Investment in freight: Bombardier Transportation is supplying South African operator Transnet Rail Freight with 240 Traxx locomotives.
Courtesy Bombardier

THE FUTURE of the heavy haul industry will be the central focus at the 11th International Heavy Haul Association conference, held in Cape Town, South Africa from 4-6 September. The event will also cover a host of technical topics, including insights and updates on heavy haul developments, rail expansion plans and global technological advancements.

The conference theme is ‘Advancing heavy haul technologies and operations in a changing world’. A two-day technical workshop on 2-3 September will precede the conference itself, and will discuss areas such as vehicle-track interaction, track geometry, rail life management and maintenance, and the importance of well-maintained rolling stock. An overview of bridges and structures for heavy haul will also be shared.

The main conference comprises daily plenary sessions and five parallel streams focusing on themes such as vehicle track systems, track, bridges and tunnels, operations, rolling stock and motive power, traction and energy efficiency. The conference will be followed by a technical tour of Transnet’s Saldanha port facilities and iron ore heavy haul line. Transnet Freight Rail’s executive Brian Monakali has called for the heavy haul industry to broaden its view and encompass the entire supply chain. In South Africa only 15% of the country’s rail-friendly freight is transported by rail, with road haulage the predominant mode.