SADC MINISTERS ON INDUSTRIALISATION

Integration and industrialisation were top of the agenda at the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Council of Ministers meeting in Harare, Zimbabwe on 27 April. A South African government delegation led by the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies and Minister of Finance Nhlanhla Nene were present. […]

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TFR’S AIM: FIFTH LARGEST WORLD RAILWAY

“The revitalisation of our passenger rail system will run parallel with our drive to shift the transport of freight from road to rail. Transnet is investing R205 billion in its rail infrastructure, making its freight rail division the fifth-largest in the world.” – South African President Jacob Zuma, speaking at Mamelodi, Pretoria, on 9 March […]

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LOAD-SHEDDING HITS CT TRAINS

Though Eskom does not cut railway traction power during scheduled load-shedding, station electricity and some signalling is affected. According to Western Cape Metrorail’s Riana Scott, 28 commuter trains were directly delayed during electricity load-shedding in the course of one week in April. On 21 April, a train from Cape Town due at Wellington at 20:00 […]

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SEVEN DAYS’ TALLY: 985 CT TRAINS LATE

In one period of seven days during late April, of 4,091 suburban trains scheduled in Cape Town, 985 ran late, the worst being two hours behind time. Electricity supply loadshedding was one contributor to the problem, but the main reason was vandalism which reached unprecedented levels. On 23 April, people from Mbekwini near Paarl, apparently […]

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REALITIES OF MAIZE ON RAIL

Thirty years ago, 80% of South Africa’s maize production moved on rail. Today, notwithstanding much talk, promises and road-to-rail targets, the figure is down to 20%. Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe explained in an interview with Bloombergs: “The problem with grain is that once we deploy locomotives, they’re seasonal and sometimes there’s a lot of […]

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BLUE TRAIN PARTNER SOUGHT

Transnet is advertising for expressions of interest in the “preparation phase to secure a marketing partner for the Blue Train”. In assessing responses, preference will be given to entities based on their B-BBEE status. Though Blue Train occupancy and financial performance has not been made public in recent years, it is believed to be unimpressive. […]

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WHAT MAGLEV COULD ACHIEVE IN AFRICA

The UK Guardian, speculating following this month’s Japanese 603km/h rail speed record, suggests magnetic levitation (maglev) trains could link Cape Town with Cairo in 17-and-a-half hours. The paper talks of a “dream 10,441km journey” through South Africa, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt, though one wonders how much one would see and take […]

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NIGERIAN RAIL PAST & PRESENT

Quotes from a discussion on a Skyscraper City site: “The colonial lines served narrow economic interests and mainly moved goods to the coast. Today Nigeria is essentially building from scratch. “Passenger use of railways is a fraction of the peak it reached in the 60s. The colonials were more interested in the trade aspect and […]

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FUNDING TANZANIA’S CENTRAL CORRIDOR

It is reported that “one foreign investor”, identity not disclosed, has committed $US500 million towards building the new 2,561km “central corridor” standard gauge railway from Dar es Salaam to Burundi and Rwanda. This leaves more than $7 billion of the estimated cost ($7.6 billion) to be sourced. According to a statement released by Tanzanian transport […]

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TANZANIAN PROJECTS TO START IN 2015

According to transport minister Samuel Sita, two other Tanzanian railway projects – in addition to the central corridor – will have foundation stones laid this year. One of these is to run from Mtwara (560km south of Dar es Salaam) to Mbamba Bay via Songea, as well as Mchuchuma to Liganga, The other involves restoring […]

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