Mmegi Online :: BR spends millions for hi-tech shuttle
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Last Updated
Tuesday 20 November 2018, 13:46 pm.
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BR spends millions for hi-tech shuttle

Botswana Railways (BR) is investing millions of pula in three high-tech trains which will run as a shuttle service between Gaborone and Lobatse, replacing the existing long haul train operating on the route.
By Mbongeni Mguni Fri 31 Aug 2018, 12:48 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BR spends millions for hi-tech shuttle








Known as Diesel Mounted Units (DMUs), the shuttle will operate at a top speed of 100 kilometres per hour, compared to the Gaborone-Francistown train’s top speed of 80 kilometres per hour. DMUs are multiple-unit trains powered by onboard diesel engines.

The rail utility has put out an international tender to acquire three DMUs with five cars each, including two for power and three for trailers. BR corporate communications specialist, Sakaiyo Baitshepi told BusinessWeek that this is all about enhancing customer service.

“The DMUs are the most cost effective, fit for purpose means for commuter services,” he said.

“We will be replacing the coaches that have been running between Lobatse and Gaborone.

“Plans are underway to extend the service to other places in the northern parts.”

Baitshepi said the

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DMUs were part of the parastatal’s efforts to come up with innovative ways to “give our customers first class experience when using our trains”. “The DMUs will improve our customer satisfaction index,” he said. The DMU tender, meanwhile, has drawn excitement from locomotive suppliers globally, with reports that many have lined up to bid for the procurement tender, which closes on September 7.

While faster than the existing trains, the DMUs the BR is seeking to acquire are regarded as older technology in a global market where average shuttle speeds are above 130 kilometres per hour.

Many rail utilities, from Europe to Asia, have since replaced their slower DMUs with the variety that lie just behind the bullet trains popular in advanced economies.

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