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​Branch Line Concessions


Transnet’s corridor model and segment strategy supports the development of economic growth and activities nationally and in the region. In exploiting its core in the different operating divisions in the Group, Private Sector Participation ‘PSP’ has been identified as key to accelerate growth opportunities in the business and the country. In keeping with this and under the leadership of the Chief Executive of Transnet Freight Rail, an adjusted approach to Branch Lines PSP’s was presented to TFR and Group Exco and approval obtained to proceed and accelerate these PSP opportunities.

Branch Lines are largely situated in rural and agricultural areas of our country and requires resuscitation and renewal. The corridor model, headed by Managing Executives, have these Branch Lines situated within their areas of control and hence, an integrated approach to the adjusted model being pursued.

Branch Lines are important feeders into the core business and includes key objectives such as the migration from road to rail, promotion of intermodal solutions, the application of new technologies for efficiency, productivity, ease of operations such as the use of swop bodies, terminal handling equipment and revolutionary road to rail interventions that can advance the roll-out of these PSP opportunities in the market.  

The age and heritage nature of the railways and specifically the Branch Lines, including real estate and facilities, lends itself well to the promotion of freight on rail, creation of passenger tourism opportunities with a focus on rail-based tourism train operations. Preservation and expansion of a rail heritage legacy in continuing with steam trains, will unlock new and additional downstream jobs and job opportunities in the food, wine, agriculture markets and other economic activities.

The Red Devil Locomotive of Transnet. A renowned heritage asset (source: Wikipedia).
The Red Devil Locomotive of Transnet. A renowned heritage asset.
Grahamstown Railway Station - (source: Heritage portal)
The ​Grahamstown Railway Station. (Source: Heritage Portal)
Umgeni Steam Railway (source: Google
Umgeni Steam Railway (Source: Google)​


The main freight on rail strategy seeks to aggressively promote private sector participation opportunities, continuation of the revitalisation of branch lines, creating and upgrading capacity in areas that will contribute to socio-economic and local development. The creation of employment opportunities in the areas of production for cartage services that are fully integrated into the rail and port terminal systems as well as the development of downstream industries within this environment.

The partnerships that Transnet will contribute to in the market with the private and public sectors must innovate to contribute to growth in volumes on rail, increased densification on the branch and main lines, reducing the cost of doing business and injecting a fresh breeze into the broader industry.


Governance, approval and modus operandi with Branch Lines:                                                 

·         TFR obtained approval from Group Exco that the CE is authorised to take the various

       opportunities to market.

·         The CE approved memoranda and under the auspices of TFR Supply Chain Services and

     governance and in conjunction with the Branch Lines team members, tenders are prepared and advertised in the market to attract private sector participation.

·     Tender packs are prepared following SCS templates and governance to advertise in the National Treasury e-portal for tenders and Transnet tender portal.

·       The first six opportunities are out in the market for the 2021-2022 financial year and the rest will be rolled out across subsequent financial years. 

Ceres Rail revival (source: Google)
Ceres Rail revival (sou​​rce: Google)
Franschhoek Wine Tram (source:Google)
Franschhoek Wine Tram (source:Google)​

Transnet Museum – George (source: Google)