Railways Africa: Bimodal Solutions Transforming Logistics in the Southern Africa Market

Railways Africa:

Railways Africa™ Magazine recently interviewed key role players in the partnership between Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and RailRunner SA (RRSA). These industry leaders are currently working in close collaboration to bring bimodal freight services to South Africa’s road and rail industries for the first time.

Thuthuka Dladla, TFR’s senior manager for inland intermodal and automotive operations; and Mike Asefovitz, TFR’s senior manager of corporate affairs, Mike Daniel the chief executive officer of RRSA; Thabiso Buku, the chairman of the RRSA board; shared their journey through more than five years of collaboration, negotiation and business development.

Intermodal Solutions for Africa’s Logistics Market

The technological revolution has brought many innovative changes to the logistics sector in recent years. In response to the ever-changing needs of the global supply chain as well as the introduction of new technologies that have forever shifted the way that goods are transported across the world, service providers have had to respond to market demands and adapt to new ways of doing business.

(PDF here)

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RailRunner Signs 20 Year Agreement with Transnet For South African Market

RailRunner’s patented bimodal technology to be used on national rail network

WALTHAM, Mass., Sept. 20, 2016 – RailRunner NA, Inc., a global innovator in cargo rail technology, today announced that its RailRunner South Africa unit has signed a 20-year agreement with Transnet Ltd, South Africa’s state-owned transport company, to put RailRunner’s high-density bi-modal trailers into service on the Cape Corridor and other parts of Transnet’s 20,000-km rail system. RailRunner values the contract at US$400 million in service revenues, and equipment sales by licensed third parties.

The first use of RailRunner technology will be on the 1,400-km Cape Town to Gauteng line, targeted for launch in 2018.

Transnet and RailRunner (through its South African subsidiary RailRunner SA) are forming a joint venture to implement the new technology, providing a door-to-door transportation system spanning road and rail. Transnet has authorized another local company, a subsidiary of RailRunner South Africa trading as RNS, to provide local network services through Transnet.

RailRunner’s unique trailer can carry standard shipping containers on rail lines or the highway, shifting quickly and easily from one to the other without the need for expensive cranes and the other equipment in a traditional intermodal hub. As importantly, the design of the RailRunner trailer packs the containers closer together, allowing for 20 to 40 percent more cargo on a given length of railcars. Yet the weight of the RailRunner trailer is less than a traditional flatcar, making for lower energy costs and carbon emissions.

The move by Transnet is part of the South African Government long-term Market Development Strategy (or MDS) to shift traffic from South Africa’s congested highways to more efficient rails.

“RailRunner technology is a perfect match for the challenges – and opportunities – Transnet faces in South Africa,” said Charles Foskett, CEO of RailRunner. “This will enable Transnet to offer a complete end-to-end transport solution for its customers, while reducing costs, harmful emissions, and highway traffic. RailRunner is excited to be a partner with Transnet, a world leader in rail freight transport.”

RailRunner has developed bimodal technology that allows a patented RailRunner trailer to run over the road as well as rail. The RailRunner trailers and bogies (the specialized sets of wheel that allow the trailers to operate on rails) are used to form a bimodal block train which can be connected to a standard locomotive for the terminal-to-terminal transport leg. RailRunner specialises in design, manufacture and supply of bimodal bogies and trailers. RailRunner trains can transport domestic trailer systems or international sea containers. Standardized containers handled by the RailRunner system can be interchanged between all modes of traditional intermodal transport: road, rail, and ship. The company is privately held and based in Waltham, MA.

Transnet is the largest freight logistics company in South Africa, spanning rails, pipelines, and port operations. The company reported revenues of R62.2 billion (US$4.34 billion) for the year ending March 31, 2016.

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For further RailRunner press information contact:

Mark Metzger
Metzger Communications
+1-781-254-4186
mmetzger@metzgerco.com

For further Transnet press information contact:

Sandile Similane
(27) 11-544-9584
(27) 83-703-4179
sandile.similane@transnet.net

Download a PDF of this Press Release.

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Transnet Brings Bimodal Freight Solutions Through RailRunner South Africa Partnership

15 September 2016

Transnet is excited to announce collaboration with RailRunner South Africa (RRSA). Transnet and RRSA have signed an agreement on a bimodal rail service that will create an end-to-end supply chain solution.

This revolutionary technology will be implemented in Africa for the first time on the Transnet rail network operated by Transnet Freight Rail. A bimodal service will offer customers a complete logistics solution on road and rail. This collaboration puts Transnet at the forefront of ground-breaking technology in the South African and African Rail industries.

Transnet and RRSA intend to form a joint venture whose sole objective is to explore, develop, and execute an integrated rail/road door-to-door solution for the African market. This joint venture will be in the form of a registered entity, in which each of the parties will hold a 50% shareholding. The venture will be constituted in a manner that enables both parties to participate in the making of strategic and day-to-day decisions with regard to all of the joint venture’s business.

The Cape (Cape to Gauteng) Corridor has been identified as a pilot route due to the flexibility and need for end-to-end solutions that this domestic market requires. This corridor integrates the long distance rail with the shorter first and last mile road legs that deliver cargo directly to a customer’s doorstep.

In addition, a privately owned operating company trading as “RNS” will also explore, develop, and execute an integrated road to rail door to door solution for the African market. The shareholding of this entity will be advised once negotiations relating to this shareholding have been completed. RNS and Transnet’s joint venture will compete in the market on an equal footing.

A number of local manufacturing companies, including Transnet Engineering, have been pre-qualified to manufacture the RailRunner bimodal units, and requests for quotations will be issued later this month.

In line with Transnet’s Market Demand Strategy (MDS) this bimodal solution will realise Transnet’s strategy to get rail friendly traffic off the road and onto rail.

The RailRunner® technology provides a unique logistics solution to South Africa’s freight transportation infrastructure and gives the benefits of lower shipping costs for container, trailer, and food transporters. This revolutionary system also has reduced energy consumption which will ultimately reduce the carbon footprint of freight transportation.

This is not only a breakthrough for Transnet and the rail industry, but also for South Africa’s domestic freight industry. This bimodal logistics solution will ultimately enhance the economic competiveness and growth of freight rail transport in South Africa, potentially increase Transnet’s market share within the domestic freight environment and further create job opportunities.

RailRunner uses bimodal technology that allows a RailRunner bespoke designed trailer to run over the road as well as rail. The RailRunner trailers and bogies are used to form a bimodal block train which can be connected to a standard locomotive for the terminal to terminal transport leg. RailRunner specialises in design, manufacture and supply of both bogies and bespoke trailers. The standardised containers handled by the RailRunner system can be interchanged between all modes of traditional intermodal transport, i.e. road, rail, and RoRo on ship.

-End-

Issued by Transnet Freight Rail

For further information contact:

Sandile Simelane
Spokesperson: Transnet Freight Rail
Tel: 011- 544 9584
Cell: 083 703 4179

For further information from RailRunner contact:

Mike Daniel
CEO RailRunner South Africa (Pty) Ltd.
Tel: 011-462 0577
Cell: 082 888 4422

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RailRunner Europe Launches Dreaming Of GigaLiner Campaign

RailRunner Europe Launches Dreaming Of GigaLiner Campaign

Focus on high-performance and innovative rail technologies (Hamburg, 27 October 2015)

The use of long HGVs currently dominates the debate on transport policy in Europe. Once again the potential high performance of rail, given the stronger haulage and greater utility of modern rail technologies, is drowned out in the discussion.

Therefore RailRunner Europe GmbH, the innovative rail-technology company, in preparing the successful adaptation of its bimodal RailRunner technology, as tried and tested in the USA, is launching in Europe a campaign entitled

“Dreaming of GigaLiner?”

Its aim is to spotlight more strongly the potential of innovative rail technologies in Europe. As in the USA, adaptation and market launch is planned on the basis of private financing models.

Most recently RailRunner Technology was selected as one of three finalists at the renowned future prize for logistics of the Hamburg metropolitan area. The bimodal RailRunner system scored well with its several new technological developments, designed to strengthen the position of road-rail transport and the acceptance of railgoods traffic. These include: pneumatic suspension, independently self-guiding axels, shock-absorber systems of the type usual in road traffic, plus disk brakes, fork-lift receptacles, a locking and security system integrated into the bogie, and a built-in ramp for fast “drive-on-drive-off” train formation.

At the same time as the campaign is launched, RailRunner Europe’s English internet site (www.railrunnereurope.com) will be up and running. A sound-free presentation video in seven different European languages (Danish, German, English, French, Polish, Swedish and Spanish) explains and demonstrates the benefits of bimodal technology. Further languages will follow.

RailRunner sees a pioneering future and ready acceptance particularly in the system’s well-developed capacity for collaboration. “Rail-goods traffic in Europe can also reach the flexibility of the HGV with the aid of innovative technologies in combined rail and road transport”, says Gerhard Oswald, founding director of RailRunner Europe GmbH.

RailRunner Europe GmbH of Hamburg was founded in January 2015 with the aim of launching on the European market an adaptation of the innovative technologies developed by its parent company RailRunner NA Inc., with headquarters in Waltham, Massachusetts (www.railrunner.com). The new innovative generation of bimodal rolling stock incorporates a technology which has been used successfully and reliably in the USA for more than 25 years. RailRunner’s certified products have been working there defect-free for more than 9 years.

Contact: RailRunner Europe GmbH, Gerhard Oswald, Phone +49 209406490, eMail: info@railrunnereurope.com

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IANA Intermodal Expo

IANA Intermodal Expo
Houston, TX
Nov 17 – 19, 2013
Visit us at Booth 533

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Railway Interchange 2013

Railway Interchange 2013
Indianapolis, IN
Sep 29 – Oct 1, 2013
Attending only

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Transport Logistic 2013

Transport Logistic 2013
Munich, Germany
June 4 – 7th, 2013
Attending only

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RailRunner Moves Senior Exec to Europe

Graaff to Oversee Europe Introduction

RailRunner COO Wolfgang Graaff is transferring to Europe to directly manage the homologation and certification of RailRunner products for the European market

WALTHAM, MA, February 19, 2013 – RailRunner, N.A., Inc., the developer of innovative rail products and services providing low-cost intermodal transportation solutions to shippers today announced changes in its management emphasizing its commitment to strengthen its European operations and more effectively manage homologation and certification of RailRunner products for the European market.

Longtime Vice President and Chief Operating and Technology Officer of RailRunner, Wolfgang Graaff will return to Germany in March 2013 and assume new European responsibilities for the company. From 1983 to 1995 Graaff was CEO of Graaff GmbH, a world-renowned manufacturer of railcars, trailers and ISO containers as well as refrigerated transport equipment. He will continue his technology leadership at RailRunner as corporate Chief Engineer and will continue to advise Management and the Board on global strategy as the Company expands its international business.

“Wolfgang has brought RailRunner through major product upgrades, into commercial manufacturing and through FRA approval to operate on three Class I rail networks and other rail routes in North America” said Charles Foskett, RailRunner CEO. “RailRunner offers a uniquely high-value proposition in international markets, and Wolfgang’s direct involvement in our market entry will insure RailRunner’s efficient progress through local certification protocols and a successful commercial rollout.”

RailRunner’s unique Terminal Anywhere™ system enables shippers to combine the economics of rail with the flexibility of trucking, while linking directly into the international containerized shipping network.

By allowing trailers and containers to be predominantly carried by more energy efficient rail, RailRunner’s technology can significantly mitigate the impact of high fuel cost and their volatility in the transportation formula while at the same time, providing more direct, cost-effective access to the intermodal and containerized transport network, opening new markets for shippers and rail carriers.

RailRunner intermodal trains are assembled directly from the trailer or container carrying RailRunner highway chassis, using compact specialized rail vehicles called “bogies.” The trailer or chassis and container is coupled to the bogie. The highway vehicle wheels are raised pneumatically, allowing track clearance, thus transforming the road vehicle to a rail vehicle in a matter of minutes. Train assembly requires no lifting of the trailer or shipping container, and is fast, simple and cost-efficient, comparing favorably with container unit loading times of traditional intermodal.

This advanced RailRunner system requires far less capital equipment and cost for building and operating terminals, therefore RailRunner train assembly points can be located in many places where trucking or container volumes do not support the investment in a traditional intermodal site. Bringing the Terminal Anywhere closer to the shipper reduces the distance cargo has to travel by truck, while retaining the flexibility of trucking in the transportation network.

RailRunner’s “Road-Ready” intermodal means low-cost shipping for businesses and communities, with lower carbon emissions for every ton of cargo moved.

About RailRunner

RailRunner (www.railrunner.com) is an innovative rail products and services company bringing a new Road-Ready intermodal rail product to shippers worldwide. RailRunner’s worldwide patented container-carrying bi-modal system is designed to quickly; simply and efficiently shift chassis and container to and from highway to rail and back. With RailRunner’s low-investment Terminal Anywhere™ technology, no flatcars, pocket or well cars, huge cranes, high-value lift equipment or expensive terminal infrastructure are involved. Road-Ready trailers or chassis extend trucking or container services to markets and locations not previously reachable, improving shipping efficiency, lowering fuel cost, and reducing traffic congestion and air pollution, thus supporting environmental goals of transferring freight transport from road to more environmental-friendly rail. The company is privately held and based in Waltham, MA.

For further RailRunner press information contact:

Mark Metzger
Metzger Communications
+1-781-254-4186
mmetzger@metzgerco.com

Download a PDF of this Press Release.

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IANA Intermodal Expo

IANA Intermodal Expo
Anaheim, CA
Nov 11 – 13, 2012
Visit us at Booth 338

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InnoTrans 2012

InnoTrans 2012
Berlin, Germany
Sep 18 – 21, 2012
Attending only

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