Wabtec rolls with Spoornet

Wabtec Railway Electronics has signed a contract worth around $13 million to provide electronic braking equipment to Spoornet, the state-owned railway of South Africa.

Under the contract, Wabtec will retrofit about 50 locomotives and 3,300 freight cars with electronically controlled pneumatic (ECP) braking and wireline-based distributed power control over the next three years.

The rolling stock will be used on Spoornet’s coal line operations between Ermelo and RichardsBay, one of the world’s highest-density, heavy-haul rail lines. The retrofit project follows a 200-car pilot program that began in 2001.

Wabtec says that by combining ECP braking on freight cars and wireline-based distributed power control, Spoornet can achieve significant improvements in train handling and cycle times. In addition, the project supports Spoornet’s capacity growth plans with its existing track infrastructure.