The Government of the Republic of Namibia, commissioned a feasibility study of a proposed train commuter service between Windhoek and Rehoboth to address the following aspects of the contemplated rail service: economic and financial viability of the project, environmental impact, and preliminary engineering designs.
As the rail specialists in a consortium of consultants, R&H Rail was responsible for all railway infrastructure design, rolling stock and train operations aspects of the project. The scope of the rail design portion of the study included:
- Estimate the cost of rehabilitating the existing mainline between Windhoek and Rehoboth so that it can accommodate higher speeds of up to 120 km/h, needed to transport commuters effectively
- Provide preliminary designs and estimate the cost of constructing a new Greenfields commuter railway line between Windhoek and Rehoboth
- Determine train operational requirements and prepare a train service designs, including multi-train simulations
- Determine commuter railway rolling stock requirements and design rolling stock maintenance facilities and services
The project was executed in 2 phases. A concept design phase which analysed 20 variations of 3 broad options. Based on a multi-criteria analysis, a Preferred Option was recommended and accepted by the Ministry. The preferred option was taken further to the second, preliminary design phase, where a preliminary design was delivered.
Based on industry best practices and client requirements, R&H Rail identified and designed a feasible railway corridor for the project. A train service design including integration with exiting traffic as prepared. These were packaged with railway system capital and operating expenditure that encompassed all the cost requirements of a functional railway system. The costs were taken as input for an assessment of the economic and financial viability of the project.
The selected project solution required the development of a new connecting link from Rehoboth town to the existing line to Windhoek. Upgrade of the section of the existing line from the connection point to Windhoek was also required as part of the project solution.