Five TransNamib locomotives to arrive in Namibia on Friday

A consignment of five refurbished locomotives belonging to TransNamib are expected to arrive in the country on Friday.

The five refurbished locomotives are part of the ten locomotives which the parastatal plans to acquire during the course of 2015, at a cost of over N.dollars 71 million, Acting TransNamib Chief Executive Officer, Hippy Tjivikua told Nampa on Tuesday.

Tjivikua said the official announcement and availing of the five locomotives to the public will be done next week Tuesday.

The locomotives has been manufactured from Transnet Engineering company in Pretoria, South Africa.

“The locomotives we have currently are not sufficient, thus we are expecting new locomotives as part of out turnaround plan,” he said.

Tjivikua said the company is currently running with 21 locomotives of six different types countrywide, that are mostly use to carry cargo.

He said the acquisition of these locomotives will assist the company to increase cargo volumes and generate more income.

Tjivikua said most of the current locomotives are old, yet they are expected to run for 24 hours without stopping.

He said the company’s focus is to standardize its locomotive fleet, to avoid having different types of locomotive as part of their fleet.

“If you import technology and machinery which are not standardized it becomes a challenges,” he said.

He explained that the company is currently experiencing challenges such as the lack of skilled engineers, which they are planning to recruit in 2015 to service and preserve the locomotives.

The company has only eight qualified and skilled engineers in its employment.

He confirmed that only two of the seven Chinese manufactured locomotives are running, as most of them are damaged in accident, have parts failures or other technical problems.

The locomotives were bought from the Chinese engine manufacturer, China South Rail (CSR) in 2004,

In August 2014, TransNamib sold out four Chinese locomotives for N.dollars42 million because they were unsafe to use.

The four CKD diesel electrical locomotives and 10 mainline railway passenger coaches were put on tender, with invitations sent to farmers, lodge owners, scrap steel dealers and other interested parties to submit offers.

The locomotives and the coaches were inaugurated in 2004 by the former TransNamib Chief Executive Officer John Shaetonhodi.