TransNamib's rolling stock rolls inBy: JAN POOLMAN
TRANSNAMIB has received a consignment of 100 open-top, drop-side wagons, bought from Shenzhen Sunray Group in China at a cost of about N$55 million. The contract signed with Shenzhen makes provision for spare parts for one year.
“Provision is also made for spares outside 12-month guarantee to be procured as per TransNamib Procurement Policy,” acting TransNamib CEO Eugenia Tjaronda told The Namibian.
Before the latest delivery, TransNamib had 1 709 freight wagons and 135 passenger coaches.
According to Tjaronda no wagons are beyond repair but the majority of them are older than 30 years.
Three of the company's General Electric locomotives will be salvaged for spares, while four of the Chinese CKD locomotives will be sold.
“The average age of GE locomotives is 46 years,” said Tjaronda.
A ten per cent retention payment on a previous locomotive order from Sifang in China, amounting to about N$15 million, is still outstanding. However, Tjaronda said the issue of the 10% retention is a business arrangement between the Namibian and Chinese governments.
TransNamib is responsible for trains, while the Government budgets for the maintenance and expansion of the railway network.
It costs about N$3,7 million to upgrade or refurbish one kilometre of railway, while the Ministry of Works and Transport makes N$1 million available for this purpose annually.
Tjaronda said TransNamib has a division of civil engineering responsible for the construction and maintenance of all railway infrastructure countrywide.
The division is divided into emergency maintenance teams, mobile relaying teams, earthwork teams, bridge teams and tamping activities teams.
According to her these teams are based in most towns to ensure that any section of railway line is attended to as promptly as possible.
Inspections of the railway network are carried out by section patrol, motor trolley and footplate inspections. The section patrol is carried out on a regular basis and trolley and footplate inspections are done twice a month.