The Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) executive management, security and technology teams this week hosted a security workshop in collaboration with customers and Minerals Council South Africa to explore ways of stepping up the war against theft, vandalism and sabotage of railway infrastructure and equipment.
In a statement published on November 13, TFR said a number of improvement actions and technology innovations were being deployed to curb and/or deter the criminal activities on South Africa’s railway network.
Some of these include eliminating avoidable train stops during operation and, in cases where the trains need to stop, establishing safe zones to allow the trains to stop in secure areas.
TFR is also forming collaborative technical teams in each corridor with customers, other forums and industry bodies, the South African Police Service and other law enforcement agencies that are dedicated to fighting crime.
Other actions include improving the security of wagons in transit to limit access to cargo in transit; investing in technology to ensure that incidents such as copper theft are eradicated, particularly on the Natal Corridor and Central Corridor; and improving visibility of TFR's network through new sensing and lighting technology that detects incidents before they happen.
A Security Nerve and Command Centre dedicated to the safeguarding of the rail infrastructure has also been established, as has an early warning system to prevent criminal activities in the rail system.
Customers who attended the workshop shared critical insights on how the theft, vandalism and sabotage of railway infrastructure and equipment have affected their businesses, and proposed how they could partner with TFR to combat this scourge.
There was generally positive feedback from customers concerning the initiatives presented by TFR, actions that are already being deployed to save customer freight cargo and measures taken to improve customer service levels by reducing and eradicating security incidences, Transnet noted in the statement.