Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has said it is set to improve efficiencies and performance at the Port of Richards Bay with the Bayvue Railyard Infrastructure Upgrade project.
“The project will address the rail yard design challenges and reduce the chances of derailments,” TNPA said in a statement
“With a project close-out scheduled to take place in March 2025, the successful implementation of this upgrade project will see an improved rail turnaround time, ensure compliance with the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) requirements, reduce closure of defective rail lines and increase the port’s ability to handle forecasted volume demands.”
Dennis Mqadi, port manager for Richards Bay, added: “Bayvue railyard upgrade demonstrates TNPA’s commitment to dealing with issues currently faced by the port in the rail space.
“The ports authority is working around the clock to identify interventions to tackle port inefficiencies and support customer demands.”
According to TNPA, due to the steady increase in rail volumes over the past decade, heavier locomotives were required to pull longer train lengths.
The demand has increased the load on the rail infrastructure to 22 tons per axle, as opposed to the initial design of 18 tons per axle.
The upgrade project will increase the load-bearing capacity of the railway infrastructure to meet the demand of 22 tons per axle. It will also improve the condition of the infrastructure and reduce delays caused by unplanned maintenance due to rail infrastructure defects, TNPA said.
The project includes the replacement of sleepers, rail clips, rail turnouts, ballasts and ballast screening. The recent delivery of sleepers and supplies (rail turnouts and rail clips) is a notable milestone on the upgrade project, with installation scheduled for December 2023.