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Rail Transport and Infrastructure

Skills development through consortium

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 The Bombardier Africa Alliance (BAA) consortium is currently in the design phase of the Durban portion of State-owned rail operator the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) national resignalling project. The project involves the resignalling of 260 km of double-track and 42... 

GNC roof to be installed next month 

By: David Oliveira     27th June 2014 Construction of the Gauteng Nerve Centre (GNC), which will control all commuter rail traffic in Gauteng, is well under way, with the roof scheduled for completion next month. The centre is located in Kaalfontein, near Kempton Park, in Johannesburg. 

GNC roof to be installed next month
Siemens Southern Africa infrastructure and cities senior project manager Lucio Lefebvre discusses the developments of the Gauteng Nerve Centre.

Rig used to test brake characteristics

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Pretoria-based on-tread composite railway brake-blocks designer and manufacturer DCD Metpro completed the installation of the Gautrain brake pad rig onto its existing dynamometer facility in November 2013. A dynamometer, commonly known as a dyno, is designed to simulate the brake characteristics... 

Rig used to  test brake  characteristics
Photo by Ngage
IMPROVED DYNO DCD Metpro completed the installation of the Gautrain brake pad rig onto its dynamometer in November 2013

Construction of GNC under way

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Construction of the Gauteng Nerve Centre (GNC), which will act as the signalling control centre of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) Gauteng passenger rail network, is under way, says South African arm of global engineering company Siemens rail systems business development and... 

Construction of GNC under way
Photo by Siemens
GAUTENG NERVE CENTRE Once completed, the Gauteng Nerve Centre will enable operators to monitor all passenger train activity on a 52-m-wide video wall

Manufacturer secures Gibela contract

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 South African engineering firm Delberg Engineering secured a contract last month for the manufacture and supply of piping-related work, such as handrails and hydraulic pipe systems, which will be fitted onto the locomotives and coaches being supplied to the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa... 

Rail infrastructure development plan secures local content

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 The proposed R300-billion investment programme by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) is set to not only streamline South Africa's railway capabilities but also potentially create business opportunities and job sustainability for sufficiently prepared local private-sector industry component... 

Rail infrastructure contributes to local industry development

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Audit, tax and advisory firm KPMG notes that State-owned rail operators Transnet and the Passenger Rail Association of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) investments, collectively valued at more than R430-billion, offer significant localisation opportunities for South Africa. “The establishment of local... 

Expansion will help relieve pressure on rail sector

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Owing to poor economic conditions, the South African rail sector is under strain, says engineering, management and specialist technical services company Aurecon railway engineering technical director Francois Heyns. However, State-owned rail services provider Transnet’s large capital expansion... 

Expansion will help relieve pressure on  rail sector
Photo by Duane Daws
KEEPING AFLOAT The South African rail sector needs large rail projects to keep it buoyant, which require substantial capital investment to fund

Agriculture sector needs rail services

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 Although State-owned freight rail operator Transnet’s R300-billion Market Demand Strategy (MDS) will provide greater infrastructure for high traffic-density operations, such as transporting mining commodities and minerals, the agriculture sector finds itself without adequate rail services, says... 

Feasibility study under way for R17bn Swaziland link project

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 South Africa-based engineering consultancy Mott MacDonald PDNA (MMPDNA) states that it is currently finalising the feasibility stage of State-owned rail operator Transnet’s R17-billion Swaziland link railway project. The project entails the construction of 146 km of new railway line, which will... 

RRL Grindrod

11th April 2014 Pretoria-based RRL Grindrod Locomotives is involved in the design, engineering, manufacturing, refurbishment, leasing, maintenance and parts supply to the locomotive industry. The company, which has a 45 000 m2 production facility at 1 Frikkie Meyer road, Pretoria West, has been producing main... 

RRL Grindrod

R1bn investment towards Transnet manufactured locomotive 

By: David Oliveira     11th April 2014 State-owned rail operator Transnet is dedicating about R1-billion of its R307-billion Market Demand Strategy (MDS) towards research and development for the manufacture of its own locomotives, Transnet group CEO Brian Molefe said at the company’s R50-billion supplier announcement, in March. He... 

R1bn investment towards Transnet manufactured locomotive
Transnet Freight Rail CEO Siyabonga Gama and Transnet CEO Brian Molefe discuss becoming a locomotive OEM. Cameraperson: Nichoals Boyd.

Improvement of freight-rail efficiencies stressed to alleviate strain on roads

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 The South African rail industry can only become a cost-effective alternative to road transport if the operational efficiencies of freight rail are increased to deliver a predictable and reliable service, says engineering and management consultant Arup. 

Regulator reveals state of railway safety

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 The South African Railway Safety Regulator’s (RSR’s) ‘State of Safety’ report for 2011/12 found that 354 fatalities, out of 412 operational fatalities, occurred as a result of people being hit by trains, with the remainder comprising suicides, operational incidents or safety-related incidents. 

Software ensures Gautrain’s success

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 Global engineering specialist solutions provider Kentz installed and commissioned the ArchestrA system platform software for the Gautrain rapid rail link project and has dealt with the system’s minor “teething problems, such as nuisance alarms, code faults and timing issues”. 

Multibillion-rand infrastructure spend to tackle challenges in future

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 A lack of significant investment in the South African rail sector has resulted in rail operators having to invest as much as possible in infrastructure to ensure that challenges in the sector can be overcome in future, notes State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). 

Modernisation projects support rolling stock programme

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 As part of its long-term investment programme to upgrade and modernise its stations and rail network, State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has identified several train stations that require upgrading and modernisation. 

Rail infrastructure manufacturer takes cues from major players

By: Chantelle Kotze     12th April 2013 Much of local railway component supplier voestalpine VAE SA’s 2013 business, which is fairly on par with its operational achievements and targets of last year, will be guided by the investments of major rail operators and mining houses, says CEO David Marite. 

Maintenance strategy ensures sustainability

12th April 2013 The new rail-track infrastructure investments projects being undertaken by South Africa’s major rail operators – State-owned utilities Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa – calls for a suitable maintenance strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the assets and the... 

Adequate metro rail system vital for South Africans

By: Yolandi Booyens     14th December 2012 It is imperative for a country, such as South Africa, which has inadequate access to public transport, to re-establish its rail industry and ensure it offers reliable and safe public transportation, states global professional services firm KPMG South Africa infrastructure projects head De Buys... 

Rail core to building a competitive logistics system

By: Yolandi Booyens     14th December 2012 It was imperative that South Africa improve the quality of its rail infrastructure and associated operating equipment, Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba said in October at the signing of a R2.6-billion contract between State-owned freight logistics group Transnet and a consortium led by a... 

Fleet renewal project to help overcome safety challenges

By: Yolandi Booyens     14th December 2012 The limited investment in South Africa’s rail infrastructure and rolling stock over the past three to four decades contributes to poor operating safety, says Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) CEO Nkululeko Poya. This challenge will be mitigated through the implementation of the Passenger Rail Agency... 

TFR orders R1.8m of concrete walling

By: Chantelle Kotze     29th June 2012 State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR), in April, placed a R1.8-million order with precast concrete products manufacturer Rocla for 600 units of its Alfabloc concrete walling product. 

Bolsterless passenger coach bogie for SA conditions

29th June 2012 Rolling stock manufacturer and refurbishment company DCD Rolling Stock, formerly known as RSD, has developed a new bolsterless fabricated passenger coach bogie specifically designed for South African conditions. 

US locomotives manufacturer seeks further African growth

By: Sashnee Moodley     13th April 2012 US locomotives manufacturer GE Transportation, which is, through its local subsidiary General Electric South Africa Technologies (Gesat), producing 143 locomotives for State-owned freight logistics group Transnet, says it aims to tap into further rail opportunities on the African continent. 

Concrete product has potential use in rail industry

By: Sashnee Moodley     13th April 2012 Concrete products manufacturer Rocla has added the Alfabloc precast concrete retaining wall system to its range of products. 

Summit to discuss road and rail infrastructure

13th April 2012 The third East & Central Africa Roads & Rail Infrastructure Summit, which is aimed at discussing the challenges facing the road and rail infrastructure in this region, will take place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. 

Rail contractor completes major projects, consolidates company

By: Sashnee Moodley     13th April 2012 Rail infrastructure contractor Racec has successfully completed major projects in the Northern Cape and Sierra Leone and has consolidated its position as a rail contractor following the disposal of its subsidiaries and its noncore loss-making manufacturing operations last year.  

Software developer awarded innovation grant, seeks export opportunities

By: Sashnee Moodley     13th April 2012 Software developer Dariel Solutions has been awarded an innovation grant by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) for its WBX weighbridge software for rail and road and is planning to export the system. 

Rail enterprise reveals long-term growth plans 

13th April 2012 State-owned enterprise the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa’s) Vision 2015 plan aims to position it as the top public transport provider in high-volume corridors.  

Localisation a priority for rolling stock renewal programme

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     16th December 2011 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) expects to start the tender process for the local manufacturing of rolling stock by March next year. 

Prasa to take a greener route

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     16th December 2011 The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is in the process of developing its own environmental policy and strategy framework, which will be applicable to all its operating entities. 

Pace of rolling stock procurement might have to be revised – DoT 

By: Idéle Esterhuizen     16th December 2011 The Department of Transport’s (DoT’s) initial calculation that about 360 new coaches will have to be procured each year during the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (Prasa’s) rolling stock fleet-renewal programme, might have to be revised, says acting deputy director-general Jan-David de... 

Gautrain readies for phase-two launch

By: Sinette Goosen     24th June 2011 Work on phase two of the Gautrain rapid rail project is proceeding smoothly, as the operator prepares to meet its completion date at the end of this month. 

Company ensures intelligent security at Marlboro station 

By: Sinette Goosen     24th June 2011 Specialist in the design and implementation of intelligent video and perimeter security solutions, C3 Shared Services says its advanced video surveillance system has contributed to safety at the Gautrain Marlboro station. 

Bombela to receive phase two OCD Certificate

By: Sinette Goosen     24th June 2011 Engineering and management consultancy Arup, which was appointed in 2006 as the Gautrain independent certifier (IC), will soon issue the Operating Commencement Date (OCD) Certificate for the second phase of the rapid rail project to concession company Bombela. 

Gautrain launches integrated public transport map service

By: Sinette Goosen     24th June 2011 The Gautrain launched its online integrated public transport map service, which will assist commuters to find and plan routes from one destination to another using only public transport, in May. 

Gautrain stations each feature a unique theme

24th June 2011 Each of the ten Gautrain stations has been designed according to its own unique theme to reflect the diverse resources, technologies, economy and culture of South Africa, the Gautrain states on its website. 

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