SPOORNET is moving ahead with plans to introduce electronically-controlled pneumatic braking on its Ermelo - Richards Bay heavy haul coal line.

A pilot train with cable-based ECP provided by Wabtec began running in July 2000, and the equipment was upgraded before tenders to equip the loco and wagon fleet were called in November 2003. A total of 189 locos of six classes and 6242 wagons of seven types are to be fitted, with 80 of the locomotives having cables and junction boxes only.

The work is to be shared between Knorr-Bremse/New York Air Brake and Wabtec, with each contractor equipping pre-production sets of 404 wagons. Only after these have been tested and evaluated will the rest of the fleet follow.