Peter Bagshawe reports –
“In November 2010, Kei Rail services were suspended due to non-payment of a debt to Transnet Rail Engineering (TRE).
“In December 2010 we saw photos of Kei Rail coaches stored at Bloemfontein. I presumed that they had been taken back by TRE due to the aforementioned debt.
“I then heard that the Kei Rail coaches had been sold to Angola, being despatched at the end of July 2011.
Therefore I presumed that services would remain suspended as the railway had no coaches to run them with.
“The good news is that Kei Rail passenger services were resumed on 10 June 2011, running daily Monday to Friday! It seems that the coaches sold to Angola were never actually delivered to Kei Rail, either because they couldn’t afford them, or TRE wouldn’t release them because of the debt, or Kei Rail found that they had enough coaches anyway.”
Ashley Peter adds:
“As far as I can ascertain, the Eastern Cape Department of Transport and Transnet reached some sort of agreement whereby the impounded coaches were returned from Bloemfontein to Amabele and services resumed in June 2011. I believe there are sufficient coaches for two short trains to operate on a daily basis, crossing somewhere near Butterworth.”
“The coaches sent to Angola are part of Kei Rail’s ‘Phase 2’, which it appears has now been abandoned. This would apparently have seen at least double the number of passenger trains running and the service extended to East London, whilst freight was also going to return to rail on this route…”