Transnet shows first made-in-SA locomotive for clients in Africa
TRANSNET Engineering planned to unveil its first locally manufactured diesel-powered locomotive at the Africa Rail Conference and Exhibition in the Sandton Convention Centre.
While many bemoan the rusting railway tracks all over South Africa, the fact remains that the Transnet Engineering’s Locomotive Business is fully able to take on work from other African countries.
This decision currently refurbishes, converts, upgrades or remanufactures over 400 locomotives annually to ISO 9001 quality standards at its factories in Durban, Bloemfontein and Pretoria. It also maintains over 2 500 of the locomotives in South Africa’s fleet to provide its customers with a source of reliable and available tractive effort.
General overhauls and Minor Overhaul Programmes (MOPs) of DC-type locomotives are undertaken in Pretoria at Transnet Engineering’s Koedoespoort works.
Should a locomotive be severely damaged in some way, a total rebuild of diesel electric locomotives is undertaken at Transnet Engineering’s plant in Bloemfontein and the rebuild of electric DC locomotives is done in their Koedoespoort plant with the rebuild of the electric AC locomotives in their Durban-based plant.
Meanwhile, Bombardier Transportation showed its successful Gautrain and Traxx Africa Locomotive projects, integrated solutions and Rail Control and service and maintenance solutions. The company, which also supplied the Gautrain, is in the last year of a three-year project by a consortium of companies under the Bombardier Africa Alliance to modernise signalling along over 200 km of track in eThekwini to speed up the commute of some 70 000 passengers. By year end, the consortium anticipate it will have replaced Durban’s 40-year-old signalling technology with new systems that will allow trains to run 150 seconds apart.
Bombardier is also a leader in electric transport both on rail and roads, and will also soon be opening its first Propulsion and Controls manufacturing facility in Johannesburg.
Railways control systems are being upgraded in eThekwini to allow trains to run mere minutes apart.