ALSTOM X’TRAPOLIS MEGA DESIGNS UNVEILED

Detailed exterior and interior plans for the new coaches to be built for the Passenger ...

A PLEASED METRORAIL CUSTOMER

Jeremy Thorne, writing on News24, says he e-mailed Metrorail about the poor public address system and announcers at Pretoria main station. Metrorail sent back a couple of “rather nice” replies. On 23 July, to his “absolute surprise and amazement, there was a new and upgraded PA system in operation at Pretoria station, with a new […]

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GAUTRAIN: FAST & CLEAN, BUT TRAINS ARE SHORT

Jeremy Thorne, writing on News24, commends clean and comfortable Gautrain’s speed and quiet running – he says he enjoys the journey – but can’t understand the use of trains with only four coaches in the busy peak hour (charging premium fares) which have obliged him to stand all the way to Johannesburg. A minor gripe […]

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CFB AND THE DRC

Caminhos de Ferro de Benguela (the 1,344km CFB), devastated by the prolonged Angolan civil war, is now completely rebuilt from the Atlantic Ocean at Lobito to Luau near the border with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Chinese construction company has carried out the work to very high standards, using rail substantial enough to […]

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ETHIOPIA: TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE FORUM

A regional transport infrastructure forum was held at the United Nations Conference Centre in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from 24 to 26 July. Hosted by the Economic Commission for Africa, the forum’s theme was “Boosting market integration and intra-African trade through effective management of regional transport infrastructure and services”. The main aim was to […]

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STRIKE ALMOST HALTS GHANA TRAINS

Members of the Railway Workers Union of the Ghana Trades Union Congress (TUC) workers went out on strike on 21 July, citing poor working conditions but called off the action when Ghanaian President John Mahama personally intervened. Railway Workers Union chairman Alex Boateng was quoted saying that the management of the Ghana Railways Company had […]

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ZAMBIAN INTER-MINE RLY TO BE UPGRADED

Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) says about $US50 million would be needed to revamp the rail network which links all the mines in the copperbelt. Reconstruction of the 1.6km inter-mine line between the Mopani Copper Mines (MCM) Nkana plant in Kitwe and the underground mine in Mufulira is expected to begin before the end of 2014 […]

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LIVINGSTONE-CHINGOLA EXPRESS

An express passenger train service, which last ran some 20 years ago, is to be reintroduced between Livingstone and Chingola. Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL) reportedly spent $US14 million on 30 new coaches acquired from South Africa. Business, economy and standard class facilities will be provided on the train.

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NRZ NEGOTIATING $460M LOAN

Zimbabwean Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu has informed parliament that a loan of $460 million is being negotiated with the Development Bank of Southern Africa in order to recapitalise the National Railways of Zimbabwe. The system, he said, “faces operational and viability challenges resulting in failure to fulfil its pivotal national mandate […]

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ANKARA-ISTANBUL H S RAILWAY OPENS

Torkiye Cumhuriyeti Devlet Demiryollari (TCDD – the Turkish State Railway) has opened the new 533km Ankara-Istanbul line, bringing the total length of high-speed railways in Turkey to 1,420km. The ultimate goal is 3,500km by 2023. Construction is in hand on new high-speed lines connecting Konya province to Gaziantep in the south-east through Mersin, Adana and […]

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NEW CHINESE TRAINS IN BUENOS AIRES

South Africa’s Passenger Rail Agency frequently explains shortcomings by pointing out it has trains in service between 30 and 40 years old. Admittedly older rolling stock tends to need more maintenance but 40 is not all that exceptional when one examines suburban fleets around the world. Late in July, Buenos Aires in South America brought […]

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