The Sishen West Expansion Project SWEP entailed the construction of a new 26t/axle, 32km Overhead Electrified (OHTE) heavy haul railway line, upliftment of 5km of redundant trackwork & OHTE, 130m long river bridge crossing, 50m long rail over road bridge, 70m long rail under-rail tunnel to be constructed and jacked into position.
Permanent Way Materials PWM was distributed from stockpile to formation using material handling equipment and labour-intensive methods. The 18m length rails were flash butt welded in situ using a VAIA Car On track welder. Ballasting, tamping, and profiling was ongoing, with the project at peak requiring a second work front to be under execution. At this stage, an additional set of On Track Plant & Equipment, comprising a mainline tamper, ballast regulator and ballast train, was established, which ensured the construction works remained on program.
The OHTE erection and installation ran concurrently with the trackwork. The only real challenge encountered was the existing ground conditions when preparing for the mast foundations. This was immediately resolved by establishing additional percussion drill rigs and track-mounted augur units.
The contract had extremely tight programme constraints, with initial commencement in March 2012 and the first stage completed by December 2012. The impeccable project safety standards achieved during construction were attributable to the Contractors’ stringent Mine Health & Safety Act.
Kumba Iron Ore
Northern Cape, South Africa