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Transnet Engineering’s Wheels Business

Transnet Engineering's Wheel Business specialises in the refurbishing and assembly of all types of railway wheels for the Southern African region.

 The business has the capability and facilities to assemble and build up new wheels from components brought in from local and international suppliers. The Wheel Business is managed from its head office situated at Transnet Engineering's Koedoespoort depot in Pretoria. The business has seven facilities that are strategically located in the Western Cape (Salt River and Saldanha), Port Elizabeth (Uitenhage), Bloemfontein, Durban, Johannesburg (Germiston) and Pretoria (Koedoespoort).

The Wheel Business dominates the African wheel market, as it is the only large wheel repair and assembly facility on the continent. The Business services the rail wheel requirements for the Transnet Freight Rail fleet (locomotives, wagons and main-line passenger coaches), SARCC Metrorail suburban coaches, the Blue Train, the Phelophepa Health train, various privately-owned rolling stock, as well as the rolling stock of a number of African railways.

In terms of benchmarks, the Business is ISO 9001 certified, and also complies with the standards laid down by the American Association of Railroads (AAR).

At its various centres, the Wheel Business is equipped with the latest technology, including wheel profiling portal lathes and laser beam measuring equipment. The wheels it produces are currently limited to the 1,067mm rail gauge. The business is in the process of acquiring new portal lathes that have the capability to profile 1,435mm gauge wheel-sets to serve Gautrain wheels and other future standard gauge rail projects.

The Wheels Business has the skills and competency to refurbish old wheels and assemble new wheels. The business has the capacity to produce about 100,000 wheel pairs annually for diesel or electric locomotives, passenger coaches and freight wagons. As the company has a history that goes back more than 50 years, it is able to draw on a core of highly experienced staff, that have high levels of competence.

The main activities in the Wheel Business include wheel re profiling, the machining of axles, centres and tyres and the fitting of wheel bearings, driving gears and motor suspension tubes.

Services offered include:

  • Ultrasonic axle testing,

  • Axle machining and burnishing,

  • Wheel re profiling,

  • Wheel re tyring,

  • Making up new and refurbished wheel pairs,

  • Removal and refitting of bearings

  • Removal, re-qualification and refitting of motor suspension tubes and driving gears.




The Wheel business has reached a record output of 52,000 wheel pairs for the financial year ending March 2003.


The Business is engaged in a technology upgrade programme to modernize machines by installing the latest computerized numeric control for profiling and laser optics for measuring.


The wheel business dominates the African wheel market, as it is the only large wheel repair and assembly facility on the continent.

The business has facilities that are strategically located in the WP, PE, Bloemfontein, Durban and Pretoria.