Assess current rail service and network capacity, concept design of new rail sidings and services at Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, Rosslyn, Pretoria and Kaalfontein.


R&H was a sub-consultant to ARUP for an Automotive Port and Rail Supply Chain Study to (i) assess the current rail service and rail network capacity, and (ii) to develop various concept layout designs for the new proposed rail sidings and rail services. The following sites were assessed:

  • Rosslyn – BMW & Nissan
  • Silverton – FORD
  • Durban – Car Terminal
  • Isipingo – Toyota
  • East London – Car Terminal
  • Port Elizabeth – Car Terminal
  • Uitenhage – VW
  • Aloes – General Motors
  • Kaalfontein – Car Terminal

R&H Rail developed functional strategies for the following:

  • Inland Terminal Functionality:
    • Separate freight line from commuter lines where possible
    • Increase train length to 52 wagons
    • Improve predictability and reduce turn-around-time by enabling 24-hour operations
  • Functional Terminal Specification:
    • The functional design specifications for the expansion of existing terminals, in addition to the construction of any Greenfield’s automotive rail terminals include the following:
      • Provision for a minimum of 4 staging tracks with one locomotive run-around line
      • Staging track length to be at least 1358m long to accommodate a 52 wagon consist, split onto 4 consists of 13 wagons each
      • Multiple of four 13 wagon segments (based on SCL-18 type wagons, with paved unloading and loading areas at each end and between each segment of 13 wagons
  • Rail Functionality:
    • Key issues that plague the current automotive rail service were addressed and recommendations pertaining to the following made: –
      • Improve service reliability and predictability through the separation of freight and commuter services
  • Predictability
    • Improve flexibility through sharing of trains by OEMs to reduce empty running of trains
    • Ensure sustainability through the use of adjustable wagons to ensure versatility and to accommodate potential changes in vehicle profile mix