The National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has converted two Diesel Electric 6 (D6s) locomotive models to mainline locomotives to curb capacity challenges on traction power as well as reducing recurring hiring costs for the organisation.
NRZ public relations manager, Mr. Nyasha Maravanyika, said his organisation has been hiring locomotives at US$1 500 per day.
“NRZ engineers, mainly in our traction and rolling stock together with related sections, realised the need for the organisation to curtail its locomotive challenges and resorted to the conversion of its D6s locomotives to mainline locomotives, which ultimately will reduce hiring costs for the rail entity,” he said in a statement.
“The organisation has been hiring locomotives at US$1 500 per day and this intervention of the conversion project of D6s to mainline locomotives costs RTGS$100 000, thus presenting huge savings for the NRZ as this is a once-off payment and maintenance free.”
The conversion of D6s to mainline locomotives only means facilitating the D6 locomotives to be utilised on the mainline where they ferry different loads of freight cargo for longer distances.
“This intervention conversion project has so far seen the NRZ engineers equipping two D6 locomotives (1606 and 1609) out of the targeted nine with Programmable Logic Controller (PLC).
“PLC is a transition gear that enables them to switch speeds, thus, making them run long distances at an alternating speed with more load compared to the normal D6 models, which are mostly used for shunting purposes only in our yards because they have a constant speed,” said Mr. Maravanyika.