Some clever people on social media have suggested we can swap the trains for a power station or let some air out of the wheels to make them fit. South African government railways officials imported brand new locomotives from Europe worth R600 million despite warnings from consultants, engineers and specialists that the trains are not suited for local railway lines.
It could now turn into South Africa’s largest tender blunder. Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has to date received thirteen diesel locomotives but they are all too high for use on the long distance routes they were intended for.
3 Degree news service quotes the Sunday newspaper Rappart who says the locomotives exceed the height restrictions but the R3.5bn order went ahead and up to now thirteen Afro 4000 diesel locomotives have been delivered to Prasa worth R600 million. The total order is for 700 locomotives.
The locomotives have a roof height of 4,264mm while the maximum height for diesel locomotives may not exceed 3,965mm – and expensive error margin. Senior railways engineers said they warned Prasa more than once new diesel locomotives ordered from Spanish manufacturer Vossloh España are too high for local use.