The new railway line between Vryheld and Empangenl, planned during the sixties to bring relief to the overloaded Natal Main Line, assumed a new role before completion. Together with a new rail link between Broodsnyersplaas and Ermelo and a spur to Richards Bay, It would also form a link between the coalfields of the highveld and the new harbour under construction.
The South African government has authorized the spending of R1 200 million to increase the carrying capacity of the coal exporllng railway line to enable up to 67 million t of coal annually to be exporled through Richards Bay Harbour. This paper descriptionbes the various stages of the development of this project from the detailed design of the formation profile, the track structure and sub-structure to the design of the track deviations. Special problems of permanent way material supply and logistics, as well as the details and implementation of the various aspects of the project are covered
The location of a transportation route determines the engineering parameters, the construction cost and the future operating cost of that facility. This paper compares the existing and alternative route with the accepted deviation between Eqwasha and Ulollwe.
This paper descriptionbes the design of two deviations for improvements to the coal line between Piet Retlef (in the eastern Transvaal) and Paulpietersburg (in northern Natal), which comprise a total length of approximately 42 km of new double track formation.
To achieve the higher gradient standards set for the coal line improvements, a deviation of an approximately 22 km long portion of the existing line between Paulpietersburg and Vryheid in northern Natal was required. In this paper the preliminary route location and some aspects of the detailed route location for this deviation are descriptionbed.
As part of the overall coal line improvements protect, Vryheld Conltructlon was made responsible for, among other things, the detailed planning and execution of the work required to Increale the carrying capacity of the exlltlng line by doubling It where necessary as well as constructing new and extending existing exchange yards.
The doubling and upgrading of the coal line has created a unique situation for SATS In that the full-time services of an experienced horticulturist are being employed In the revegetation of the hundreds of hectares of disturbed land and newly constructed earthworks, for purely practical and protective reasons. Some of the technical aspects and the philosophy behind them are discussed in this article.
The major portionof the work comprising Aspect Three of the coal line project is the strengthening of the existing track to carry 26 t axle loads. This requires the relaying of the line lrom Broodsnyersplaas In the Eastern Transvaal to the harbour at Richards Bay, some 500 route km consisting of 770 km of track. Due mainly to the limited time available, the decision was made to do this by mechanized means and the track renewal project was born.
The increased axleloading and projected very heavy traffic intended for the upgraded Richards Bay Coal Line necessitated a complete re-evaluation of the Transport Services' standards for earthwork construction. The design approach, which was based on a combination of experience, empirical results and mechanistic analysis, is descriptionbed in the paper. An account is also given of the investigation which was undertaken to determine whether the existing formation was suitable for carrying the increased traffic.
The decision to upgrade the Broodsnyersplaas - Richards Bay coal line resulted in the important development of a new rail for the SA Transport Services. The events leading up to the decision to develop the Cr Mn rail are discussed, and design considerations and required in-track applications are also covered.
In 1979 it was recognized that additional berthing facilities would be required to serve the envisaged expansion to the coal terminal at Richards bay. This paper discusses the investigation, planning, design and construction process.
The Phase Three expansion increased the capacity of the Richards Bay coal terminal from 24 Mt/a to 44 Mt/a. The 70 km railyard layout to handle the 200 wagon unit trains was developed in co-operatton with departments of South African Transport Services (SATS).