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Newsletter - October 2017

Upcoming meeting

The 666th SASRE General Meeting will be held at the Meriting Boardroom, Koedoespoort Workshops on Thursday, 19th October 2017 at 17h00.

Lindelani Ratshilingano, an Industrial Engineer at Transnet Freight Rail will present a paper entitled: ‘Increasing capacity on Transnet’s general freight operations through running longer trains – a case study of the chrome railway line.’


Transnet Freight Rail transports approximately 233 million tons of freight per annum. Of this, General Freight contributes 96 million tons (41%) which is transported by means of shorter trains which are predominately 40-75 wagons per train. It is expected that more than 60% of the volume growth in the 7 year strategic plan of Transnet will come from General Freight business. It is no longer sustainable to transport the planned General Freight tonnages using shorter trains due to insufficient train slots on the existing network. The objective of this paper is to investigate the viability, benefits and challenges associated with running longer trains on the already existing General Freight railway line. The methodology will include a review of the successful implementation of running longer trains on Transnet Heavy Haul lines, the implementation of this philosophy on the General Freight lines and highlights of the benefits and challenges associated with this approach. Results from Radio Distributed Power(RDP) simulations conducted, 50 CAR wagon test train as well as radio receptivity tests,indicated that longer trains can be operated at Steelpoort – Belfast with infrastructure as well as supporting technology interventions.

About the speaker

Lindelani Ratshilingano is an Industrial Engineer who works for Transnet Freight Rail supporting Rail Network Eastern Region as a Project Manager and Analyst. Prior to this she worked in Infrastructure Maintenance creating and re-engineering processes, SOP development, ensuring adherence to Maintenance Standards, Database Modelling and Capital Planning. She has worked extensively with Arena and Simio Simulation Softwares and Operating Models Optimisation. Currently she is leading Rail Network Integrated Planning Tool project harnessing the power of data analytics with an aim of prioritised and predictive long-term and short-term maintenance.

Reminder: call for nominations

On behalf of the society, you are invited to consider this call for nominations and/or nominate candidates for election as members of the committee for the 2017/18 period. Interested candidates must submit their names to the secretary for processing. All nominees must be current members of the society in good standing.

Yours in Railway Engineering,

Sizwe Nkosi, Secretary

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