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With a history of 100 years, Transnet Engineering's Locomotive Business is the leading centre of locomotive expertise and innovation in Sub Saharan Africa.

Apart from being a model of social and engineering transformation, its world-class products meet the requirements of the most rigorous international testing and standards. The Locomotive Business currently refurbishes, converts, upgrades or remanufactures over 400 locomotives annually to ISO 9001 quality standards at its factories. It also maintains over 2,500 of the locomotives in South Africa's fleet to provide its customers with a source of reliable and available tractive effort.

While the majority of its business emanates from inside South Africa, the Locomotive Business is fully able to take on work from other African countries.

Overhauls undertaken on diesel-electric and electric locomotives (AC and DC)

The Locomotive Business has the capability to manufacture, overhaul, upgrade and maintain both diesel-electric and electric locomotives (AC and DC) for a variety of track gauges such as the 1,067 mm and 1,000 mm gauges commonly found in Southern Africa. Locomotives that are either upgraded or rebuilt by the Locomotives Business offer the customer a unit that has a greatly extended life. In many cases, a remanufactured locomotive from Transnet presents a more cost-effective option compared to the purchase of a new unit.

By working in collaboration with a number of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), the Locomotive Business has managed the successful upgrades to electric locomotives in classes 7E1, 9E, 11E and 18E, as well as upgrades to classes 34/37 GM and 34 GE diesel electric locomotives.

General overhauls and Minor Overhaul Programs (MOP s) of DC-type locomotives are undertaken in Pretoria at Transnet Engineering's Koedoespoort works. These overhauls include those for classes 6E1, 8E, 10E, 10E1, 10E2 and 18E electric locomotives. Certain of the later Class 6E1 locomotives are upgraded to a class 18E. All overhauls are done in accordance with OEM specifications and requirements of the asset, based on condition. The final Statement of Work (SOW) is drawn up by the locomotive business fleet maintenance engineers.



As far as AC-type locomotives are concerned, MOP s are undertaken on classes 7E, 7E1, 7E2, 7E3, 7E4, and 11E at Transnet Engineering's Durban facility. The upgrades of class 7E1, 9E and 11E locomotives have improved reliability and driver comfort.

Should a locomotive be severely damaged in some way, a total rebuild of diesel electric locomotives is undertaken at Transnet Engineering's plant in Bloemfontein and the rebuild of electric DC locomotives is done in their Koedoespoort plant with the rebuild of the electric AC locomotives in their Durban based plant.

During overhauls, Transnet Engineering strips the locomotive completely. A thorough cleaning and examination of all parts is conducted. Any part that shows undue wear is discarded and replaced with a refurbished/new component. In many cases, obsolete technology, such as analogue controls, is replaced with new electronic IT based control systems. These have shown to give greatly enhanced reliability.

Upgraded locomotives leaving the factory are equipped with latest technology - increased tractive effort with micro-processor control, ergonomic cab designs for driver comfort, higher energy efficiency, extended dynamic brake ranges (in some cases) and consequent improvements to locomotive life cycle costing.

The Business can also replace outdated systems on locomotives such as vacuum and pneumatic brake systems with modern electronic brake systems, so that the locomotives can be used to pull modern rolling stock which is equipped with the latest braking systems.

The repair and maintenance facilities at the Businesses various centres are constantly being upgraded with the latest repair, manufacturing and test equipment. This ensures that all work on locomotives can be carried out quickly and efficiently, without any compromise on standards.

Centre of excellences (COE's) have been established for the repair of diesel, AC and DC electric locomotive bogies, vacuum circuit breakers (VCBs) and electronic equipment. Field service teams are available to attend to upgraded locomotives during its warranty period and thereafter if required.

All work is carried out in accordance with globally-accepted railway codes of practice and all factories have ISO 9001 (2000) accreditation.

A professional approach to business, adherence to good corporate governance, high standards of integrity, sound financial controls and risk and asset management procedures make Transnet Engineering Locomotives Business an efficient, profitable and environmentally-friendly, world-class company.

As one of the first South African companies to install the SAP R3 system, Transnet Engineering is a top reference site for wall-to-wall SAP implementation and is rated by the Gartner IT research group as one of the best installations in Africa.

Every year, Transnet Engineering spends tens of millions of Rands training new technical staff and enhancing the skills of those currently in service. The Locomotive Business takes pride in the fact that work carried out in its facilities are carried out by, or under the supervision of properly trained and qualified staff. This is supported by Human Resource programmes that set out to recruit, retain and develop the best talent and skills through training, reward and recognition.

Through the values it espouses, the investments it makes in its people, its processes, its products and its markets and the passion to exceed customer and shareholder expectations, Transnet Engineering Locomotive Business will always be your guarantee of engineering excellence.


Transnet Engineering’s locomotive business is the leading centre of locomotives expertise and innovation in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The latest success story has been the new class 30 locomotive programme which incorporated several new designs to enhance driver comfort and improve the safety maintainability of the units