Tel: +27 11 898 6800 | Email:

Northern rail extension project

All railway sleepers for the contract were manufactured at Aveng Grinaker-LTA’s factory in Tsumeb. A total of 26 000 tons of rail (sufficient for 270km of track) was imported from Italy, shipped to Walvis Bay and then transported by rail to Tsumeb. Ballast stone was available in stockpiles at quarries at Aris and Okorusu and transported in AY wagons to site by rail at a rate of 4 000m³ per week. The total staff complement on site was 180 people, 90% of which were drawn from the local community.


Location Namibia, Tsumeb
Title Northern Railway Line Extension
Client Ministry of Works & Transport
Construction Period May 2004 – July 2006
Work Constructed by Aveng Rail
Associated Companies Aveng Grinaker-LTA Tsumeb
JV Partners Transnamib Holdings (25%)
Main Quantities 246km of track was constructed
Rails: 48kg/m 25 000 tons
Sleepers: P2 concrete 370 000
Ballast: 340 000 m³
Turnouts: 1:9 on steel 22
Turnouts: 1:12 on concrete 20
Thermit welds: 5 300
Flashbutt welds: 9 600
Level crossings: 300

The work included:
• Contractor’s site establishment
• Survey and staking of the track centreline
• Load from stack at Tsumeb, transport and offload on site
rails, turnouts, sleepers and fastenings
• Construct skeleton track
• Offload ballast delivered in AY wagons on site
• Lift, align and tamp track to the design line and level
• Weld 36m rails into long welded rail and destress
• Heavy on-track machines used: two sets of gantries
• Tamper, regulator, flash butt welder and two rail threaders
• Construct turnouts and track in three station yards and
four crossing loops
• Construct level crossings
• Supply and install flange lubricators, track signs, road
signs, stop blocks, off tracking platforms, cattle guards
and some fencing
• Earthworks for erosion repairs to formation and service