JG Afrika provides railway services to Mpaka Marshalling Yard

JG Afrika provides railway services to Mpaka Marshalling Yard | JG Afrika

Swaziland Railway (SR) appointed JG Afrika and local consultants, ED Simelane & Associates (EDS), to provide specialist railway engineering services to undertake the designs required for the remodelling of the Mpaka Marshalling Yard in Swaziland.

The project entailed the extension of the existing three railway yard lines within Mpaka Marshalling Yard, and the provision of a locomotive “shunt” line. 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 150 CR4 type manganese wagons and 5 Class 43 Diesel Locomotives.

Estimated Project Value: 6,200,000 USD
Project Duration: October 2016 – March 2017 (Design Phase)

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

On exiting the yard towards Phuzumoya, the mainline descends at a gradient of 1:50 for approximately 2.2km; this necessitated Line 3 being extended by a total length of approximately 3.5km in order to tie back into the mainline.

An alternative was proposed in the form of an elevated Line 3 as it exited the yard, curving over the existing mainline and then connecting back into the mainline close to the yard exit point, saving both railway track length and space. Due to other developments in the yard, it was ultimately decided to go with the more conventional geometric approach.

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 increase the capacity of Mpaka Marshalling Yard, despite the geometric constraints that presented itself. 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 timeframes. Further funding is being sourced to continue with the subsequent phase to this project.