Wednesday 12 May 2021
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Sankwasa commissions new N$22 million railway track machine

By Staff Reporter

Deputy Minister of Works and Transport Sankwasa James Sankwasa has commissioned a new Tamping Machine of TransNamib procured for N$22 million, TransNamib has said.
The machine, which is a 08-16 Split Head Model was bought from the manufacturer, Plasser & Theurer of Austria through their South African agent, with funding from the Government of the Republic of Namibia.
In a statement sent to the media, TransNamib said the on-track machineries play a vital role in the maintenance of railway tracks.
“These are complex and expensive railway maintenance machines. There are some track activities which can only be done by mechanised track equipment. A tamping machine is one of such machines,” said the rail company.
TransNamib previously owned two heavy duty tamping machines, Plasser 07, which came from South African Transport Services in 1986.
These machines were manufactured in the late 1950’s.
Only one of the machines is available and it is currently not operational due to mechanical problems and spare parts are not readily available.
The other one has been scrapped, hence there was an urgent need to acquire a new tamping machine.
The Tamp Machine is powered by DEUTZ diesel engine and can travel across the country at speeds of up to 60mph (100km/h).
“These modern high-performance tamping machines has a measurement system to enable it to understand where faults exist on the track. This measurement system requires three trolleys – one at the front of the machine, one in the centre (known as the measuring trolley) and one to the rear,” said the company.
This 08-16 Split Head heavy duty ballast tamping machine is an essential item of equipment used for correcting and maintaining the geometry of the railway track, i.e. vertical and horizontal alignments as well as super elevation on curves. It removes the vertical roughness of the track.
The 08-16 tamping machine is able to fulfil technical specifications  such as: Maximum tamping rate of 22 sleepers per minute, working tamping rate of 19 sleepers per minute, maximum lift of 100 mm; and Maximum slew 50mm.
As part of the agreement with Plasser South Africa (Pty) Ltd, Maintenance Support and Training of TransNamib’s Operating staff form part of the package.
Thus, the supplier provided a full time Fitter to supervise the operation and maintenance of the machine for six months. Hands-on-training was provided to TransNamib staff to operate the machine and carry out day to day maintenance. It is essential to have well qualified personnel at the machine in order to carry out maintenance at the highest level.
To date, three TransNamib employees received on-the-job training to operate the machine and carry out the daily maintenance.
Two of the staff members were received theoretical training, i.e. one for machine operator course and other for machine fitter course in South Africa. In total, forty eight employees of whom forty are project workers work along the machine.
Since its arrival, the tamping machine has already worked in various part of the country covering approximately 350km.
It has tamped some sections between Windhoek and Mariental (124km), between Windhoek and Karibib (121km), and between Oshikango and Omuthiya (105km).

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