Extension of the Pumane crossing loop in Swaziland

Swaziland Railway (SR) appointed JG Afrika and ED Simelane & Associates (EDS) to provide specialist railway engineering services to undertake the designs required for the extension of the Pumane crossing loop in Swaziland.

Estimated Project Value: 5,200,000 USD
Project Duration: October 2016 – March 2017 (Design Phase)

The Pumane Crossing Loop is located on the Phuzumoya-Golela Link between Phuzumoya and Big Bend Station in Swaziland. The project entailed the extension of the existing loop (mainline, crossing loop and future line) at Pumane. The new railway formation and railway trackwork was to be designed to heavy haul 26 Ton Axle Load (TAL) standards, but the trackwork initially built to 20 TAL standards, to accommodate a maximum train length of 200 CCL type coal wagons and 6 Class 43 diesel locomotives.

Cognizance of future proofing of the railway system in terms of Signalling system and Overhead Traction Equipment (OHTE) was also to be catered for in the designs.

Project Highlights

From a geometrical perspective, in order to accommodate the longer trains, it was decided to extend the loop in the direction of Big Bend which presented less constraints. To improve maintenance, specifically on the proposed (for operational reasons) 1:12 trailable right-hand turnout, the existing loop layout was reconfigured from a “parallelogram” to a conventional loop layout.

In reconfiguring the crossing loop, the existing mainline became the proposed crossing loop line and vice versa. Due to existing gradient considerations, the crossing loop was lengthened by an additional 1 km in order to connect back with the mainline.

The ability of the team to provide inputs into all aspects of the deliverables in terms of railway – structural – civil engineering, environmental, risk and health & safety consultancy functions, reinforced JG Afrika’s prominence in the railway arena.

JG Afrika went on to make final presentations to the management of SR covering all aspects of the project, once again proving JG Afrika’s commitment and involvement in the project.

Scope of Services Provided

The Scope of work involved JG Afrika providing the following services: Engineering design development of the railway system from conceptual design through to detail design – bulk earthworks, railway formation; railway track structure, level-crossings, formation drainage | Hydrology | Elimination of at-grade railway crossings | Preparation of technical specifications and Bills of Quantities for bulk earthworks, railway formation, railway trackwork | Management of survey specifications | Geotechnical interpretative reporting | Reports on permanent way, operations, construction management, environmental design criteria, sustainability design criteria, cost estimate report, risk management and health & safety plan.

Concluding Remarks

JG Afrika’s experienced railway engineers delivered on the brief to design the extension to the Pumane crossing loop. The designs effectively allow SR to improve their operation efficiencies and allow the running of the longer train consists.

JG Afrika’s experienced railway engineers also achieved this aim successfully within the desired time frames. Further funding is being sourced to continue with the subsequent phase to this project.