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S. Africa’s Transnet engineers to go to China for locomotives testing

The South African state rail company Transnet said on Tuesday their engineers will go to China next month to verify locomotives they bought, before commissioning.

Transnet was responding to an inquiry from Xinhua after South African media reports indicated that locomotives bought from China’s CRRC Corporation Limited were found to be faulty.

Mike Asefovitz, senior manager of Corporarte Affairs at Transnet told Xinhua that there were technical problems with the alternator and the problem has been resolved successfully.

“There were vibration problems with the alternators. The OEM has resolved the problem successfully. This is common practice in projects of this size and nature, Transnet is contractually covered should there be problems experienced before, during and post receipt of these locomotives,” Asefovitz said.

“Transnet engineers will travel to China to validate technologies and sub-systems in February. This is part of the contractual and costed process. All sub-systems are tested independently as an assembly and then as an integrated system,” he said.

Asefovitz said brand new locomotives that are for the first time being designed for a rail gauge even with proven technology will go through various tests and findings so that any shortcomings are rectified during and post commissioning phases.

The South African engineers will witness the locomotives undergoing extensive testing by the OEMs to ensure that they comply with Railway Safety Regulator’s requirements and processes.

He said all the costs associated with the checking and testing are covered in the contract and they will be no further prejudice to the company.

In 2014 Transnet contracted four international original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to supply 1064 new locomotives. These included China North Rail (CNR), China South Rail (CSR), General Electric (GE) and Bombardier. CNR and CSR merged into CRRC in 2015.


Source: Xinhua | Updated Jan 24

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