za transnet-freight-train

SOUTH AFRICA: Transnet Freight Rail is evaluating the applications it has received to run freight services on two corridors under a pilot scheme to sell train paths to third party operators.

Opening up access to the rail network forms part of a reform process set out in the White Paper on National Rail Policy which was published in May.

This envisages eventual vertical separation, with Transnet acting as infrastructure manager and operations undertaken by third parties as well as incumbent Transnet Freight Rail.

The pilot project to establish costs and pricing models covers two routes:

  • the 714 km Container Corridor from the port of Durban to inland terminals in City Deep, Kascon, Pretcon, Kaalfontein and private sidings in Gauteng;
  • the South Corridor linking Gauteng with the ports of East London and indirectly Port Elizabeth, serving the agricultural and automotive sectors.

State railway and port company Transnet invited applications for paths to be submitted April 1 and August 31. It will now evaluate the applications over the next few months before announcing the winner.

Transnet currently grants to paths to passenger operator PRASA, approved branch line operators, luxury train operator Rovos Rail and heritage steam operators.

TFR said the experience to be gained from selling paths on the first two main line freight routes would provide insights to support the development of ‘robust’ reforms as set out in the National Rail Policy.