SOUTH AFRICA: Railway infrastructure design, energy efficiency, traction power re-use and alternative fuel technologies are among the rail-specific elements of a wide-ranging research agreement signed between Transnet and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research on February 11.

Transnet's rail freight operation is investing R52bn in rail assets under its 2010-15 capital spending plan, whilst the company is also in the second year of a seven-year Market Demand Strategy to develop commercially-driven operations.

'For Transnet to play its rightful role in the economy, we need to explore constantly technological advances. With this agreement, we have given ourselves access to a body of specialised skills', said Transnet Group Chief Executive Brian Molefe.