State-owned Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has re-opened its Orkney-Vierfontein branch line to cut transport times for railed goods and improve market access to boost volumes.
The branch line cluster‚ which is supported by a new 15.3km‚ rail links the North West Province and Free State.
Tonnages of maize transported from the Klerksdorp and Coligny area to Durban could more than double to 150‚000 tons per year Transnet said. Currently about 70‚000 tons of maize is transported from the area.
The line would create alternative access to Durban when the line between Klerksdorp and Vereeniging is unavailable or being used to transport of manganese and iron ore to Newcastle‚ Cato Ridge and Durban‚ TFR's chief executive Siyabonga Gama said on Monday (3 December) in Orkney.
The line would also serve as an alternative route for passenger trains when the line between Vereeniging and Klerksdorp or between Orkney and Kimberley was not operating‚ Gama said.
The Orkney-Vierfontein link would contribute to the expansion and development of the "concentrated grain area" Transnet's chairman Mafika Mkwanazi said.
The service will run between Vierfontein in North West Province and Orkney in the Free State and will focus on transporting grains and bulk liquids such as chemicals and fuel.
Transnet is spending R300bn over the next seven years under its new market demand strategy to lift its capacity and to stimulate higher levels of economic growth.
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