Grindrod preparing locomotives for Africa’s harsh conditions

Grindrod preparing locomotives for Africa’s harsh conditions

May 13, 2021

Photographed above, a refurbished and customised locomotive painted in the Uganda Railways colours. The photograph was taken at the Grindrod Rail workshop in Pretoria

The refurbishment of the four locomotives sold to Uganda Rail is well underway. Two locomotives are ready for seafreight to Uganda and the last two will be completed in the next two weeks. The locomotives will be road hauled to Richards Bay, loaded onto a vessel, and shipped to Uganda in June. We look forward to sharing the logistics of this operation in due course.

The refurbished and modernised locomotives have been converted from Cape Gauge to Meter Gauge to fit the Ugandan rail network. Additional buffers and couplers were fitted to accommodate the two types of couplers used between the locomotives and wagons. Further customisation included tyres on the wheels and bigger sandboxes - a container that holds sand, which is dropped on the rail in front of the driving wheels in wet and slippery conditions and on steep grades to improve traction.