TransNamib struggling to deal with old railway lines

WINDHOEK: TransNamib is unable to use some of its railway lines for heavy goods transport because the tracks are old and unbalanced.

The railway transport parastatal’s acting Chief Executive Officer, Hippy Tjivikua told Nampa recently that parts of the Windhoek-Gobabis railway line, and the railway line between Otavi and Grootfotein do not have proper balance due to the poor state of the steel sleepers in use.

Tjivikua said according to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) railway line standards, the company is required to have railway lines that can accommodate up to 18.5 tonnes per axle.

The acting TransNamib boss explained that in the past, the railway lines were built with 22 kilogramme per metre railway steel rail, but the parastatal has now decided to move to 48 kg/m railway steel rail, which will stabilise the railway line and require much less maintenance.

Tjivikua said some of the latest railway lines in the country have already been constructed on the 48kg/m railway steel rail, adding that the construction and rehabilitation of the Aus-Luderitz railway line was completed and is expected to be handed over to TransNamib soon.