Five TransNamib Locomotives to Arrive

A CONSIGNMENT of five refurbished locomotives belonging to TransNamib is expected to arrive in the country tomorrow.

The five refurbished locomotives are part of 10 railway vehicles, which the parastatal plans to acquire during the course of 2015 at a cost of over N$71 million Acting TransNamib chief executive officer, Hippy Tjivikua told Nampa on Tuesday.

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

The locomotives had been manufactured by Transnet Engineering company in Pretoria, South Africa.

“The locomotives we currently have are not enough, 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 used 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 non-stop.

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

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

He explained that the company is currently experiencing challenges such as the lack of skilled engineers, which it plans to recruit in 2015 to service and maintain the locomotives.

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

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

In August 2014, TransNamib sold four Chinese-manufactured locomotives for N$42 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. – Nampa

Source : The Namibian