With a project close-out scheduled to take place in March 2025, the successful implementation of this upgrade project will see an improved rail turnaround time, ensure compliance with the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) requirements, reduce closure of defective rail lines and increase the port’s ability to handle forecasted volume demands.
"The Bayvue railyard upgrade demonstrates TNPA’s commitment to dealing with issues currently faced by the port in the rail space. The ports authority is working around the clock to identify interventions to tackle port inefficiencies and support customer demands," said Dennis Mqadi, TNPA port manager at the Port of Richards Bay.
Due to the steady increase in rail volumes over the past decade, heavier locomotives were required to pull longer train lengths. The demand has increased the load on the rail infrastructure to 22 tons per axle, as opposed to the initial design of 18 tons per axle.
The upgrade project will increase the load-bearing capacity of the railway infrastructure to meet the demand of 22 tons per axle. It will also improve the condition of the infrastructure and reduce delays caused by unplanned maintenance due to rail infrastructure defects.
The scope of the upgrade project includes the replacement of the sleepers, rail clips, rail turn outs, ballasts and ballast screening. The recent delivery of sleepers and rail supplies (rail turnouts and rail clips) is a notable milestone on the upgrade project, with installation scheduled for December 2023.