Update 13 July on the Prasa locomotive clearance problems over parts of the Transnet Rail system
Prasa insisted this past week that the country’s overhead power lines were at least 4.5 metres above the rail tracks and that the new order of the Afro 4000 would pass beneath them comfortably.
City Press now understands that although the power lines are supposed to be no lower than 4.5m, as they many places in the country where overhead wires hang lower than they should be.
Prasa’s own report of February 2014 points out four places where the lines are as low as 4.22m: At such height, the top of the locomotive encroaches too close to the contact wire. This results in a higher driver exposure risk factor.
The normally accepted safe distance between the locomotive roof and cables is at least 150mm.
According to experts, the maintenance on both Transnet and Prasa’s rail lines is in a such a poor state that power lines will have to be raised to provide for the Afro 4000. It is unclear what it would cost who should pay?