On 13 September, a 208-wagon manganese test train left the Tshipi Borwa mine in the Northern Cape, bound for Port Elizabeth. It included four test coaches and 208 loaded CR wagons. Nett cargo mass was 13,104 tons. Total train length overall was 2.23km, with a gross mass of 16,640 tons.

The 18 diesel locomotives – grouped at the head, middle and rear of the consist – were controlled from the leading unit using radio distributed power (RDP) technology, previously employed exclusively on the heavy-haul Sishen-Saldanha iron ore line.

The standard train length for manganese traffic to the Eastern Cape comprises 104 wagons.

This was also the first train to use Tshipi’s newly commissioned siding. The facility features a long loop accommodating three 122-wagon trains to be parked without blocking the main line.

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