Railways utility Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) reports that it will spend R176-million during the annual maintenance shutdown of the manganese line, which will begin on August 11 and continue until August 20.
The 965 km railway line spans two provinces, running between Swartkops and De Aar, in the Eastern Cape, and between De Aar and Postmasburg, in the Northern Cape.
During the shutdown over 60 major activities will be undertaken by about 1 500 workers, while 26 diesel locomotives will be used to move the material required for the shutdown.
TFR reports that 54 500 sleepers will be replaced and 204 new rails will be installed, while 64 km of ballast will be screened and 16 turnouts replaced.
Major culvert and bridge rehabilitation work is also planned, along with upgrades to overhead track equipment, traction substations and signalling installations.
Work will also be done on optical fibre and train radio networks.