South African rail operator Transnet and China South Rail (CSR) have completed the construction of the first batch of 95 electric locomotives.
A total of 85 of these locomotives were built in Transnet’s engineering and manufacturing facilities in Koedeospoort, while the remaining ten were built at CSR’s manufacturing facilities in China.
South Africa President Jacob Zuma said: “The purchase and building of the locomotives is part of Transnet’s more than R300bn ($24.91bn) commitment to invest in South Africa’s transport and logistics infrastructure, the Market Demand Strategy.
“For Transnet, the drive to modernise the fleet is aimed at improving reliability of service and customer satisfaction. For governments, this is a significant step towards our crucial goal of moving cargo from road to rail.”
The acquisition of 95 electric locomotives is part of Transnet’s long-term fleet renewal programme aimed at increasing volumes while reducing the average age of its locomotive fleet.
In March last year, Transnet entered into a $4.26bn agreement to buy 599 electric and 465 diesel locomotives from General Electric, China North Rail, CSR and Bombardier Transportation.
Transnet Freight Rail will run 85 of the locomotives on the manganese line to Port Elizabeth and the iron ore line between Sishen and ArcelorMittal’s plants in Newcastle and Biljkor.
In March, Transnet raised $1.1bn in funding for this locomotive acquisition programme from funders and financial institutions, including Barclays Africa, Investec, Standard Bank, Old Mutual and Export Development Canada.
Source: Railway Technology.com
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