Sign In

What is the current backlog of Transnet in the maintenance and repair of signals and infrastructure in respect of freight rail

Skip Navigation LinksHome > Parliamentary Updates > What is the current backlog of Transnet in the maintenance and repair of signals and infrastructure in respect of freight rail
What is the current backlog of Transnet in the maintenance and repair of signals and infrastructure in respect of freight rail
27/07/2012

Question for written reply

Question no.: 1804

Date of publication: 27 July  2012

1804.
 
Mr M Swart (DA) to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises:
What (a) is the current backlog of Transnet in the (i) maintenance and (ii) repair of (aa) signals and (bb) infrastructure in respect of freight rail, (b) provision has been made in the (aaa) 2011-12 and (bbb) 2012-13 financial years to deal with these backlogs and (c) progress has been made in this regard?    NW2196E
Reply:

(a) (i-ii) (aa-bb) The age of signalling systems deployed throughout the country vary in age from the 1950’s to date. Some of the spare equipment required to maintain these systems have become obsolete and these systems/subsystems are currently being replaced (or have been earmarked for replacement). Maintenance and repair are used interchangeably by Transnet.  A repair is undertaken when a failure on a system occurs and a maintenance intervention is effected to restore a system to a functional state i.e. repair of a failure. This repair activity is initiated soon after the failure has occurred and failures are not left unattended for a lengthy period of time.

Systems in this replacement category are typically the following:

  • Remote control systems;
  • Track vacancy detection systems;
  • Interlocking systems; and
  • Points machines.

There is a backlog typically in the following areas:

  • Rail replacement;
  • Sleeper replacement;
  • Turnout set replacement;
  • Ballast screening;
  • Rail grinding;
  • Bridges; and
  • Formation repair.

(b) (aaa) R2.4bn was spent typically on the backlog as indicated above. 

(b) (bbb) R2.4bn funding has been allocated and it is envisaged that R2.7bn will be spent on maintenance and repair activities listed above.

(c) Progress made with regards to backlogs in maintenance and repairs of signal and freight rail infrastructure for the financial year 2011/12 is summarised as follows:  

  • Signals: Expenditure on the replacement of signalling equipment was about R350m;
  • Rails: 760km of rail was replaced;
  • Sleepers: 365 000 sleepers replaced;
  • Turnout sets: 211 turnout sets were replaced;
  • Ballast screening: 552km of track was screened;
  • Rail grinding: 11 000km of track was grinded;
  • Bridges: 7 bridges were refurbished; and
  • Formation repair: 10km of formation repair was done.

The current maintenance backlog has been accumulating over a period of 15 years, mainly due to a lack of funding owing to austerity measures of the time.  The eradication of the maintenance backlog is a lengthy process and has been projected to take approximately 10 years to eliminate, dependent on the availability of the funds.
Page last modified:14/03/2014 14:04