Northern Cape rail loop to improve export capacity

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Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has announced the completion of the construction of the Mamathwane Crossing Loop in the Northern Cape 30 days ahead of schedule.

TFR said on Wednesday that it had finished construction of the loop which will improve manganese export capacity to Eastern Cape Ports and unlock several key projects, which will be announced in the coming weeks.

“A key benefit from the completion of this key project is the increase in export manganese capacity through the enablement of a new East London solution. TFR currently moves most of its export manganese through operating 104 wagon trains to Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth) and 125 wagon trains to Saldanha, both of which conjoin on the Sishen to Hotazel line,” TFR said.

“This section of the network has been the bottleneck for TFRs export manganese capacity growth. The completion of the Mamathwane project will decongest this section and allow for an additional four rail slots per week, enabling further volumes,” it said.

The East London rail solution will originate from the mines and run all the way to the Port of East London.

“Apart from the economic spin offs, the project will result in the estimated removal of 40 540 truck off the roads per annum. This solution was further made possible through the return to service of some of the long-standing locomotives which is currently one of the key strategic projects for TFR in its effort to transform its operations,” TFR said.

“This reaffirms TFR’s commitment to improving operational efficiencies and finding

alternative solutions to return to service long-standing locomotives.”

TFR said it would continue to proactively seek solutions in collaboration with industry to confront its current challenges, and the delivery of the Mamathwane Loop earlier than expected is a result of this commitment efficiency improvements.


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