The 211.8km line from Kranzberg to the port of Walvis Bay is a key trade route for both Namibia and other Southern African Development Community countries. However, the line has not seen any significant modernisation since the 1960s and traffic is hindered by speed restrictions, resulting in increased transport costs.
The project will involve replacement of all rails and sleepers, reconditioning of ballast, replacement of manually-operated switches with automatic switches, repair and maintenance of culverts, and the replacement of three steel bridges. The maximum axleload will also be increased to 18.5 tonnes.
The work will be carried out between 2019 and 2021, increasing the maximum line speed to 80km/h for freight trains and 100km/h for passenger trains.