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Namibia upgrade of railway line from Kransberg to Otijwarongo station Namibia upgrade of railway line from Kransberg to Otijwarongo station

The African development bank has published the final Environmental And Social Impact Assessment Report Phase 1 Kranzberg Station To Otjiwarongo Station – as part of the Namibia Transport Infrastructure Improvement Phase II programme.

In essence, the primary focus of the project is to enhance the line’s capacity to accommodate 20 ton axle load between Kranzberg and Tsumeb stations, as well as between Otavi and Grootfontein Stations. This upgrade aligns with the proposed Trans-Zambezi Railway expansion plan, which aims to extend the railway line from Grootfontein to Katima Mulilo via Rundu in Namibia, and for which a feasibility study has already been conducted.

The entire length of the Project spans about 500km, commencing from Kranzberg Station, which is situated roughly 11km east of Usakos in the Erongo Region. The route then extends in a northeastern direction towards Otjiwarongo, located in the Otjozondjupa Region, before continuing to Tsumeb in the Oshikoto Region. At Otavi, the railway line diverges towards the east, ultimately turning north-east and leading to Grootfontein.

According to the published study, the proposed specifications are based on the “Planning and Technology Railway Engineering Specification, E.10 – 1996 Railway Track Work” (1996) published by Spoornet (Transnet / Transnet Freight Rail) in South Africa.

These are some interesting highlights from the report: Which you can download here:

Railway Sections

The Kranzberg – Tsumeb and Otavi – Grootfontein railway sections are classified as N2 Running lines.

Axle Load and Speed

The recommended design Axle Load for the Kranzberg – Tsumeb and Otavi – Grootfontein railway sections is 18.5-ton, with an 80km/h speed for freight and 100km/h for passengers. Although the current rolling stock fleet of the Railway Operator can only negotiate speeds of up to 60 km/h, the design accommodates train speeds of up to 100 km/h.

Embankment and Cuttings

Embankments and cuttings will be constructed along the railway line to support the entire track structure, considering the changing topography over the extent of the railway line.

Ballast and Sleepers

To meet the performance requirements for concrete sleepers, ballast must be limited to crushed granites, trap rocks, or quartzite. The Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) Manual recommends a ballast depth of 200 mm for an N2 class of line. The newly constructed sections and upgraded sections (i.e., existing railway between Kranzberg Station and Otjiwarongo) in Namibia are provided with P2 type of concrete sleepers.

Rail and Fastenings

For this Project, a rail grade of 48 Kg/m R260 with a minimum hardness of 260 HB is recommended for use on this corridor. Elastic fastenings, which include an e-clip with liners (generally glass filled Nylon) and a neoprene pad below the sleepers, are recommended.

Sidings, Fences, and Land

New rail sidings will be constructed in the relevant areas, while the existing railway will serve as the future service road for the upgraded railway line. Any fences affected by the new alignment will be relocated to the new position, and new fences will be installed according to the existing fence standards of the affected Farm. Borrow pits and haul roads will be fenced off to the nearest public road, and all acquired land for spoil areas, borrow pits, and haul roads will be fenced and maintained by the contractor until the performance certificate is issued.

Alignment and Stations

The new railway alignment will remain predominantly within the existing railway servitude, except for deviation at horizontal curves to meet the 100 km/h maximum train speed. The servitude width of 60m will remain, with the new servitude slightly extending into adjacent farmlands. All existing stations will remain in their current positions with no major variances in alignment. The project limits encompass three stations: Kranzberg Station, Omaruru Station, and Otjiwarongo Station.

Source: Railways Africa