Citrus moves from road to rail


A public and private partnership between Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and the Citrus Growers Association (CGA) to get citrus exports onto rail is “equal to the task of getting SA working”, according to a senior Transnet official.

TFR acting chief executive Lloyd Tobias said in a statement issued on Monday that the citrus export service introduced in partnership with the Musina Intermodal Terminal had shown how the railway operator was “once again responding to one of the fastest-growing industries in South Africa”.

The first train departed on 5 August.

“Musina Intermodal Terminal was able to load the train with support from the technicians from MSC to ensure that the trains run efficiently into the port. The train was placed in Kings Rest railway yard on Saturday 10 August and departed back to Musina on 11 August. Subsequently trains have continued service the inland terminal,” said Tobias.

The service caters for producers in South Africa and Zimbabwe, as well as farmers located along to the Limpopo River.

“This initiative on the North-South Rail corridor will contribute to the objective to deliver a seamless, safe, reliable and competitive railway service. Furthermore, this partnership promotes rail over road transport which will contribute to the preservation of southern Africa’s road network,” said Tobias.

He added that a weekly service to rail fruit was introduced from City Deep to the port of Durban on 13 August.


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