NRZ tackles the puzzle of obsolete locomotives

Zimbabwe National Railways (NRZ) is spending around US $ 1.2 million to repair each locomotive, which is not sustainable in the long term, the organization’s spokesperson revealed.

Currently, the NRZ has a total of 20 locomotives that have exceeded their lifespan by 25 years.

Ideally, the organization needs at least 41 for it to function optimally.

“We have constantly refocused some of our funds to focus specifically on getting spare parts for locomotives. That’s what we did and, to fix a locomotive, we normally need $ 1.2 million. dollars and keep in mind that these locomotives are now old, ”NRZ spokesman Nyasha Maravanyika (pictured) told The NewsHawks.

“I think the youngest is 29, but most of them are over 40. So a mending tower costs $ 1.2 million, but you’re not going to fix it, then it turns out. moves five years because they are old.

“So now if you say you fix them three or four times, that’s already US $ 4 million and yet a locomotive costs US $ 3.7 million. So ideally we would buy locomotives and, at going forward, I think the organization we’re definitely going to focus on that so that we at least find ways around our challenges. ”

As an interim measure, Maravanyika said its engineers have converted two models of diesel-electric locomotives 6, commonly known as D6s, to line locomotives to bypass traction capacity issues and reduce recurring rental costs for the organization.

He said engineers realized the need for the organization to reduce its locomotive challenges and resorted to converting its D6 locomotives to mainline locomotives, which will ultimately reduce rental costs for the railway entity.

The organization rents locomotives at US $ 1,500 per day and this intervention of the D6 conversion project to line locomotives costs ZW $ 100,000, representing huge savings for the NRZ as it is a payment. unique and maintenance free.

Converting D6 locomotives to line locomotives only means making it easier to use D6 locomotives on the main line where they carry different loads of freight over longer distances.

Maravanyika said they aim to convert nine D6s.

“The organization was still working hard on a recapitalization program. They are still working on relaunching the organization, especially our equipment, retooling our track and ensuring that we start to focus on investments that last. longer for the NRZ, ”he said.

He said the government has released ZW $ 250 million under the public sector investment program and the money will be spent mainly on the railroad.

“The outlook according to our strategic plan is that from 2020 to 2023, we are looking to break even, where we say our operations can now support the high fixed costs without the organization incurring a loss. Then from 2021 to 2025, we look at the growth. When we stabilize and break even, we look at growth, ”he said.

From 2025 to 2030, he said, the NRZ envisions expansion and regional dominance.

“Zimbabwe must become the region’s rail hub. Remember that as a country we are geographically positioned to ensure that we are the short route to various places in the region and Africa. create convenience for freight and rail customers in the region, ”said Maravanyika.

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