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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

South Africa's Spoornet orders ECP brake, distributed power systems from New York Air Brake parent Knorr-Bremse


Last month, Knorr-Bremse obtained a contract to provide electronic braking and distributed power equipment to South African freight railroad Spoornet.

The company will retrofit about 58 locomotives and 3,000 coal cars with EP-60® electronically-controlled pneumatic (ECP) brakes and WireDP® wire distributed power (WDP) control systems developed by Knorr-Bremse subsidiary New York Air Brake Corp. About 40 percent of the equipment will be manufactured by Knorr-Bremse South Africa.

ECP brakes are designed to improve heavy-haul trains’ braking performance and stability; WDP is designed to provide remote control of locomotives distributed along a train to reduce in-train forces.

Spoornet plans to use the upgraded rolling stock on Coal Link — an export coal line — to move coal from mines located above sea level to the port of Richards Bay. The systems will enable the railroad to operate 1.6-mile trains featuring six locomotives and 200 rail cars.

“Our goal is to increase capacity to transport more coal for the export market,” said Spoornet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe in a prepared statement.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/4/2006