Official Handover Of Remanufactured Locomotives for Zambia Railways

The official handover and commissioning of the recently remanufactured locomotives for Zambia Railways (ZRL), by SMH Rail SDN. BHD. Malaysia (SMH Rail), took place in March this year. The Zambian Government’s commitment to revitalise the rail industry and contribute to the modernisation of rail infrastructure will have a direct impact on the economic returns for the country. In addition, the remanufactured locomotives will add much need capacity to Zambia Railways Rolling stock fleet and demonstrate the company’s resolve to succeed in the implementation of the SI.

Whilst new locomotives are almost always an operator’s preference, one must not forget that to keep the engines running, that returning old rolling stock to an as-new-state, will bode well for the balance sheet, whilst enabling the operator to meet demand and build CAPEX for future rolling stock procurement. Taking into consideration that an asset which is already paid for can with a complete renovation be reinstated to the fleet as an almost new solution and when embarking on a remanufacturing process, the operator can potentially save up to 30 to 40% of the proposed budget, whilst achieving the same performance and warranties of a new locomotive.

Official Handover Of Remanufactured Locomotives for Zambia Railways

SMH Rail has successfully delivered the first two locomotives within the prescribed timeline as per the contracted awarded in 2015 for the remanufacture of 10, U20C class locomotives. The 3rd locomotive has been completed and has successfully completed the trial runs. The 4th locomotive is in its final stages of completion and the balance of the locomotives will be delivered per the directive.

These remanufactured locomotives are sophisticated, equipped with digital-microprocessors, remote GPS monitoring control system that allows the monitoring of the locomotive performance through GPS on from a multitude of devices including smartphones. In addition, the system allows for troubleshooting from any remote location enabling the Control Centre or Train crew to accurately identify and resolve problems. This is sure to provide an increased level of comfort to Zambia Railways customers, who will now have the ability to monitor their goods in transit.

SMH Rail has ensured that the original bogie frames, chassis and fuel tanks used in the remanufacturing have been pre-qualified through non-destructive testing and finite element analysis. The capacity of the remanufactured locomotive is 2,150 horsepower, enabling 1,200 tonnes of cargo (equivalent to 20 full loaded wagons). The impeccable performance is a proof that remanufacturing technology is a workable and cost-effective solution to revive ageing locomotives. 

Official Handover Of Remanufactured Locomotives for Zambia Railways

Remanufacturing works have been carried out at ZRL’s own premise in Kabwe under the direct supervision of key engineering personnel from SMH Rail, promoting localisation through local employment opportunities. Currently, the division of workforce stands at 75% local workforce and 25% foreign expatriates. Human capital development has been effectively administered wherein ZRL’s personnel are being given the requisite training and knowledge transfer on the remanufacturing works. The experience and exposure gained from this venture will equip ZRL’s personnel to handle future maintenance works. 

SMH RAIL, is a leading manufacturer of new and remanufactured Rolling Stock such as; locomotives, metro train, electrical multiple units (EMU), diesel electrical multiple units (EMU), wagons and axles while performing maintenance for locomotives, wagons, wheelsets and bearing reconditioning. SMH Rail, the largest rolling stock company, has carved its name in the African rail market with its proven track record in the successful remanufacturing of Tanzania Railways Limited’s old and ageing locomotives.

SMH Rail is also the assembler of Malaysia’s first driverless metro train (232 rail cars) apart from having other notable rolling stock projects, which include wheel shop operations, locomotive, metro train maintenance, and track works in various parts of Asia and Africa.


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