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New locomotives will double freight traffic

New locomotives will double freight traffic

Niël Terblanché


THE rehabilitation of the railway line between Arandis and Walvis Bay along with the planned acquisition of 33 remanufactured diesel-electric locomotives for TransNamib, the country’s national provider of rail transport will significantly increase the freight traffic.


According to the Chief Executive Officer of TransNamib, Johny Smith, the state-owned company aims to the volume of freight that is transported by rail with the acquisition of new locomotives.


He said TransNamib’s business plan includes the development of increased rail traffic between the port of Walvis Bay and neighbouring countries such as Botswana and Zambia.


“Services from the country’s main harbour to the good yard such as the one in Grootfontein are to be increased from two to four trains per week to serve the Zambian market,” Smith said.


locomotives double freight traffic railway Arandis Walvis Bay diesel
Picture: Courtesy of TransNamib


He also said that TransNamib is currently working with the port authority, NamPort, to improve traffic and rail operations.


According to Smith, the national railway company has also ordered a number of shunting locomotives that will be assigned to various stations around the country to improve the efficiency of trains transporting freight to collection points used by landlocked neighbouring countries.


He said the new shunting locomotives will be remotely controlled and Smith said he hopes to have them operating by the end of 2021.


“TransNamib faces a lot of challenges and currently we only have 34 locomotives available for daily traffic,” he said


According to Smith TransNamib requires 43 locomotives to operate at full capacity.


He said the plan is to buy the remanufactured locomotives in Phases and in the first phase ten new engines will be acquired.


Smith indicated that TransNamib currently carries 1.6 million tonnes of freight per year across various commodity groups, and said the project is aimed to boost capacity and volumes to roughly three million tonnes of freight per year by 2023.


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