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Rail Transport and Infrastructure

Sector can reap benefits from rail liberalisation

By: Sabrina Jardim     17th June 2022 Liberalising rail will allow for rail freight to be operated with the efficiency of the private sector at the core of designed operations, says rail infrastructure consulting company Taylorail CEO David Taylor. Taylor says this will allow for end-clients to benefit from lower cost-per-ton... 

Rail infrastructure challenges abound

By: Sabrina Jardim     17th June 2022 Train operators are working to restore the condition of South Africa’s rail network, including trains and stations, which is in “dire straits”, says Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) chief operations officer Tshepo Kgare. “The ageing infrastructure and limited capacity to move more goods and... 

An image depicting a smiling woman, Tshepo Kgare, wearing a blue blouse and black blazer
TSHEPO KGARE The RSR aims to develop a modern, flexible and efficient regulatory regime that ensures the continuing enhancement of safe railway operations

SGR to provide rail benefits

By: Sabrina Jardim     17th June 2022 With the National Rail Policy (NRP) emphasising the introduction of high speed standard gauge rail (SGR) technology on South Africa’s major rail networks, rail infrastructure consulting company Taylorail CEO David Taylor says this will make rail, as a mode of transport, a competitor for... 

A black and white image depicting a smiling man, David Taylor
DAVID TAYLOR Taylorail aims for the establishment of an open, efficient rail network by the public sector, which, alongside the private sector, enables the local economy to move forward

Policy opportunity for rail infrastructure

By: Sabrina Jardim     17th June 2022 With South Africa’s reliance on commodity exports, which can be handled only in large volumes by rail, law firm Norton Rose Fulbright Africa director and transport head Malcolm Hartwell says rail is a more efficient and environment-friendly way of transporting goods, making it crucial that rail... 

An image depicting railway tracks against the backdrop of a blue sky with white clouds and a bright shining sun
Photo by Adobe
RAIL POLICY The White Paper on National Rail Policy recognises problems with rail infrastructure and commits government to solving them

Policies require international funding – law firm

By: Sabrina Jardim     17th June 2022 Without international assistance, South Africa does not have the capacity to fund some of the large rail projects outlined by the National Rail Policy (NRP), released by Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula this year as a draft White Paper and subsequently approved by Cabinet, says law firm Norton... 

An image depicting a man, Malcolm Hartwell, wearing a red tie, light blue shirt and black blazer
MALCOLM HARTWELL Hartwell says investment in infrastructure is needed to stimulate the economy, create employment and help address social and economic imbalances

New passenger rail vehicle designed

11th March 2022 High-performance lightweight structures designers, engineers and manufacturers TRB Lightweight Structures is delighted to be part of the team behind rail project Revolution Very Light Rail (VLR), an innovative passenger vehicle designed to simplify extension of existing rail networks and allow... 

Third-party access to create jobs

By: Anna Moross     11th March 2022 Third-party access to the rail networks in South Africa will help to not only revitalise the rail industry but also have a ripple effect in ensuring job creation and economic growth, says local industry body African Rail Industry Association (ARIA) chairperson James Holley. 

An image of a railway
RAIL NETWORK South Africa has “an enormous rail network”, with State-owned freight utility Transnet having a route network of 23 000 k

Rail revamp on cards

By: Anna Moross     11th March 2022 Galvanized steel and zinc products provide several benefits for rail infrastructure and can help to revamp rail infrastructure in South Africa, says International Zinc Association (IZA) Africa Desk senior consultant Simon Norton. 

An image of locomotive parts
GALVANIZED STEEL AND ZINC PRODUCTS The key benefit of using zinc galvanized steel in rail infrastructure is that it has a longer lifespan than ungalvanized or just painted stee

Investment, maintenance can restore infrastructure

By: Anna Moross     11th March 2022 While there are still many challenges, State-owned freight utility Transnet believes that, through investment and collaboration, rail infrastructure can be revitalised. 

An image of Shraveen Radhar, Transnet project director
SHRAVEEN RAMDHAR With historic under-investment in the network and mechanical equipment, locomotives and wagons that need to be maintained, bad weather conditions, as well as vandalism and theft, the network has started to suffer

Company committed to socioeconomic success of Ekurhuleni

11th March 2022 Rail transport consortium Gibela is deeply committed to ensuring South Africa’s socioeconomic success, and particularly to setting the seal on the economic and social advancement of the communities nearby its main plant, in Ekurhuleni, Gauteng. 

An image of a employee rail development
SOCIOECONOMIC SUCCESS We are fully committed to making sure that South Africa reaches the broad socioeconomic objectives set out in the National Development Plan’s goals for the transport sector

Association highlights third-party access benefits

By: Cameron Mackay     11th June 2021 Local industry body the African Rail Industry Association (ARIA) CEO Mesela Nhlapo says structural changes, as a result of allowing third-party access to State-owned freight utility Transnet’s rail network, will provide a significant boost for the local economy. “Third-party access will enable... 

NO TRAIN, NO GAIN
Third-party access will unlock a range of positive effects upstream and downstream through extra train capacity that is generated
NO TRAIN, NO GAIN Third-party access will unlock a range of positive effects upstream and downstream through extra train capacity that is generated

Product ensures bolt security for safer railways

11th June 2021 Bolt security is essential for optimum safety in all industries, particularly in the railway sector, where demands on rail lines and train components are under increasing pressure, as trains and railway networks become more sophisticated. “Bolt loosening anywhere on railway infrastructure and... 

ADVANCED WEDGE-LOCKING
BMG’s Nord-Lock bolt securing system is based on wedge-locking technology, designed to secure bolted joints exposed to severe vibration and dynamic loads in extreme conditions
ADVANCED WEDGE-LOCKING BMG’s Nord-Lock bolt securing system is based on wedge-locking technology, designed to secure bolted joints exposed to severe vibration and dynamic loads in extreme conditions

Commuter rail on the rise

By: Cameron Mackay     11th June 2021 Railroad equipment supplier Gibela aims to elevate commuter rail as the transport mode of choice by contributing to safe and reliable public transport, in line with the transport sector’s objectives. “The rail manufacturing industry has been dormant in South Africa for about 40 years, and Gibela... 

HECTOR DANISA 
Gibela plays a pivotal role in South Africa’s economic growth, contributing to our GDP and job creation, and adding to government’s revenue base
HECTOR DANISA Gibela plays a pivotal role in South Africa’s economic growth, contributing to our GDP and job creation, and adding to government’s revenue base

Association encourages use of zinc to boost rail

By: Cameron Mackay     11th June 2021 International Zinc Association (IZA) Africa Desk head Simon Norton says there is significant opportunity right now to increase the use of refined zinc for hot dip galvanising of steel, with the steel used for new rail infrastructure projects in South Africa. “This would guarantee a long life for... 

PROTECTING RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE
Zinc has significant capacity to protect uncoated steel structures against premature corrosion
PROTECTING RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE Zinc has significant capacity to protect uncoated steel structures against premature corrosion

President addresses need for efficient rail and ports network

By: Halima Frost     5th March 2021 South Africa’s ability to compete in global markets depends on the efficiency of its ports and rail network, President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his State of the Nation address held in Cape Town last month. He suggested that key infrastructure projects currently underway, including establishing... 

ON TRACK
In order for South Africa to compete globally its rail and port infrastructure needs to be addressed
ON TRACK In order for South Africa to compete globally its rail and port infrastructure needs to be addressed

Company secures distributor deal

By: Halima Frost     5th March 2021 Engineering solutions provider BMG has been appointed as the exclusive distributor of Swagefast fastening systems in Africa, including South Africa. “This means that BMG will have the capacity to supply heavy industrial pin and collar fastening solutions directly to the rail industry,” says BMG... 

PIN AND COLLAR
The Swagefast heavy industrial pin and collar range will now be supplied by BMG
PIN AND COLLAR The Swagefast heavy industrial pin and collar range will now be supplied by BMG

Increase in feasibility studies bodes well for rail sector

By: Halima Frost     5th March 2021 There has been a significant increase in commissioned feasibility studies over the past 18 months in terms of reviewing possible rail infrastructure interventions along the North–South Corridor, says financial advisory firm Cresco Project Finance executive director Robert Futter. The corridor... 

CORRIDOR CARRIER
Rail infrastructure throughout the North-South Corridor is making steady progress
CORRIDOR CARRIER Rail infrastructure throughout the North-South Corridor is making steady progress

Expected decline in safety related rail incidents

By: Darren Parker     12th June 2020 The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) expects that an analysis of railway safety incidents in April and May will reveal a declining trend in some categories of operational occurrence since some railway operations were suspended during levels 4 and 5 of the Covid-19 national lockdown. As legislated,... 

WALKING THE LINE
Although there have been less operational occurrences throughout the lockdown, safe railway behaviour promotion has been augmented for rail employees and the general public
Photo by Creamer Media
WALKING THE LINE Although there have been less operational occurrences throughout the lockdown, safe railway behaviour promotion has been augmented for rail employees and the general public

Rail needs innovative risk-sharing structures

By: Darren Parker     12th June 2020 African railway owners and operators should consider linking freight and passenger rail services as a way of diversifying the risks and rewards that have become evident in these systems on the back of the Covid-19 crisis, says Development Bank of Southern Africa transport, logistics and bulk... 

SHOULDERING THE LOAD
While passenger rail suffered losses, freight rail enjoyed increased demand throughout the Covid-19 lockdown
Photo by Creamer Media
SHOULDERING THE LOAD While passenger rail suffered losses, freight rail enjoyed increased demand throughout the Covid-19 lockdown

Gautrain takes a knock to protect customer base

By: Darren Parker     12th June 2020 Gautrain rapid-rail network operator Bombela Concession Company has maintained or, in some cases, increased Gautrain operational capacity despite low passenger numbers. “While maintaining or even increasing capacity at a time when demand has reduced goes against commercial logic, it makes perfect... 

STAYING ON TRACK
The Gautrain has continued to operate at full capacity despite experiencing a significant reduction in paying customers during lockdown
STAYING ON TRACK The Gautrain has continued to operate at full capacity despite experiencing a significant reduction in paying customers during lockdown

OLI South Africa

12th June 2020 Making business simpler for customers, while going global with a first-class product, has successfully established industrial vibration technology company OLI as the world’s top-selling supplier of electric external moto-vibrators.  OLI products are distributed throughout Southern Africa by its... 

OLI South Africa

Metric Automotive Engineering

12th June 2020 Metric Automotive Engineering is positioned as a world-class diesel engine component remanufacturer. Well-known in the mining, quarrying, earthworks, construction and railway sectors for its ability to remanufacture diesel engine components to original equipment manufacturer specifications, and... 

Metric Automotive Engineering

Companies sign MoU for rail development on the continent

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     6th March 2020 Multilateral development finance bank African Export-Import Bank and local railway services company Thelo DB signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop, finance and operate railway projects in Africa. Thelo DB is an incorporated partnership between Thelo Ventures and Germany-based... 

GREATER COLLABRATION Thelo DB and African Export-Import Bank will collaborate to support the modernisation of Africa’s railways
Photo by Ben Bergh
GREATER COLLABRATION Thelo DB and African Export-Import Bank will collaborate to support the modernisation of Africa’s railways

Need for change to address challenges in rail sector

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     6th March 2020 Despite the local rail industry in South Africa constituting a sizeable and critical portion of the economy, and being well developed, compared with the rest of Africa, the rail infrastructure is not properly maintained, says rail equipment manufacturer Evorail GM Daniel Tchengoue. “The biggest... 

Regulator plans to increase safety awareness

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     6th March 2020 Owing to various safety-related challenges that the South African rail industry has faced in the past year, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) plans to increase its safety awareness activities to mitigate the risk of operational occurrences. According to the ‘State of Safety’ report 2018/19, a... 

SAFETY FIRST improved maintenance systems are crucial in addressing the current safety challenges within rail sector
SAFETY FIRST improved maintenance systems are crucial in addressing the current safety challenges within rail sector

South African rail manufacturing sector needs to reinvent itself

By: Mc'Kyla Nortje     6th March 2020 Despite South Africa’s having a strong presence on the railway scene – claiming almost 30% of the continent’s kilometres and more than 60% of its rail freight – the country’s rail manufacturing sector has not leveraged this position to lead in the manufacturing of rolling stock on the continent,... 

CONTINENTAL BENEFITS Through the AfCFTA, the benefits for South Africa and its African peers will be easier distribution, new export markets and new business opportunities
Photo by Creamer Media
CONTINENTAL BENEFITS Through the AfCFTA, the benefits for South Africa and its African peers will be easier distribution, new export markets and new business opportunities

Longest Production Train in the World

11th July 2019 In an unprecedented move, Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) successfully ran a 375 wagon manganese train. The testing of the train took place on Wednesday, 05 September 2018 over a distance of around 861 km, from Sishen to Saldanha. The test train is four (4) kilometres long and will be a production... 

Longest Production Train in the World

South Africans to prepare ‘smart heavy haul industry’ roadmap

3rd July 2019 The South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) hosted a three-day technical workshop in Johannesburg in late 2018 as part of preparations for the 2019 International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) conference to be held in Narvik, Norway, from June 10 to 14. Ten countries are a part of the IHHA... 

South Africans to  prepare ‘smart heavy haul industry’ roadmap

Defining the heavy-haul railway of the future

26th June 2019 Heavy-haul railways are under constant pressure to optimise operational efficiency, a factor that has led the sector to spearhead many new technologies. Michael Roney, special advisor to the International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA), explains in this article, originally published in the... 

Defining the heavy-haul railway of the future

Transnet Freight Rail Breakthrough Technologies

19th June 2019 In a context of increasing competition, growing demand and tighter management of operational and capital costs, freight railways are constantly looking for ways to increase efficiency by boosting throughput and cutting costs. Below are several breakthrough technologies that have been developed... 

Transnet Freight Rail Breakthrough Technologies

Technology integration crucial

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     14th June 2019 Digital technology solutions provider Etion Digitise CE Koketso Seripe is set to deliver a presentation at the Africa Rail exhibition and conference, which will be held at the Sandton Convention Centre, in Gauteng, on June 19 and 20. Seripe will deliver his presentation, titled ‘A seamless... 

INTEGRATION STATION
Etion Digitise’s integrated system display serves as a human-machine interface for other systems in the train
INTEGRATION STATION Etion Digitise’s integrated system display serves as a human-machine interface for other systems in the train

Event will address challenges facing African rail industries

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     14th June 2019 Several challenges face Africa’s rail industries, and global events company Terrapinn will host the twenty-second annual Africa Rail exhibition and conference, which aims to tackle these challenges. Terrapinn business development manager Athena Maharaj tells Engineering News that there is a... 

EXHIBITION BONANZA
Terrapinn is expecting 250 exhibitors at Africa Rail
EXHIBITION BONANZA Terrapinn is expecting 250 exhibitors at Africa Rail

Government departments need to align to revive industry – RRA

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     14th June 2019 There is no alignment in terms of the objectives of the local rail industry, and the country lacks a united vision, says the Railroad Association of South Africa (RRA) CEO Mesela Nhlapo. Currently, the visions of the different government departments are not aligning, which leads to policies being... 

RAIL’S RIGHTFUL PLACE
The Railroad Association of South Africa works to promote and protect the interests of its members and the rail industry
RAIL’S RIGHTFUL PLACE The Railroad Association of South Africa works to promote and protect the interests of its members and the rail industry

Heavy Haul Game Changer  

12th June 2019 International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA) chairperson Brian Monakali, who is also acting Rail Network GM at South Africa’s Transnet Freight Rail, believes collaboration is the key to ensuring that global heavy haul operators mitigate the risks associated with the Fourth Industrial Revolution... 

Heavy Haul Game Changer
IHHA chairperson Brian Monakali outlines the risks and opportunities posed to heavy haul railways by the unfolding Fourth Industrial Revolution. Camerawork: Nicholas Boyd. Editing: Christo Greyling.

Collaboration, safety awareness to mitigate railway fatalities

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     8th March 2019 The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) hopes to collaborate with all stakeholders that have direct or indirect interactions with rail systems to mitigate fatalities associated with railways. These stakeholders include the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC), the South African Police Service... 

MADELEIN WILLIAMS 
The RSR aims to educate and conduct public awareness activities relating to safe railway operations
MADELEIN WILLIAMS The RSR aims to educate and conduct public awareness activities relating to safe railway operations

Event aims to contribute to development of African rail

By: Jessica Oosthuizen     8th March 2019 Global events company Terrapinn will host the twenty-second annual Africa Rail exhibition and conference to contribute to the development of the rail sector across Africa, says Terrapin business development manager Athena Maharaj. She tells Engineering News that there will be a big focus on... 

INTERNATIONAL ATTENDANCE
Attendees from more than 70 countries are expected at Africa Rail
INTERNATIONAL ATTENDANCE Attendees from more than 70 countries are expected at Africa Rail

Rail safety important for future of public transport

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     8th March 2019 Rail should ensure that it is a public-transport mode of choice by considering the importance of delivering a service to commuters which is available, punctual and safe, says Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe. “Public transport in South Africa is a mode of force – people don’t use... 

RAIL
Availability, punctuality and safety are key to the rail industry
RAIL Availability, punctuality and safety are key to the rail industry

Modernisation improves railway travel experience

By: Khutso Maphatsoe     8th March 2019 Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is making huge strides to modernise its passenger railway to improve the experience of passengers. “Not only are we starting to receive delivery of the modern trainsets but the implementation of the infrastructure programme is also under way, which... 

DEVELOPMENTS
The new signalling system will create an environment for in-cab signalling and levels of automatic train protection
Photo by Creamer Media
DEVELOPMENTS The new signalling system will create an environment for in-cab signalling and levels of automatic train protection
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