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Rail News

TFR’s CAB, Natcor units achieve new records

27th February 2018 Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR’s) Container and Automotive Business (CAB) unit railed 909 295 t in February, surpassing its previous record of 878 462 t. The Natal Corridor (Natcor) Channel, meanwhile, railed 395 129 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) in the year to date, compared with the 377 593... 

New Joburg–Musina passenger train service launched 

By: African News Agency      23rd February 2018 South African transport minister Joe Maswanganyi on Friday launched a new passenger train service between Johannesburg and Musina for long distance-travelers to commute directly between Gauteng and Limpopo. At the official launch at Johannesburg Park Station, Maswanganyi said that the intention... 

Transnet delivering on its Africa strategy

By: Simone Liedtke     22nd February 2018 State-owned Transnet's Diaspora Infrastructure Development Group (DIDG) Consortium on Wednesday delivered rolling stock to the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) to strengthen regional integration, trade and the recapitalisation of the Zimbabwean railway programme. This transaction between a... 

Inside Metrorail’s cable theft and commuter crisis

By: News24Wire      22nd February 2018 Brazen thieves, who have effectively brought a critical rail route in Cape Town to a standstill for nearly six weeks, leaving thousands of commuters in the lurch, have become the focus of intense and unprecedented operations to squeeze out criminals who target beleaguered Metrorail's... 

TFR transports record chrome volumes from mines to ports

By: Schalk Burger     14th February 2018 State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has transported a record 5.77-million tons of chrome by rail from mines to the ports in the first 47 weeks of the current financial year. This exceeds the 5.75-million tons of chrome transported by rail in the prior financial year. 

Dedicated unit set up to combat crime on Cape Town trains

By: African News Agency      9th February 2018 The City of Cape Town, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), and the Western Cape Government on Friday agreed to establish a dedicated unit to secure the safety of Metrorail commuters and key infrastructure. Metrorail's Central Line, which serves largely poor and working class... 

Transnet to lease rolling stock to Zambia Railways

By: Reuters     8th February 2018 South African logistics firm Transnet will lease locomotives and wagons to Zambia Railways to boost its capacity to handle bulk cargo, Zambia Railways' CEO said on Thursday. Zambia Railways CEO Christopher Musonda said Transnet had agreed to lease eight locomotives and 600 wagons to the Zambian... 

Richards Bay zone woos investors at Cape Town's Mining Indaba

By: African News Agency      8th February 2018 The Richards Bay Industrial Development Zone (RBIDZ) went on a charm offensive at the Mining Indaba held in Cape Town to woo local and international investors seeking export and import opportunities in KwaZulu-Natal province. RBIDZ acting manager for business development and support, Mzamo... 

Thousands of train commuters still stranded in Cape Town

By: News24Wire      8th February 2018 Tens of thousands of commuters who use Cape Town's central line are still waiting for Metrorail to say when the train service, suspended since January 8, will be restored. Meanwhile commuters on the northern line were greeted by a filthy toilet this week, according to a GroundUp report.The... 

New dawn for platinum mining – Robert Friedland

By: Martin Creamer     7th February 2018 New cars being produced in Japan have platinum- and copper-intensive fuel cell drives that outdo battery-powered electric vehicles (EVs) in cold climates as the EV batteries drain when the heaters are switched on, Ivanhoe Mines executive chairperson and founder Robert Friedland said on Wednesday.... 

New dawn for platinum mining – Robert Friedland

One killed, two injured in accident at Gautrain depot

By: Simone Liedtke     7th February 2018 A full investigation is under way to determine the root cause of an incident at the Gautrain depot, in Midrand, in which one employee was killed and another two injured. The accident occurred at about midnight on February 6, when a maintenance rail-road vehicle, which the deceased employee was... 

PRASA board to receive summons from Parliament

By: African News Agency      6th February 2018 MPs on Tuesday resolved to summons interim board members of South Africa's Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa to Parliament to account for the failing state of train services in the country. A subpoena will be issued after the board members failed to pitch for a meeting with Parliament's... 

TPT boosts PE port handling volumes, rail use

By: Schalk Burger     6th February 2018 Transnet Port Terminals (TPT) achieved higher than forecast automotive and container handling volumes at the Port Elizabeth port in December, which it attributes to greater demand from local and international markets, along with automotive investments made in the region, TPT Eastern Cape GM Siya... 

Plasser agrees to pay R8.4m penalty for collusion

By: Megan van Wyngaardt     6th February 2018 Railway construction and maintenance company Plasser South Africa has agreed to pay R8.4-million in a settlement penalty after admitting to partaking in collusion. The Competition Commission on Tuesday said it reached a settlement agreement with the company, which provides railway line track... 

Mbazima urges immediate dialogue on rail, port expansion

By: Martin Creamer     5th February 2018 South Africa’s ability to revitalise crucial infrastructure, especially rail and port networks, is among the key actions needed to bring investment back into the South African mining industry, Anglo American South Africa deputy chairperson Norman Mbazima said on Monday. Speaking on first day of... 

Mbazima urges immediate dialogue on rail, port expansion
Photo by Duane Daws
Anglo American South Africa deputy chairperson Norman Mbazima

Transnet signals it’s on track to free up coal export routes

By: Kim Cloete     2nd February 2018 Transnet is moving ahead with projects to boost the volume of coal carried from the coalfields to the port of Richards Bay and Maputo, says GM of Capital Planning Brian Monakali. He told delegates attending the IHS Markit South African Coal Export Conference, in Cape Town, this week, that some of... 

We are getting to a stage when we will be uninsurable – PRASA

By: African News Agency      2nd February 2018 State-owned Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) on Thursday said it would soon be “uninsurable” if criminal activity, leading to-millions of rands in loss and damage, was not halted. Cromet Molepo, the acting group chief executive for PRASA made the comments at a media briefing in... 

Digitalisation major topic at railways expo and conference

2nd February 2018 In line with trends such as the Internet of Things (IoT), big data and analytics and machine learning, digitalisation will play a major role in this year’s Africa Rail agenda. The conference will look at the innovative technologies and systems that are transforming the African industry and... 

Digitalisation major  topic at railways expo  and conference
GROWING NUMBERS Africa Rail organiser Terrapinn expects 7 000 attendees this year

Manufacturing trials of first locally made train car under way

By: Irma Venter     2nd February 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... 

Eskom sees opportunity for emerging coal miners to improve utility’s security of supply, logistics

By: Mia Breytenbach     1st February 2018 State-owned power utility Eskom’s demand for about 750-million tonnes of coal between now and about 2040, has seen the utility identify opportunities arising for emerging coal miners in respect of two of its strategic objectives – the security of supply and logistics optimisation. Speaking at the... 

Former Transport Minister details undue pressure from Tony Gupta for rail contract

By: African News Agency      31st January 2018 Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins on Wednesday told the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom that Tony Gupta threatened court action when he failed to subvert the tender process for new trains for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). Martins conceded that he interacted with... 

Zambia's chamber of mines says rail transport law 'inappropriate and unworkable' 

By: Reuters     31st January 2018 A new Zambian law compelling mining companies and other bulk cargo firms to transport at least 30% of their freight by rail is "economically inappropriate and unworkable" and should be reviewed, the Chamber of Mines said on Wednesday. Transport Minister Brian Mushimba said on Friday the law was... 

Montana claims he fought off a bid to change the PRASA board

By: African News Agency      31st January 2018 Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana on Tuesday told the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom that he resisted a political attempt to impose a new board at the entity that would be favourable to the Gupta brothers and help them secure contracts in a locomotive tender... 

Brown says boards of State-owned enterprises must shape up 

By: African News Agency      30th January 2018 Embattled Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown on Tuesday told MPs she expected the boards of South Africa's corruption-stricken, cash-strapped parastatals to perform or be replaced. "The message to the boards of all SOCs is that they must shape up or ship out. If they are unable to instill... 

Brown says boards of State-owned enterprises must shape up
Photo by Duane Daws
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown

Zambia says miners must move 30% cargo by railway 

By: Reuters     26th January 2018 Mining firms and other bulk cargo firms in Zambia must transport at least 30% of their freight by railway, the government said on Friday, imposing a law to revive the sector. Transport Minister Brian Mushimba told reporters there was evidence of a huge imbalance between use of the road and rail... 

Project to lift station platforms proving challenging, PRASA admits

By: Irma Venter     26th 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... 

Three bust for cable theft along Cape Town rail line

By: News24Wire      25th January 2018 Three people were arrested for stealing cable from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) in the vicinity of the notorious "Bonteheuwel split" on the Cape Town rail network, police said on Wednesday. "Ongoing operations to combat crime on the train lines in the province were fruitful... 

MPs threaten Transnet board, executives with jail for no show at Parliament

By: African News Agency      23rd January 2018 MPs on Tuesday read board members and executives of South Africa's State-owned freight and logistics company, Transnet, the riot act for failing to show up at a meeting of Parliament's standing committee on public accounts last year. The board members and executives failed to show up at the... 

MPs threaten Transnet board, executives with jail for no show at Parliament

Infrastructure development a key driver of South African economy – Patel

By: African News Agency      23rd January 2018 Infrastructure development is a key driver of South Africa's growth prospects, with rail and water infrastructure focal areas. This is according to Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, who is in Davos for the World Economic Forum (WEF), as part of the South African delegation looking to... 

Infrastructure development a key driver of South African economy – Patel

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... 

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