JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Transnet Freight Rail will embark on a seven-day shutdown in the Mineral Mining & Chrome (MMC) area of operation from June 5 to 11.
This year’s affected areas include Witbank, Nelspruit, Koedoespoort, Swaziland, Maputo, Empangeni and other lines tapping into Transnet Port Terminals and Transnet Engineering.
The State rail enterprise will also be extending its maintenance regime to the Polokwane and Isando depots.
Traditional occupations have been from Phalaborwa to Kaapmuiden, Komatipoort to Nsezi, Swaziland, and Maputo lines.
The shutdown, scheduled yearly, presents an opportunity to address maintenance backlog and to replace obsolete, problematic infrastructure and upgrade projects in line with the expected volume growth and is also a requirement for the company’s Market Demand Strategy to succeed, spokesperson Mike Asefovitz said on Monday.
While maintenance is planned on the sections for the seven days, tippler 1 maintenance will require 11 days and will run from June 4 to 13.
As these sections are operationally critical; it is seen as crucial that shutdown opportunities are used to perform major maintenance work, accelerate line refurbishment and for upgrade or expansion work, especially considering the fact that there are limited opportunities to perform work in these areas outside the shutdown period.
In this way, these critical sections of the line can be in a better condition all the time, as the risk of failure would be significantly minimised.
MMC shutdown is aimed at reducing the risk of derailments and other chronic failures.
Specific activities to be carried out during the shutdown period include 36 km of rail replacement, 10 466 sleeper replacements, five sets replacement, 1 870 m of formation repairs, 33 culvert installations, 13.7 km of ballast screening, 154 km of ballast tamping, tippler 1 maintenance and Mafube road over rail bridge construction.
“We’ll be uplifting 21 temporary speed restrictions due to the work that will be executed during the shutdown,” Asefovitz added.
Transnet Freight Rail is working closely with its customers in planning for the execution of the shutdown programme, for all parties to realise the long-term benefits that go with it.
The State rail enterprise regards both the satisfaction of customer needs and the running of a safe and cost-effective railway business as its top priority.
“A reliable infrastructure which is proactively well maintained is key,” it said in a release to Creamer Media’s Mining Weekly Online.