By Johannes Hangula
FOR the past 60 years the railway line between Kranzberg and Tsumeb has gone without any upgrading or rehabilitation, which has resulted into derailments on the tracks and leading to major rail accidents.
But this will be soon something of the past as the rail sections between Kranzberg and Tsumeb are fully upgraded, and the other sections on the same line have been progressively rehabilitated since the year 2012. This was confirmed by D&M Rail Construction Managing Director Dawie Moller during a media day organised by the company in Otjiwarongo on Friday.
“The railway between Kranzberg and Tsumeb covers a distance of 392 kilometers, and D&M Rail construction has fully upgraded 13.2 kilometers and partially upgraded 114 kilometres. In brief more about 127 kilometers are upgraded and it is safe for the train to run,” said Moller.
“So far we have rehabilitated 183.4 kilometers of the railway line between Kranzberg and Tsumeb, by replacing the old or broken sleepers to prevent derailments” he added.
The company has completed 310.7km of the total 392km. In addition it has installed 1 267 tons of new rails, 178 104 concrete P2 sleepers, rein-installed 6 846 tons of rail and replaced 560 tons of broken rails.
Describing the condition of their work on the site in Otjiwarongo, D&M training officer Hare Kruger said the current railway line is old and lacks clamping force of the clips, which means it expands and contracts easily making it weak to take up extra heavy loads.
“We are replacing the reach to bring back the clamping force on the tracks, and making it stable. We are replacing the current 30 kg per metre sleepers to new standard sleepers of 48 kg per metre that will enable the train to travel at better speed than before.”
Kruger further said a total of 116 411 square meters of ballast stones were used in the rail to drain water from the line and further absorb the downward force from the train vibration.
This has taken the value of material purchases to N$40 million. TransNamib Acting Chief Executive Officer Hippy Tjivikua, who was also on site revealed the role that TransNamib is playing in the project. “We are here for supervision and on top of that we are operators.”
“It is the result of derailments between Otjiwarongo and Kranzberg, where the line has been in bad condition, that we have to rehabilitate and upgrade this infrastructure” he said.
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