State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) on November 8 started its ten-day maintenance across electrical, perway and technical support on the 861 km Ore Corridor, from Sishen in the Northern Cape to the Port of Saldanha in the Western Cape.
The maintenance work will involve replacing old and obsolete infrastructure and focus on the full completion of the critical maintenance activities, which require shutdown conditions necessary to increase volume throughput and network reliability.
The remedial work will, in the main, remove Temporary Speed Restrictions currently restricting network capacity and velocity in various areas.
Maintenance of the corridor is a critical element of providing a quality service, considering that more than 1.3-billion tons of iron-ore have been exported through the Port of Saldanha since inception in 1976, says TFR Ore Corridor managing executive Theo Johnson.
“This shutdown is an annual standing agreement with our customers, communities, contractors as well as our sister Operating Divisions, such as Transnet Port Terminals, Transnet Engineering and Transnet National Ports Authority who ensure that there is ongoing communication and engagement across a variety of platforms over the 10-day period,” he explained
“It is our commitment to constantly address efficiency and productivity improvements that will further support our goal to maintain our position as a world-class heavy haul line.”
Further, this year’s shutdown will create 207 direct temporary employment opportunities and 180 indirect jobs for communities across the Northern and Western Cape. Concerted efforts have also gone into ensuring that small, medium-sized and microenterprises that operate within the Ore Corridor benefit through this programme.
The Ore Corridor has become a provider of a range of heavy haul logistics solutions for local and international markets and has been accommodating manganese exports since 2014.