Tsumeb-Otavi railway line upgraded to SADC standard

20 Mar 2019 08:40am
TSUMEB, 20 MAR (NAMPA) - The upgrading of the railway line between Tsumeb and Otavi to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) standard, has been completed by the D&M Rail Construction company.
The 40 kilometres (km) railway line was funded by Government at a cost of N.dollars 320 million since June 2017.
Project Manager, Leon Steyn explained to Nampa on Tuesday, that SADC requires railway lines to be built with rails at 48 kilograms (kgs) which have a wider and thicker top compared to the 30kgs.
He said, during upgrading, the 30kgs rails which limited trains to a top speed of 40 kilometres per hour (km/h), were replaced with the new required 48kgs rails which will enable trains to reach a top speed of 100 km/h with comfort.
The 48kgs rails, he added, were purchased in 2016 from Austria by Government at a cost of N.dollars 100 million.
“We reused some old rail materials to rehabilitate some portions, and we also replaced the iron sleepers with the concrete sleepers,” he noted.
The Tsumeb-Otavi railway line was last upgraded in 1958 with the 30kg rails and with these 48kgs, the railway line is expected to last for the next 100 years, Steyn boasted.
D&M Rail Construction Site Agent, Wilbard Nashima on his part, expressed satisfaction with the work done on this 40 km Tsumeb-Otavi railway line.
“I am impressed with the job well done as we also eliminated all the railway line joints by welding the two sections of rails together to the SADC standard,” he said.
Nashima further said that the rehabilitations and upgrading works on the railway lines between Krantzberg, Kalkfeld, Otjiwarongo and Otavi, which started in 2013, had been also completed.
The Krantzberg-Tsumeb railway line is known for transporting goods in cargos, fuel, ballast stones, sulphuric acid and copper amongst others from the Dundee Precious Metals in Tsumeb to the Walvis Bay harbour.
D&M Rail in 2013 was sub-contracted by Government through TransNamib to rehabilitate and upgrade a total of 391 km railway lines from Krantzberg, Kalkfeld, Otjiwarongo, Otavi and Tsumeb.