August 23rd, 2009, 11:06 PM
A new home...
View Full Version : #Rail & Freight News
August 23rd, 2009, 11:06 PM
A new home...
November 24th, 2009, 11:40 PM
Whats another alternative to booking tickets other than this useless website which doesnt open - https://www.cbsc.co.za/shosholozaonline/
I'm abroad and whats the best way to book rail tickets in advance and how long in advance can we book it?
Also, any positive/negative reviews by someone who experienced travelling on the Shosholoza Meyl or Premier Classes trains , routes like JNB-CT or JNB-PE ??
Would appreciate it.
Hope i posted in the right forum
February 15th, 2011, 03:16 PM
Rail upgrade long overdue
February 15 2011 at 02:55pm
The modernisation and upgrade of South Africa's long-distance passenger and freight infrastructure is an urgent matter that cannot be delayed any longer, Transport Minister Sbu Ndebele said on Tuesday.
“At the same time, as we build congestion-free highways in Gauteng, we are also engaging in a comprehensive rail upgrade that looks at placing rail at the centre of our freight and commuter movement,” he told a media briefing at Parliament in his capacity as chairman of the infrastructure development cluster of ministries.
“It is rail, not private cars, that is the future of our public transport system,” he said.
The Gautrain was one significant new part, being completed in June 2011 that would ease commuter movement in Gauteng.
But, at this life cycle stage, rail required yet more investment in that province and elsewhere in the country “if we are to move cars and appropriate goods onto trains”.
The average age of the locomotive fleet, operated by Shosholoza Meyl on all routes nationally, was about 33 years.
Of Shosholoza Meyl's current locomotive stock of 124, about 65
percent (about 80 locomotives) should have been replaced by 2010
and a further 20 percent (about 26 locomotives) should be replaced by 2024 on account of age.
Of the passenger coach fleet, eight percent (about 103) of the coaches would have to be replaced in 10 years' time and a further 14 percent (about 182) should be replaced in 15 years' time.
It was quite clear that infrastructure across the cluster required massive investment.
There were generally three sources of funding for transport infrastructure Ä the fiscus, private investment, and the user pay principle.
“As a country, we have accepted that to sustain investments we need a combination of the three,” Ndebele said.
“Our initial estimate for the roads sector alone is R75 billion just to deal with the maintenance backlog Ä for commuter rail services R93 billion; Shosholoza Meyl requires investment ranging from R260 Ä 300 billion. These are staggering figures by all standards.”
Some countries including France, Germany, China, the United States, Canada and South Korea were ready to finance South Africa's rail expansion.
“Our ultimate goal is to have an appropriate modal split across modes Äcommuters moving mainly through rail, appropriate goods on rail and road and using our maritime and aviation transport to move people and goods without stressing one mode through inappropriate cargo or congestion.
“Over the next six months, starting with the roads conference in Durban in March to our international investors' conference in June, we will be engaging broadly to find financing options for our projects.
“We must ensure that the projects are funded through an equitable split between private users and funders,” Ndebele said. - Sapa
February 22nd, 2011, 03:19 AM
Transnet to get new locos
February 21 2011 at 05:40pm
Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba on Monday unveiled the latest locomotive to enter service with Transnet as part of its R93.5 million capitalisation scheme.
Neither Transnet nor General Electric would reveal how much each locomotive would cost.
In terms of the deal, 10 of the General Electric C30ACi locomotives will be built in the United States and 90 will be built in South Africa, at Koedoespoort, over the next two years.
It was not the company's “policy” to reveal the price of the locomotives. said GE president and chief executive of transportation Lorenzo Simonelli.
Gigaba said the locomotives were part of Transnet's fleet renewal plan and the company's R93.5bn five year capital investment programme, which could be increased to R110bn.
According to Transnet and GE, three of the locomotives would have the same hauling power of four of the older locomotives in use and would save about 600,000 litres of fuel a year.
The locomotives would also be more environmentally friendly, producing less carbon dioxide than older models, and would be known locally as GE class 43 locomotives.
They are the first of their kind in Africa to use AC electric power.
“The many years of neglect of public investment in infrastructure capacity has created a very untenable situation for economic growth and development, and impacted negatively on jobs and skills development, especially those of artisans and apprentices as well as the country's local industrial and manufacturing capability,” said Gigaba.
He said neglect of the rail network had denied the country many economic opportunities and economic capacity.
The neglect, which had taken place since 1992, had reduced the capacity of the manufacturing sector to export and to distribute between the country's economic hubs.
He said that even the current investment in infrastructure was “not at levels that we would like to see it at.”
The improvement in the country's rail infrastructure would also help to take pressure off the country's roads.
Gigaba said he would like to see Transnet achieve employment equity targets, because failure by state-owned enterprises would send a poor signal to the private sector.
“Failure by state-owned enterprises to transform undermines and puts the brakes on the government's transformation objectives in the broader corporate sector, as the latter feels no pressure to transform if the former is not itself transformed. We are going to demand concrete action in this regard,” he said. - Sapa
March 30th, 2011, 12:24 PM
RBCT shelves expansion plans
Reuters | Wed, 30 Mar 2011 09:07
[miningmx.com] -- RICHARDS Bay Coal Terminal (RBCT) has shelved plans to increase export capacity until 2015 due to the slow pace of rail infrastructure expansion, the Business Report newspaper said on Wednesday.
South Africa is a major exporter of coal to power stations in Europe and Asia, but bottlenecks on the rail line leading to the Indian Ocean terminal are hampering shipments.
RBCT chief executive Raymond Chirwa said efforts to increase exports were frustrated because of limited infrastructure provided by state rail and logistics group Transnet.
"We can extend beyond 100 million tonnes a year but that depends on the performance of Transnet Freight Rail, which has not expanded its infrastructure to our 91 million tonnes capacity. At the moment there is a deficit in the rail."
Transnet has been investing heavily in new and improved infrastructure, but is still far from meeting annual RBCT capacity of 91 million tonnes.
In 2010, South African coal exports rose to 63.43 million tonnes, boosted by demand from China and India
April 19th, 2012, 03:30 PM
Good news for our rail industry....
Rolling stock companies invited to bid
Johannesburg - Transport Minister Sibusiso Ndebele on Thursday unveiled a R173bn bidding process for Metrorail's stock fleet renewal programme.
In total, 7 224 metro coaches would be commissioned by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), which owned Metrorail.
"These are modern trains that will be built in South Africa with the aim of revitalising the rail engineering industry in our country, promoting local manufacturing, creating an estimated 65 000 jobs and developing a new generation of railway workers, in the form of engineers and artisans," Ndebele said, according to a copy of his speech.
The rolling stock programme would continue for the next 20 years.
It would catalyse a comprehensive passenger rail programme. With local manufacturing and content at 65%, this programme was expected to create 66 000 direct and indirect jobs. From 2015, the first elements of a modern commuter train system would be put in place.
This would be achieved through the acquisition of new rolling stock, as well as a modernisation programme valued at R25.9bn in direct infrastructure investments. Both passenger and freight rail would be recapitalised.
Most coaches currently in use were built in the 1960s and 1970s, he said, with 1950s technology still in use.
Ndebele promised that the new, modern trains would be similar to those used by Italy, Spain, France, the United Kingdom, Brazil, and Portugal. They were energy efficient, had a high carrying capacity, and were much lighter, as they were made from aluminium rather than steel.
"Prasa's key objective is to promote rail as the preferred mode of transport for the majority of our people."
Metrorail continued to be one of the most affordable public transport modes available.
"Our transport goal is about promoting public transport over private car use."
Ndebele had followed the debate around toll roads in Gauteng, and said sustainable transport solutions had to be found. Private cars were no longer sustainable for South Africa.
People in Tshwane, Midrand or northern Johannesburg could use the Gautrain between Pretoria, Sandton, and the airport. In addition, seven Metrorail Business Express trains were available every working day.
Four of these journeyed from Pretoria to Johannesburg, taking an hour and costing R1057 a month.
Another three trains ran between Soweto and Johannesburg, taking 40 minutes, at a cost of R413 a month.
"This must be compared with the operating cost of a private vehicle, of almost R1800 a month, plus the almost 1.5 hours of travel time on some of the un-tolled roads within Gauteng."
He had instructed Prasa to improve the Business Express offering, so that services were available every 30 minutes in peak hours.
"The improvements on the Ben Schoeman Highway, as a direct result of the Gauteng freeway improvement project, has made it possible to travel and connect between Pretoria and Johannesburg within an hour."
Roads which were not tolled had higher travel times and traffic congestion.
The government had a duty to invest public funds in favour of the majority who did not have cars, he said. Ndebele also wanted travel times halved within the next five years in key inter-city rail corridors, such as Pretoria-Polokwane-Musina and Johannesburg-Durban. Trains should move at 160 km/h on these corridors, he said.
High-speed trains should also link South Africa with other cities in the region, and in Africa as a whole.
Prasa said in a statement that it had begun a parallel investment process within its services. It was investing in a new rail signalling project in Gauteng, worth R1 billion, as well a new central train control centre. It had also awarded two additional tenders for rail signalling in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.
A series of projects to enhance capacity was underway. These included constructing a rail link for the Bridge City development north of Durban. Stations were being improved and upgraded and new ones being built.
"As Prasa we have already started preparing for the new trains, not only to complement government's contribution, but to also improve our stations and customer experience as a whole," CEO Lucky Montana said.
Prasa had set aside R25.9bn of its own money over the next three years to invest in infrastructure development at station level, he said.
April 19th, 2012, 05:59 PM
Crawl, walk, run.
The last 10 years there was talk about Metrorail coaches being improved. Lots of talk, no action. It will be good enough for now if the 90km/h speed limit can be restored by maintaining track, signalling and catenary properly, have reliable trains and have good security staff on the trains. You dont need a shiny golden paint-job or 160km/h to move people from Boksburg to Park in 30 minutes safely and reliably.
As for talk of high speed international links, it is clear that the person who gave that speech was talking for the sake of talking, we dont need high speed rail to Namibia, Zim or wherever. These routes will never see the passenger volumes of the Gautrain and the Gautrain has yet to be proven financially viable.
Getting coal trucks off Mpumalanga roads may not be as glamerous but that is a much better start. Do what is needed and stop talking BS.