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Rail News

Bombardier Transportation’s electric train makes its public debut

By: Irma Venter     14th September 2018 Bombardier Transportation’s new battery-operated train, the  Bombardier Talent 3 electro-hybrid train, was introduced to the German public this week. “We want to continue to electrify rail transport. A train that can charge its batteries from the overhead line while driving is a huge step toward... 

First Xeno 1 laser installation complete

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     14th September 2018 Product identification equipment manufacturer Cab Technology South Africa has completed the installation of a Xeno 1 laser marking system at cable and connector solutions supplier Hiconnex Industrial’s new facility, in Centurion, in Gauteng, says Cab Technology South Africa technical sales... 

First Xeno 1 laser  installation complete
XENO 1 LASER SYSTEM The Xeno 1 is a desktop system that meets all the requirements for a cyber-physical system

PRASA commits to paying R16m for special Rail Enforcement Unit

By: News24Wire      13th September 2018 The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA) says it is fully committed to its part in the establishment of a special Rail Enforcement Unit, pledging to pay its R16-million contribution towards the deployment of an additional 100 officers. The rail agency's contribution, which it reaffirmed at a... 

South Africa's iron-ore railway to be shut down for annual maintenance

By: Reuters     12th September 2018 The main railway line along South Africa's iron-ore corridor will be shut down for annual maintenance from September 26 to October 2, State-owned freight logistics firm Transnet said on Wednesday. The railway line that stretches up to 861 km (534 miles) from iron-ore mines at Sishen in the... 

Traxtion, Railway Material Resources form JV to distribute rail parts into Africa

By: Marleny Arnoldi     12th September 2018 Private locomotive and rail operator Traxtion Sheltam and Austria-based rail services company Railway Material and Resources (RMR) have signed an agreement to create a joint venture (JV) called RMR Africa, that will distribute rail parts across the African continent. The JV brings together two... 

Transnet board suspends two senior executives

By: African News Agency      7th September 2018 Transnet's board on Thursday, announced the suspension of two senior executives. "The board of Transnet today suspended two senior Transnet executives – Thamsanqa Jiyane, the chief officer for advanced manufacturing of Transnet Engineering and Lindiwe Mdletshe, the senior manager for strategic... 

Transport committee says rail safety regulator should prioritise signalling challenges

By: African News Agency      5th September 2018 The Portfolio Committee on Transport has on Wednesday called on the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) to prioritise signalling in its programmes. The call comes after more than 100 people were injured on Tuesday after a collision between two passenger Metrorail trains at the Eloff extension in Selby,... 

African rail industry urged to adopt concepts of Fourth Industrial Revolution

By: Nadine James     4th September 2018 The African rail industry must adopt the concepts and develop the technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to facilitate, and realise, the industrialisation aspirations of the continent, delegates attending a South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) technical workshop, on Tuesday,... 

More than 100 commuters injured in Joburg train collision

By: African News Agency      4th September 2018 Metrorail has said that a total 112 commuters, mostly without valid train tickets, sustained minor injuries and seven with serious but not critical injuries are receiving medical attention at four local hospitals after a collision between two passenger trains in Johannesburg. This comes after a... 

Public Protector to probe Metrorail in Western Cape

By: African News Agency      3rd September 2018 The Public Protector has agreed to investigate struggling Metrorail in the Western Cape, where the service has been hit with multiple problems that have seen the numbers of commuters drop by nearly half. Frequent delays and inadequate space on commuter trains have been made worse by the recent... 

Grindrod reports strong recovery in interim earnings

By: Marleny Arnoldi     31st August 2018 Freight and financial services group Grindrod has achieved a strong year-on-year recovery in the six months to June 30, with its earnings a share having increased to 317c, compared with a loss a share of 11.5c in the first half of 2017. Headline earnings a share were 3.8c, compared with a... 

Spotlight on CTC and potential legal inconsistencies

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     31st August 2018 The Cape Town Convention (CTC) on International Interests in Mobile Equipment is receiving a lot of attention from the legal industry in terms of how South Africa has incorporated it and how certain remedies provided for therein are enforced in the aviation industry, says global law firm Norton... 

Spotlight on CTC and potential legal inconsistencies
COMPLIANCY CHECK An aviation working group is evaluating whether South Africa implements and complies with the rights and remedies provided for in the Cape Town Convention

Untu warns against PRASA’s continued safety noncompliance

By: Marleny Arnoldi     28th August 2018 The United National Transport Union (Untu) believes government and Transport Minister Blade Nzimande can be held accountable for any injuries incurred by employees or commuters of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), owing to “blatant disregard” for basic safety procedures set down... 

Transnet results eclipsed by irregular expenditure, qualified audit and State capture

By: Terence Creamer     20th August 2018 A surge in irregular expenditure to over R8-billion triggered a qualification of Transnet’s 2018 financial results, all but eclipsing an otherwise strong financial and operational performance by the State-owned group. The irregular expenditure related primarily to procurement undertaken by... 

Transnet results eclipsed by irregular expenditure, qualified audit and State capture

State capture inquiry gets underway in Johannesburg

By: African News Agency      20th August 2018 The judicial commission of inquiry into alleged capture of the South African State and its entities, referred to as ''State capture'', is set to begin on Monday in Johannesburg. At the centre of the hearings are the fugitive Gupta family, who have since left the country as allegations of... 

State capture inquiry gets underway in Johannesburg
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo

Get your house in order, MPs tell Transnet

By: Reuters     17th August 2018 Parliament's watchdog on public account on Friday said it had instructed the Transnet board and management to curb graft at the State-owned company. "The Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) has told the Transnet Board and management to stop the looting because the business is able to... 

Hawks investigate cases related to Gupta-loot worth more than R40bn

By: News24Wire      16th August 2018 The Hawks are investigating cases related to the Guptas' state capture project that involves more than R40 billion which has been plundered from state coffers. Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya presented the Hawks' progress in several cases of state capture to the Portfolio Committee on Police on... 

Transnet signals intention to suspend CEO Gama

By: African News Agency      16th August 2018 The Transnet board has served notice on CEO Siyabonga Gama and two other top senior officials that it intends to place them on precautionary suspension. Chief procurement officer Thamsanqa Jiyana and supply chain manager Lindiwe Mdletshe also received letters on Wednesday. 

Transnet signals intention to suspend CEO Gama
Photo by Creamer Media
Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama

Gordhan announces whistleblower hotline to boost fight against corruption

By: News24Wire      15th August 2018 Stabilising State-owned enterprises could take six months or longer, depending on the extent of corruption, said Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan. The minister on Wednesday briefed the portfolio committee on public enterprises on the progress made in addressing governance challenges at... 

Gordhan announces whistleblower hotline to boost fight against corruption
Photo by Dylan Slater
Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan

Cable theft disrupts Metrorail's Joburg-Pretoria train service

By: Reuters     15th August 2018 Metrorail has said its technical teams are busy replacing stolen cables after its train service between Pretoria and Johannesburg was disrupted on Wednesday morning due to missing overhead wires on both lines at Olifantsfontein. As a result, trains from Johannesburg are turning around at... 

Kenya charges top officials with fraud over new $3bn railway

By: Reuters     13th August 2018 A Kenyan court on Monday charged the heads of the agency that manages public land and of the state railway with fraud over land allocation for a new $3-billion train line linking the capital with East Africa's biggest port. The line between Nairobi and Mombasa, funded by China, is one of the... 

Gautrain strike over after workers accept 8% wage offer

By: African News Agency      13th August 2018 A two-week strike by Gautrain workers ended on Monday after workers accepted an offer by the Bombela Concession Company, operator of the high speed commuter rail system, of a one-year wage offer of eight% salary increments for about 90% of employees. Gautrain workers downed tools on July 30,... 

R100 000 reward offered for info on Cape Town train fires

By: News24Wire      6th August 2018 The Western Cape government is offering a R100 000 reward for information that could lead to the arrest and conviction of whoever is burning trains in Cape Town. "The R100 000 reward we are making available is our warning to these arsonists: You are being watched, you will be caught and we will... 

UNTU says accepts CCMA’s offer to help resolve Gautrain wage dispute

By: Marleny Arnoldi     3rd August 2018 The United National Transport Union (UNTU) has accepted the invitation of the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) to try and resolve the Gautrain strike that entered its fifth day on Friday. Subsequently, Gautrain has also accepted the invitation, as it is concerned... 

UNTU says accepts CCMA’s offer to help resolve Gautrain wage dispute

Rail company supports community development

3rd August 2018 Train manufacturer Gibela launched its Make a Difference campaign, which recognises the importance of educational support at all levels in the communities neighbouring its Dunnottar factory, in Gauteng, in May. The company launched the campaign at an event at Mom Sebone Secondary School in... 

Rail company supports community development
Photo by Creamer Media
ON FLEET The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa assigned Gibela the task of replacing its ageing metro fleet with a modern service

Rail infrastructure in state of neglect

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     3rd August 2018 South Africa’s railway infrastructure is in a state of neglect, says rail consultancy and rolling stock supplier African Railway Systems technical manager Dylan Knott. “Rail has been in decline for the past three decades, and with it, almost all the once thriving branch lines have closed. The... 

Rail infrastructure in state of neglect
Photo by Creamer Media
BAD CONDITION Without direct investment in infrastructure, locomotives, rolling stock or skills, the future of the South African rail industry does not look positive

Road-rail vehicle innovator introduces RailBus

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     3rd August 2018 Olifantsfontein-based road-rail vehicle (RRV) manufacturer RailPro has developed a bimodal vehicle that transports people and goods on road and rail, says MD Ed Magan. The vehicle, called RailBus, was launched in June. 

Road-rail vehicle innovator introduces RailBus
Photo by Bloomberg
FACILITATING MOBILITY Thousands of rural dwellers are situated close to existing rail lines and the RailBus will allow for exploitation of underused rail routes

PRASA issued a temporary safety permit

By: African News Agency      2nd August 2018 The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) on Thursday said it has issued the Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) with a temporary safety permit. RSR spokesperson Madelein Williams said the temporary safety permit would be valid from August 2 to 31. 

Etion lobbies for independent maintenance house for railways

By: Irma Venter     1st August 2018 The JSE-listed Etion is lobbying for the formation of an independent information and maintenance house, which will manage the maintenance and information of the condition monitoring systems at most of South Africa’s freight rail operations. These systems, which serve to keep trains on the track... 

Etion lobbies for independent maintenance house for railways
Bennie Steyn

RSR says it won’t issue PRASA with safety permit

By: Anine Kilian     1st August 2018 The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) on Wednesday said the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) was operating trains without a valid safety permit. PRASA’s safety permit, which was previously issued with special conditions, expired at midnight on July 31, and the RSR has taken the decision... 

Saboteurs behind train torching 'pretend to be commuters' – Cape Town transport head

By: News24Wire      30th July 2018 Alleged saboteurs believed to be behind the recent spate of train torchings all used the same method: they pretended to be commuters before setting the carriage alight as the train arrived in the station. This is according to mayoral committee member for transport and urban development Brett... 

Bombela sets Gautrain contingency plan in motion as strike goes ahead

By: Simone Liedtke     30th July 2018 Wage negotiations between Gautrain operator Bombela Operating Company (BOC) and trade union, the United National Transport Union (UNTU) have reached a deadlock and, owing to this, UNTU-affiliated workers have embarked on a “no work, no pay” strike from Monday. BOC offered an 8.5% increase in... 

Bombela sets Gautrain contingency plan in motion as strike goes ahead

PRASA hunting down 'enemies' responsible for Cape Town train attacks

By: News24Wire      30th July 2018 All stops are being pulled out to find those responsible for three arson attacks on trains in Cape Town this month, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA) board said on Sunday. "It is clear to us that this is the work of people who have placed themselves as enemies of PRASA, enemies of our... 

PRASA hunting down 'enemies' responsible for Cape Town train attacks

UNTU, Bombela to continue weekend talks to avoid planned Gautrain strike

By: Simone Liedtke     27th July 2018 Following the meeting held on Thursday between Gautrain operator Bombela Operating Company (BOC) and trade union, the United National Transport Union, negotiations to find a settlement in the current wage dispute have resumed on Friday and will continue over the course of the weekend. If no... 

UNTU, Bombela to continue weekend talks to avoid planned Gautrain strike

TFR to spend R90m on yearly manganese line shutdown

By: Creamer Media Reporter      26th July 2018 Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) is set to spend about R90-million on its yearly, large-scale maintenance shutdown on the manganese rail line from August 2 to 8.  The railway line, which spans across three provinces – the Eastern Cape, the Northern Cape and the Free State – will be undergoing... 

Another Metrorail train on fire in Cape Town, bringing the number of incidents to five

By: News24Wire      26th July 2018 Yet another Metrorail train was in flames in Cape Town on Thursday - this time in Retreat. It is the fifth such incident in Cape Town this year. "Yes, we have confirmation that it is in Retreat," Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said. Scott was still waiting for further details. Fire... 

Gautrain operator requests meeting with union to avoid planned strike

By: Simone Liedtke     25th July 2018 Gautrain-operator Bombela Operating Company (BOC) on Wednesday told Engineering News Online that it remains open to further wage negotiations with trade union, the United National Transport Union (UNTU), after its wage offer was rejected. BOC has requested a meeting with UNTU on July 26. 

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