Teamwork results in a speedy recovery after train derailment
On Sunday, 11 November 2018, a Beitbridge Bulawayo Railway Company (BBR) train crashed into a truck that had failed to stop at a rail crossing on the main Beitbridge to Harare road. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries, but the major accident caused damage not only to the derailed locomotives and wagons but also destroyed around 160 metres of railway track.
The BBR team sprang into action, working with all relevant officials and with contractors from Zimbabwe and South Africa to clear the crash site and repair the damaged track.
Two mobile cranes and a rail mounted crane plus earthmoving equipment were deployed to the scene. The locomotive fuel tanks were drained and several 100kgs of contaminated soil (diesel spill) was removed.
Over a period of 12 days the line was rebuilt, all rolling stock was re-railed including two mainline locomotives weighing 108 tons each, all damaged containers were repacked and the customer’s cargo despatched safely and securely to destination.
The crash site was completely cleared on 23rd of November and the rail service recommenced. The Southern African Railway Association (SARA) has commended BBR for their swift and decisive response to the incident. The authorities in Zimbabwe have prosecuted the truck driver for dangerous driving.
Additional GPR locomotives have been leased by BBR temporarily while the two damaged locomotives are repaired.
BBR was formed in 1997 and is a partnership between National Railways of Zimbabwe and NLPI. Grindrod has a controlling interest in NLPI.