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The vast mechanical workshops at Koedoespoort officially opened in October 1954, still rank among the favorite showpieces of the South African railways industry.

The massive Koedoespoort facility encompassing 94 hectares (230 acres) of workshops, foundries, offices and stores buildings was ranked the largest and most modern railways workshops in Africa.

The massive Koedoespoort facility, built up over ten years from what had been bare Transvaal veld, was fitted with the finest available equipment and utilized the services of a number of highly-respected research bodies.

Construction of the workshops was divided into three portions, with the southern portion or machine shop block covering eight acres the boiler shop block covering nine acres and the erecting shop block covering another nine acres. Stores buildings, boiler-house steaming and weighing sheds, the compressor house, electric sub-stations, transport garages, production control office, laboratories, the automatic telephone exchange, the police station and the main administrative buildings also had to be catered for.

The northern portion of the layout was to consist of the coach shop and sawmills, paint shop and trimming shop, although this was still under construction at the time.

Careful planning and efficient quality assurance played a major part in the production processes on the shop floor. Artisan staff requirements were to be taken care of by new apprentice training schools and the machinery, the finest and most modern available, was estimated to cost £5 557 000.

The main workshop buildings had the latest monitor roof, which allowed maximum lighting and ventilation - certainly quite a progressive move at the time. Favourable natural light was achieved by glazing the full length of the bay monitor and the setting of large windows in the brick side walls. Roller shutter doors were fitted to all the large doorways - another innovation that still works extremely well today.

75 ton cranes towered eight metres above the floor, backed up by smaller cranes ranging from 7 to 40 tons at different levels. Bays inside the buildings were divided into three types (called, naturally, A, B & C!) and the largest of the buildings contained eight bays. The steam locomotives were dwarfed by the lofty proportions of the sheds, with the largest building having a total floor area of about 37 630 m3.

Locomotives were to be completely stripped and their components cleaned and examined before they were repaired and re-assembled.

Detailed planning was required to execute this enormous undertaking. The compressor house had a built-in crane to handle lifting during maintenance. The concrete cooling tower could handle 50 000 gallons (about 227 300 litres) an hour and the steam in the blacksmith's shop was generated in three 25 000lb (11 363 kg) per hour water-tube boilers in the boiler house just east of the blacksmith's shop. The coal store could handle 600 tons of coal at a time which fed through to the chain-grate automatic stokers via a conveyor belt and feed hopper system.

The Koedoespoort Centre also known as the Flagship of TE is situated in Pretoria right opposite to the TE Corporate office. The main centre is erected on a 100 hectors of land, with over 64 technologically advanced operational workshops with state of the art equipments and machinery, a couple of office buildings, two canteen facilities, a Clinic, Library and EAP centre . The Koedoespoort Region is also comprised of maintenance depot in most of the provinces i.e. Gauteng, North West, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.

Operation in the plant



As the dominant new wagon builder in Africa, Transnet Engineering's Wagons Business is the major supplier to the 10,000 strong heavy-haul coal and iron ore fleets in South Africa.

Other wagon types supplied are cement, car carriers, intermodal and various type tank wagons. The organisation has an extensive network of strategically positioned factories and in-service depots and refurbishes and maintains wagons, including heavy overhauls, conversions, upgrades, accident repairs and essential life-cycle interventions. The wagon business also refurbishes and upgrades bogies to achieve higher axle loads and to match different track gauges. READ MORE



Transnet Engineering’s Foundry Business has a long history dating back some 50 years. At one time, the business employed some 2000 people with immense capacity to serve both the internal and external market.

The Business’s main objectives included casting of all the components for the former South African Railways and Harbours. This included bogies, frames, bolsters, wedges, side frames, couplers, draw-gears etc – in fact, every casting needed on rolling stock i.e. locomotives, coaches and wagons. Today, the Foundry business is being further upgraded in all aspects to resume its vital role in the South African rail industry. READ MORE



Transnet Engineering's Coach Business refurbishes upgrades and repairs some 350 coaches annually at its workshops in Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Cape Town and Durban. All four workshops have ISO 9002 certification.

Maintenance is also undertaken on Shosholoza Meyl's 1200 coaches at eight maintenance facilities strategically placed throughout the country at Durban, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Culemborg, East London, Braamfontein, Port Elizabeth and Kimberley. READ MORE



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.



Transnet Engineering's Rolling Stock Equipment Business (RSE) is able to manufacture modern, technologically-advanced rolling stock components. Its services include the manufacture of parts and sub-assemblies for locomotives, coaches and wagons.

 It is able to refurbish and upgrade equipment components so that they will cost-effectively extend the lifespan of the rolling stock they serve. RSE is a responsive and proactive operation, offering the highest levels of service. READ MORE



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 (2000) 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.



Transnet Engineering's Auxiliary Business, previously known as the Tarpaulin Business, prides itself on innovative products, individually designed to meet customers' specific needs.

The business portfolio includes manufacturing and maintenance of tarpaulins and auxiliary equipment. More recently, the Business has diversified into the manufacture, maintenance and conversion of containers and wagon preparation.




The Rotating Machines (RM) Business is an operational Business of Transnet Engineering, focuses on electrical and mechanical repair, maintenance and assembly of rotating machines in the rail industry and Port business.

The RM business, currently refurbish and maintain in excess of 3000 traction motors, 4000 auxiliary components and 120 Engines per annum. The business is geographically spread and has operational facilities in Cape Town (Salt River); Durban (Umbilo), Bloemfontein, Swartkops and its largest facility is in Koedoespoort.

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Koedoespoort Administrator

Whitthread Mashiane
Tel  +27 - (0)12 842 6384

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