TRANSNAMIB suffered damages of more than N$65 million to its infrastructure and rolling stock when a train derailed at the coast during the early hours of Saturday.
The derailment occurred at 06h15 at the railway crossing at Dune 7.
According to the acting chief executive officer of TransNamib, Eugenia Tjaronda, two locomotives and 17 loaded wagons derailed and piled up over a distance of 70 metres.
“Preliminary investigations and witness reports to the police indicate that at approximately 23h00 on Friday night, a lorry drove over the railway line and got stuck. As a result, the railway line got damaged and a section broke off. Unfortunately this incident was not reported to the TransNamib team in order to stop trains until the railway line was repaired,” she said.
She said by the time the train driver saw the gap in the line it was too late to stop the locomotives from derailing, adding that the train driver was treated for shock and his assistant taken to hospital to be treated for injuries.
“The TransNamib emergency/contingency plan is in full swing, and teams from Engineering and Operations are on site busy clearing all wreckages from the railway line.
“With dedicated, committed and concerted effort from these teams, the line will hopefully be operational by today.”
However, she pointed out that TransNamib suffered enormous damage to its infrastructure and rolling stock.
“The costs are roughly estimated at N$64,8 million for rolling stock taking into consideration that one flatbed wagon costs about N$300 000 and a locomotive costs approximately N$30 million. Costs roughly estimated with regard to the infrastructure damage are N$250 000 which includes the damage to the railway line, but excludes the hiring of a 500-ton crane at a cost of N$2 000 per hour,” said Tjaronda.
According to her the total estimated damage to both infrastructure and rolling stock thus amounts to over N$65 million, excluding revenue losses and the dent in rail safety reputation.
“One of our loyal clients, Purity Manganese, unfortunately also suffered losses. The containers were all fully loaded with manganese.”