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Success, 150 years in the making Transnet Rail Engineering’s Salt River Works celebrated 150 years in 2012.

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here was a time when the municipality of Woodstock was one of the richest and most powerful in the southern hemisphere. That was when the municipality stood apart from Cape Town and included in its borders the Salt River rail workshops. If gold and diamonds brought the industrial age to South Africa, it was the railways that delivered the iron, steel and technology. TRE Salt River recently celebrated 150 years of excellence. The Salt River plant opened for business in 1862. From its initial brief to service the rolling As an important part of the TRE Coaches stock that ran along the line from Cape Town to Business, and with a strong suit in Rotating Wellington, Salt River evolved into a multi-purpose Machines, Rolling Stock Components, Auxiliary facility that numbered 980 staff members in 1910, and Wheels, Salt River TRE is once again a when the Union of South Africa was proclaimed. powerful force within the rail economy. Salt River has seen several booms and busts. The Salt River Coaches Business refurbishes, By 1881, the works area covered more than upgrades and repairs about 100 coaches every 5 000 square metres and included a foundry, year and built the Phelophelpa II health train. The a woodworking shop and a springsmith shop. Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) wants A traverser was added in 1886. 3 860 coaches refurbished by 2015. In the boom years that followed World War I, the Locomotives on the Sishen-Saldanha line are floor space grew to nearly 30 000 square metres sent to Salt River for repairs. The Saldanha TRE on an 80-acre property. The staff complement depot deals with repairs to the iron-ore wagons grew to 2 139. The current Wagon Yard stands that routinely make up the 7km-long trains transporting the mineral to the port. on land reclaimed from the sea. In the modern era, Salt River experienced Salt River supplies support services to the a steady decline in output as a result of more Saldanha and Bellville depots. A total of 1 300 modern facilities being built in the north, and the staff are employed at the three facilities. overall decline in railway usage that resulted from Salt River TRE’s School of Engineering trained deregulation of the transport industry. 194 artisans in 2011, keeping up the tradition By the year 2000, staff at Salt River barely started back in 1883 when the Salt River Railway numbered 400, but as a plant under Transnet Institute opened. The Institute prided itself on Rail Engineering (TRE), Salt River has forged its huge library and promoted a culture of back strongly. self-improvement. WESTERN CAPE BUSINESS 2013

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Profile for Young and Enterprising

Success, 150 years in the making  

Transnet Rail Engineering's Salt River works celebrated 150 years in 2012.

Success, 150 years in the making  

Transnet Rail Engineering's Salt River works celebrated 150 years in 2012.

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