Transnet launches freight timetable
Johannesburg - Transnet Freight Rail has introduced a timetable for arrivals and departures of its freight trains to improve the reliability and consistency of its services.
CEO Siyabonga Gama said on Tuesday the scheduled services would allow for Transnet to increase the volume of its transports from the producer to the consumer or to South African ports.
"We are in search of volumes."
He said road transport is more heavily relied on than rail at present, despite rail being quicker, cheaper and more environmentally friendly.
"We need to drive more volume from road to rail to assist the economy... the carbon footprint of the rail system, it is far more effective."
Gama said Transnet is not aiming to compete with road freight transport, but to improve South Africa's global market competitiveness.
He said some cargo is also not appropriate for rail, and trucking companies would still need to be relied on.
Previously, train times were inconsistent because of late departures, arrivals and on and offloading times.
Gama said the parastatal planned to roll out a national command centre and "firm up" services in 2008, but plans had to be put on hold because of the recession.
The timetable had been rolled out on the routes between Phalaborwa/Maputo and Richards Bay, Welgeday/Palmford and Uitkyk/Komatipoort.
The remainder of the network is expected to be on a scheduled system by mid-2012, said Gama.
SAR&H use to have a time table. The new regime got rid of it. They will eventually claim credit for it. Pathetic.
So very true !
So a timetable is a first for Transnet? WOW!
I thought timetables are a given for railway companies all around the world?
Transnet discovers that the wheels on the train go 'round and 'round!!!
Why is rail not trying to compete with roads? Rail, for all modes of transport - freight and commuters, is cheaper, cleaner, faster and has increased capacity. If you can remove freight trucks from the roads and place that load on trains, surely the economy will be boosted.
Not only will a reduction in heavy vehicles on our roads reduce the urgent need for maintenance on most of our provincial and national roads, but an increase in train use will surely result in an increase in revenue for transnet - thus enabling upgrading and maintenance of the rail lines.
So why does rail not want to compete with roads? Big ups for improving freights and deliveries in the second half of this year, but dream bigger please.