Aveng Rail has invested in a 20 T Hyundai wheeled excavator from HPE Africa, that will be used during the construction of approximately 60 km of rail track near the coal fired Majuba Power Station in Mpumalanga.
“Aveng Rail, which has adopted the same methodology that has been successfully used in a joint venture with an Australian associate company – McConnell Dowell Construction – is setting a new trend in local rail track construction, by laying sleepers using an rubber wheeled excavator. This is a very exciting development for South Africa’s railways sector,” says Alex Ackron, managing director, HPE Africa – exclusive distributors in South Africa for Hyundai earthmoving equipment. “A conventional gantry system and labour is normally used to lift and position heavy sleepers – and with this conventional method, approximately 200 sleepers could be placed a day. By using the high performance Hyundai wheeled excavator, it is anticipated that up to 1 000 railway sleepers, correctly spaced, will be positioned in an eight hour shift.
“This methodology of the laying out of sleepers on new rail formation enables long welded rail of 240m lengths to be offloaded from a rail train, directly onto the sleepers, advancing laid track at a rapid rate.”
The new section of rail track forms part of a two year construction project that will improve the efficiency of transportation of coal to the power plant. The additional railroad will replace current transport of coal by road to the plant and will also serve as an alternate route of the coal export line. Majuba is currently Eskom’s only plant operating a train tippler system.
HPE Africa’s technical team has fitted the Hyundai R210W excavator with a tilt rotor attachment (Engcon E226) and has specially modified an Octopus grapple to be able handle 2m wide sleepers, which are standard in the local railways sector. Various attachments will improve the versatility of tasks handled by the excavator. Buckets, grader blades, ploughs, an hydraulic brush box, a vacuum system, forks and a rail clamp, can be changed out within seconds due to the quick hitch tilt rotator fitted to the excavator.
Additional hydraulic valves operated from the driver chair will allow the operator to manipulate the hydraulic functions of the attachments as required.
Important features of this versatile machine include a Tier 3 fuel efficient engine, an adjustable boom, a heavy duty carrier frame with two speed powershift transmission and ground line access to components for convenient maintenance. An advanced hydraulic system ensures smooth performance and easy control.
A computer aided power optimisation system ensures the optimum level of power and hydraulic flow for every application. The operator is able to select preferences for boom or swing priority, power mode and optional work tools. The operator cab has been designed for improved visibility and enhanced comfort.
HPE works closely with a broad customer base to modify equipment, when necessary, to meet exact performance requirements. Stringent field tests ensure every machine conforms with stringent quality and safety specifications and meets exact application requirements.
Aveng Rail, specialists in rail construction and mechanised rail maintenance, is a major contributor to the railroad network that links South Africa, Swaziland, Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Mozambique. The company is expanding operations into other parts of Africa and in Australia and South East Asia.