The Trans-Africa Locomotive is designed for operation on southern Africa’s 1067mm Cape-gauge network and can be used on all types of railway, including lines with low axleloads, as well as for shunting. The underframe, superstructure, bogies, body, and locomotive control system are designed to withstand the African climate and operating conditions.

The single-cab locomotive was designed and assembled at Transnet’s production facility in Koedoespoort, east of Pretoria, and is currently being tested.

“The locomotive is evidence of the strides we are making in transforming Transnet Engineering into an original equipment manufacturer for locomotives, a move designed to restore our position as a catalyst for African innovation, industrialisation and critically, intra-African trade,” says Mr Siyabonga Gama, Transnet group chief executive. Gama says the Trans-Africa Locomotive should offer a cost-effective solution for many of southern Africa’s railways.

“Once in production, the locomotive is expected to grow and maintain our revenue streams across the continent and beyond,” Gama says. “Transnet has, for many years, built and supplied railway stock for clients both within and outside South Africa, but has never owned a product, from design to assembly.”