has suspended all train services, including the transportation of copper following a strike by workers in Africa's second-largest producer of the metal, the company said on Wednesday. The line is an important route for copper exports from Zambia and... 

Long-delayed Gauteng Transport Authority to be launched in 2018

By: Irma Venter     1st December 2017 The long delayed Gauteng Transport Authority will launch next year, says Gauteng Transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi. “If a city does not want to participate, it does so at its own peril.” 

Only 7% of Transnet's senior supply chain staff have been vetted

By: News24Wire      29th November 2017 Transnet has only vetted seven percent of senior staff who handle supply chain management, despite a 2014 Cabinet directive to vet all employees in that field. Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama told the standing committee on public accounts (Scopa) on Tuesday that only 56 of the more than 750 senior... 

MPs call for Parliamentary probe into Transnet–Gupta links

By: African News Agency      28th November 2017 Members of Parliament (MPs) from across the political divide on Tuesday called for a probe into allegations of State capture at South African State-owned freight and logistics company, Transnet. Transnet group chief executive Siyabonga Gama and his team appeared before Parliament’s standing... 

Vale, partner Mitsui ink $2.7bn Nacala coal corridor funding

By: Henry Lazenby     28th November 2017 Brazil’s largest diversified miner Vale has announced that it, together with its Japanese partner Mitsui & Co, has signed a $2.73-billion funding deal to finance the Nacala Logistics Corridor (NLC), that will connect the Mozambique-based Moatize coal mine, to the Nacala port. Vale said in a press... 

PRASA, French rail agency enter R6m partnership

By: Creamer Media Reporter      27th November 2017 South African parastatal Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and French national State-owned railway company SNCF, as well as the French Development Agency (AFD), have signed a tripartite financial partnership agreement amounting to R6.15-million in the form of a grant. SNCF will... 

Gautrain agency wants Phase 1 network expansion operational by 2027

By: Irma Venter     24th November 2017 Ideally, the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) would like to see Phase 1 of the proposed five-phase expansion of the Gautrain network come into operation in 2027, says GMA COO William Dachs. The concession on the current 80 km Gautrain system would have wrapped up in 2027, with the system paid... 

Move to professionalise work of railway safety inspectors

By: Irma Venter     24th November 2017 The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) and the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA) have signed a memorandum of onderstanding (MoU) aimed at professionalising the work of railway safety inspectors. The MoU also aims to ensure that railway safety inspectors and engineers have the necessary... 

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