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Rail News

Transport projects in Africa provide fillip for infrastructure development

By: Schalk Burger     15th February 2019 Transport infrastructure projects comprise 40% of the 482 infrastructure development projects surveyed in Africa, and represent a critical element for supporting further infrastructure development, says Deloitte Infrastructure and Capital Projects East and West leader J-P Labuschagne. The... 

Luxembourg Protocol can save South Africa billions – Rail Working Group

By: Natasha Odendaal     14th February 2019 The adoption of the Luxembourg Rail Protocol to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment is expected to be a game changer for South Africa, said Rail Working Group chairperson Howard Rosen on Thursday. The treaty, which is expected to enter into force late in 2019,... 

Train sets numbers improve in the Western Cape – Metrorail regional manager

By: African News Agency      14th February 2019 There has been a great improvement on the number of train sets which are currently in operation compared to last year, Metrorail Western Cape regional manager Richard Walker said on Thursday. “We are currently operating 48 train sets which is an improvement from where we came down last year being... 

Transnet, Botswana Rail seek to unlock Botswana’s coal reserves

By: Nadine James     7th February 2019 State-owned Transnet and Botswana Railways have resuscitated discussions on the construction of a proposed heavy-haul railway line that will link the two countries to “unlock” Botswana’s estimated 212-billion tons of coal reserves, Transnet announced on Thursday. Discussions around this project... 

Transnet, Botswana Rail seek to unlock Botswana’s coal reserves
Photo by Dylan Slater
Dr Popo Molefe

Transnet promises to ramp up efficiency 

By: Kim Cloete     6th February 2019 Transnet has promised to deal with corruption and step up efficiency around its operations, which have taken a heavy knock over the past few years. “Over the past ten years, we have injected capital of R42-billion into the network side. Yet the scale of the network is worse today than it was ten... 

Transnet promises to ramp up efficiency
Photo by Creamer Media
Transnet acting CEO Tau Morwe

Germany presses for changes in EU competition rules after Siemens/Alstom deal blocked

By: Reuters     6th February 2019 Europe should change its competition rules to facilitate cross-border mergers and create European champions which can compete with rivals from China and the United States, German Economy Minister Peter Altmaier said on Wednesday. Siemens and Alstom's plan to create a European rail champion... 

Botswana keen for corridor to link to South Africa’s coalfields

By: Kim Cloete     1st February 2019 Botswana’s Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcas Makgato, has revived the need for a new heavy haul railway linking Botswana’s Mmamabula area with South Africa’s Lephalale coalfields.   Makgato said the project aimed to link coal deposits in both areas with South African heavy haul... 

UNTU intends to launch protest action against PRASA, Transport Minister

By: Simone Liedtke     28th January 2019 The United National Transport Union (UNTU) is in the process of launching a Nedlac Section 77 process through its affiliated federation, the Federation of Trade Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), which will allow protest action to force the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and... 

Metrorail trains across South Africa at risk of coming to a stand still

By: News24Wire      25th January 2019 Following the fatal train collision in Mountainview, Pretoria that left four people dead and 620 injured earlier this year, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) is considering suspending the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (PRASA) safety permit again, GroundUp reports. If the permit is... 

Man electrocuted on roof of Cape Town train

By: News24Wire      23rd January 2019 A man was electrocuted on top of a train travelling from Philippi to Cape Town early on Wednesday morning, Metrorail Western Cape has confirmed. "It was the first train of the day and it is unclear what led to the incident. Emergency services, the police, Metrorail crews, forensics and a mortuary... 

New construction process proposed for Gautrain expansion project

By: Irma Venter     21st January 2019 More than halfway through the 15-year Gautrain concession period, Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) CEO Jack van der Merwe says he is pleased with the operation of the 80-km rail system. “Looking back at building the Gautrain there are positives and negatives. A positive is that we have an... 

 New construction process proposed for Gautrain expansion project

Transnet to pursue ‘just and equitable’ settlements with rail OEMs awarded ‘unlawful’ contracts 

By: Terence Creamer     17th January 2019 Having determined the procurement of 1 064 diesel and electric locomotives to be “irregular and unlawful”, Transnet has communicated its intention to review contracts awarded to four original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in 2015. The State-owned freight logistics group has also indicated that... 

Transnet to pursue ‘just and equitable’ settlements with rail OEMs awarded ‘unlawful’ contracts
Photo by Dylan Slater
Transnet chairperson Dr Popo Molefe

Alstom warns Siemens rail deal could be blocked by Europe

By: Bloomberg     17th January 2019 Alstom and Siemens’s planned rail merger appeared to be increasingly in danger of collapse, with the French company warning of a possible block by European antitrust regulators and its former German rival said to be considering alternatives for its business. “It’s a very frustrating moment for... 

Gautrain seeks ways to grow ridership as 2018 hits govt's pocket 

By: Irma Venter     17th January 2019 The patronage guarantee payable by the Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) to the Bombela Concession Company (BCC), as the Gautrain operator, has increased from R1.34-billion in the 2016/17 financial year, to around R1.5-billion for the 2017/18 financial year. GMA CEO Jack van der Merwe says the... 

Gautrain seeks ways to grow ridership as 2018 hits govt's pocket

Alstom, APIX celebrate Coradia Polyvalent’s first journey in Senegal

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     15th January 2019 Integrated transport systems provider Alstom and APIX, the agency responsible for the promotion of investment and major works in Senegal, this week celebrated the first voyage of the Coradia Polyvalent train, in Dakar. The event took place in the presence of Senegal President Macky Sall and... 

Cable theft causes major delays for Pretoria commuter trains

By: African News Agency      11th January 2019 Train operator Metrorail said on Friday its service between Belle Ombre-Mabopane-Pretoria and Garankuwa-Pretoria had been severely disrupted due to overhead catenary wires stolen at Wintersnest.  It said trains from Mabopane and Garankuwa stations were turning around at Wintersnest station as a... 

Train accident highlights need for industry-wide solution, stronger regulator – RRA

By: Tasneem Bulbulia     10th January 2019 An industry-wide solution and a strengthened railway regulator with more powers are needed to prevent future train accidents, such as the one that claimed the lives of four people and resulted in the injury of hundreds more earlier this week, industry body, the Rail Road Association (RRA) said in... 

Rail Enforcement Unit a success story, says Cape Town mayor

By: African News Agency      10th January 2019 Cape Town Mayor, Dan Plato on Wednesday said the Rail Enforcement Unit (REU) -- which provides an additional 100 law enforcement officers to the existing security personnel in meeting Metrorail’s security challenges -- has been a success story and will assist in stabilising the urban rail service... 

Estimated cost of Pretoria train crash is R21m – Metrorail

By: News24Wire      8th January 2019 The estimated financial cost of Tuesday's train collision in Pretoria amounts to R21-million, Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said. Mofokeng was speaking at the scene, as the two remaining bodies trapped under the wreckage were removed. Three people have been confirmed dead as a result of... 

Despite unsuccessful tender, Gautrain remains on the lookout for new trains 

By: Irma Venter     8th January 2019 An almost three-year tender process, initiated in February 2016, to secure additional train sets for the Gautrain system, has failed to deliver the desired results, with none of the three short-listed bidders producing a compliant bid. However, the Gautrain system remains in need of additional... 

 Despite unsuccessful tender, Gautrain remains on the lookout for new trains

Alstom, Evershold Rail unveil design for new hydrogen train for UK market

By: Simone Liedtke     7th January 2019 Rail transport companies Alstom and Eversholt Rail have unveiled the design of a new hydrogen train for the UK market. The train, called Breeze, will be a conversion of the existing Class 321 trains, which reengineers some of the UK’s most reliable rolling stock, to create a clean train for the... 

Train derailment investigation points to sabotage – Transnet

By: Reuters     21st December 2018 Transnet hopes to re-open on Saturday one of two closed coal export lines linking mines to the Richards Bay export terminal after it was closed following a train derailment, the State-run freight company said on Friday. A preliminary investigation into the cause of the derailment points to... 

War of words continues between Prasa and former acting CEO Letsoalo

By: African News Agency      20th December 2018 The war of words between former acting chief executive at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), Collins Letsoalo, and board members continued on Thursday with with him accusing them of lying, subterfuge and diversions. The charge came after the PRASA board urged on Wednesday urged... 

War of words continues between Prasa and former acting CEO Letsoalo
Collins Letsoalo

Transnet misses H1 export coal target

By: Mariaan Webb     19th December 2018 Freight logistics group Transnet has missed its half-year coal export target by 2.3-million tons, the State-owned company reported on Wednesday, citing locomotive failures, community unrest, as well as customer and export terminal constraints. The export coal line, which connects mines in... 

Transnet misses H1 export coal target

No compliant bids received for additional Gautrain rolling stock  

By: Mariaan Webb     18th December 2018 It is back to the drawing board for the procurement of additional rolling stock for the Gautrain system, after the prequalified bidders’ submissions failed to meet procurement requirements. The three prequalified bidders – Bombardier Transport, CRRC E-Loco Supply and Egoli Rail Consortium... 

No compliant bids received for additional Gautrain rolling stock

I was dismissed from Prasa for uncovering looters, says Collins Letsoalo 

By: African News Agency      17th December 2018 Collins Letsoalo, former acting chief of Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), said on Monday that his dismissal from the troubled entity was due to "a web of corruption and looters" he had unearthed during his walkabouts and roadshows at the agency, and never about an alleged massive salary... 

 I was dismissed from Prasa for uncovering looters, says Collins Letsoalo
Collins Letsoalo

PRASA closes Pretoria station for 40 days for maintenance

By: News24Wire      14th December 2018 If you take a train from Metrorail's Bosman station in Pretoria as part of your commute to work, you'll need to consider other modes of transport. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) will be carrying out maintenance at the station, completely closing it to the public for at least 40... 

Back to the future for Eskom as it seeks to plug 1.3bn ton coal hole 

By: Terence Creamer     13th December 2018 State-owned electricity producer Eskom is going back to the future as it seeks to close an estimated 1.3-billion ton coal shortfall that it calculates will arise over the remaining life of its coal-fired power station fleet. The shortfall calculation takes account of the decommissioning of the... 

Back to the future for Eskom as it seeks to plug 1.3bn ton coal hole
Photo by Dylan Slater
Primary energy division GM Dan Mashigo

Transnet goods train derails, blocks major line in Cape Town

By: News24Wire      10th December 2018 A Transnet goods train derailed between Tygerberg and Bellville railway stations in Cape Town on Monday, severely delaying commuter services. "Under current circumstances, delays could exceed 120 minutes," Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said. Scott said the derailment occurred around 08:30... 

Gibela delivers its first South African made train to PRASA 

By: Irma Venter     7th December 2018 Gibela has delivered its first South African-built X’trapolis Mega commuter train to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The train was dispatched from Gibela’s new train manufacturing complex at Dunnottar, in Ekurhuleni, this week, travelling to Prasa’s Wolmerton depot, north of... 

Gibela delivers its first South African made train to PRASA
The first South African-built X’trapolis Mega commuter train on its way to the Wolmerton depot

South Africa’s 'dysfunctional' rail system root of many transport problems 

By: Irma Venter     7th December 2018 South Africa has a “completely dysfunctional" passenger rail system, says Professor Stephan Krygsman of the University of Stellenbosch’s Department of Logistics (Transport Economics). “There is no way to sugarcoat it. “The fact that we cannot get a rail system working in this country is probably... 

South Africa’s 'dysfunctional' rail system root of many transport problems

Transnet to modify operating model, corporate structure

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd December 2018 State-owned Transnet last week held a board strategy workshop to review the group’s deteriorating financial and operational performance. The first resolution to come out of the workshop was on the principles for the corporate design of a new operating model that is underpinned by financial... 

Transnet to modify operating model, corporate structure
Photo by Creamer Media
Transnet acting group CE Tau Morwe

Swifambo loses SCA bid to retain R3.5bn 'tall trains' PRASA tender

By: News24Wire      30th November 2018 Controversial locomotive supplier Swifambo Rail Leasing has lost a Supreme Court of Appeal challenge to a High Court order that stripped it of a R3.5-billion tender with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). Last year, Judge J Francis in the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg... 

Afreximbank ropes in Russian companies to invest in railway projects in Africa

By: African News Agency      30th November 2018 The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) said on Friday it had signed a memorandum of understanding with Russian Railways and the Russian Export Center (REC) to cooperate in implementing export and investment projects in the railway sector in Africa. Under the terms of the MoU, the parties... 

Saldanha iron-ore rail line to remain shut until Dec 9 after truck accident

By: Creamer Media Reporter      30th November 2018 State-owned Transnet has stopped all rail activity along the Saldanha iron-ore export line after a truck carrying an abnormal load with excessive height collided with a railway bridge between Vredendal and Lutzville, in the Western Cape. The accident, which took place at about 10:00 on Wednesday... 

Durban train delays in the spotlight

By: News24Wire      28th November 2018 "He didn't even wait for me to explain why I was late. I was just told to pack my things and leave," says Philile Nzimande, who was fired from her job because of Durban Metrorail train delays. Nzimande said she had arrived two hours late after the train from Umlazi "stopped in the middle of... 

African countries urged to sign Luxembourg Protocol at Zimbabwe PIDA meeting

By: African News Agency      27th November 2018 African countries have been urged to sign the Luxembourg Protocol by Soteri Gatera, the chief of industrialisation and infrastructure at the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). Gatera made the call during his presentation titled, ‘The Luxembourg Rail Protocol: Railway Rolling Stock Financing –... 

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