A handover ceremony was held at Transnet Engineering’s assembly plant in Durban on December 7 to mark the acceptance of the first class 23E Traxx Africa electric locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail (TFR).
Bombardier was awarded a contract to supply 240 of the 100km/h dual-voltage (3kV dc/25kV ac) units in March 2014 as part of a Rand 50bn ($US 3.7bn) investment in 1064 new diesel and electric locomotives for TFR.
So far 15 of the class 23E locomotives have been completed and the first units will enter service early next year.
More than 60% of the Rand 15bn contract value will be spent on locally manufactured materials, components and services for the fleet, with around 90 South African companies in the supply chain.
Mitrac traction equipment for the order is being produced at Bombardier’s plant at Isando near Johannesburg, which opened in August 2016. Bodyshells are being manufactured by DCD at its facility in Boksburg, while Transnet Engineering’s Durban plant is responsible for production of bogies and assembly, commissioning and static testing of the locomotives. In total, the order has created around 300 jobs in South Africa.
“We are committed to South Africa through local production, a strong local supply chain, job creation and transfer of technology, in line with the latest localisation and Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment programme (B-BBEE) requirements,” says Mr Aubrey Lekwane, managing director of Bombardier Transportation South Africa. “We are proud to say that from the first to the last, each TRAXX locomotive Africa for our important customer Transnet Freight Rail will be manufactured in South Africa."