Modern rail link for Eastern Cape

Posted On Tuesday, 02 December 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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Spoornet said yesterday that the construction of the railway line linking the port of Coega to Port Elizabeth was firmly on track.


The extension of the rail line will vastly improve the capacity of the current narrow gauge line, which carries exportbound citrus and seasonal fruit. The line handles more than 24000 tons of export citrus annually.

The extension of line is also expected to have a socioeconomic effect on Eastern Cape by raising the viability of Coega and creating the much-needed jobs.

Spoornet spokesman Mike Asefovitz said: "We intend extending that line to Coega, but the business case in this regard is still to be compiled and no costing has been done."

Construction of the entire Coega project, which includes the industrial development zone and the deep-water port, is expected to be completed by 2005.

Speaking at the centenary celebrations of the world's only operational narrow gauge line in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, Spoornet CE Dolly Mokgatle said the rail utility would invest in infrastructure development and technology to increase the line's future capacity.

She said one innovation was a sideloader truck capable of carrying large quantities of containers onto trains.

"By ensuring that fruit, vegetables, cement, wood pulp and bricks reach the harbour and the end user, the narrow gauge line has proved itself to be the very lifeblood of the region.

"In fact, the narrow gauge is such an efficient delivery system that citrus fruit farmed in the Gamtoos Valley and destined for Port Elizabeth takes just one day," Mokgatle said.

Last modified on Thursday, 26 June 2014 19:03

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