Manganese line section reopens

BY CHARL BOSCH - NOVEMBER 10, 2014

A section of Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR) key Manganese Export railway line, linking the mining town of Hotazel in the Northern Cape with the Port of Ngqura outside Port Elizabeth, was officially re-opened last week by Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, after it had been water logged for over three years.

Unexpected high levels of rain in January 2011 caused the flooding of 1.5 km of the Fieldview- Kamfersdam section near Kimberly, resulting in trains being diverted to the McFarlane-Kamfersdam line, which added an extra three hours in turnaround times.

A popular haven for birdlife as well as being a breeding ground for flamingos, the flooding also posed a serious environmental threat as the quality of water flowing into the Kamfersdam had deteriorated.

Aside from the repairs, which has also seen the line being raised by 700 mm to curb future flooding, a portion of the combined R92-million spend by TFR and the Sol Plaatjie Local Municipality, had also been used to construct and upgrade the existing Kimberly waste water treatment plant.

The repaired line has also resulted in an increase in traffic with an estimated 24 trains using the line daily as oppose the 18 before.

“The economy and the people of this region suffered tremendously when the rail line was flooded. The reopening of the line will definitely boost the economy and create more job opportunities,” Minister Brown said.

“This partnership between ourselves and Transnet illustrates the strides we have made in ensuring that the entities the Department oversees give back to our communities. We continue to insist on this.”

 

CAPTION: A Class 7E electric locomotive that does duty on the Manganese Export line. IMAGE sourced from wikimedia