TransNamib locomotive acquisitions to support a doubling of freight traffic
National railway TransNamib is aiming to double the volume of freight which it moves, CEO Johny Smith told a recent Transport Events online conference.
TransNamib currently carries 1·6 million tonnes of freight per year across various commodity groups, and Smith said it was looking to boost this to around 3 million tonnes/year by 2023.
The railway’s business plan includes the development of traffic between the port of Walvis Bay and neighbouring Botswana and Zambia. Services from the port to Grootfontein are to be increased from two to four trains per week to serve the Zambian market.
TransNamib is currently working with the port authority to improve operations. A designated shunting locomotives has been assigned, and Smith hopes to have remotely controlled shunting vehicles in place by the end of the first quarter of 2021.
‘We do have a lot of challenges’, he acknowledged, with TransNamib typically having 34 locomotives available for traffic each day compared to a requirement for 43. The operator plans to acquire 33 remanufactured locomotives, and tenders for more are envisaged. ‘Within a year or two we will buy about 10 new locomotives’, Smith said.