FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

  1. WHAT SERVICES DOES ESR PROVIDE?
    • ESR provides rail transport, warehousing and storage facilities for shippers. Other services include container repositioning, cargo tracking and the delivery and collection of containers to and from customer premises.
  2. WHAT COMMODITIES ARE CURRENTLY HAULED BY ESR?
    • ESR moves a variety of commodities comprising petroleum products, wheat, coal, cement, sugar, cars, canned fruit, household effects, ethanol, citric acid, phosphoric acid, refrigerator components, textile and apparel, malt, caramel colour, fertilizers, books and general goods. 
  3. HOW MANY CONTAINERS CAN A TRAIN HAUL AT ONCE?
    • A single train can haul up to 160 containers simultaneously.
  4. WHAT IS THE CAPACITY OF THE ESR NETWORK?
    • The mainline can handle a maximum 12 trains up and 12 trains down per day. The axle loading varies between 18tons per axle and 21, 5 tons per axle.
  5. HOW IS CARGO DELIVERED FROM THE PORT TO CUSTOMER PREMISES AND VICE VERSA?
    • The intermodal approach of road to rail and rail to road is used to collect and deliver cargo between the port and customer premises.
  6. HOW FAR CAN TRAINS TO AND FROM SWAZILAND REACH?
    • The ESR network avails connectivity to all SADC countries and extends to other countries up north including up to the DRC.
  7. HOW DO I GET RAIL RATES TO OTHER COUNTRIES WITHIN AND OUTSIDE SADC?
    • The Railway administration receiving the inquiry issues a comprehensive rail rate for the total trip covered through the countries and rail networks.
  8. HOW ARE TRAINS CONTROLLED TO ENSURE SAFE RUNNING?
    • A 24 hour train control office at Mpaka issues train tokens to authorise the movement of trains through the network.
  9. CAN CARGO BE OFFLOADED AND LOADED ANYWHERE ALONG THE RAIL NETWORK?
    • Most bulk and containerized cargo can only loaded and offloaded at Matsapha station. Coal and sugar are loaded at Maloma and Mlawula sidings respectively.
  10. WHICH IS MORE COST EFFECTIVE BETWEEN ROAD AND RAIL TRANSPORT?
    • Due to the fact that the train is able to haul huge volumes of cargo all at once, it remains the most cost effective mode of transport as compared to road.
  11. HOW IS COST EFFECTIVENESS ACHIEVED IN RAIL TRANSPORT?
    • Rail transports cargo in bulk as compared to road transport, giving the customer an advantage to move bigger volumes at least costs.
  12. WHAT ARE THE TRANSIT TIMES BETWEEN MATSAPHA AND THE DESTINATION PORTS?
    • Matsapha/Maputo Port - 1 Day
    • Matsapha/Richards Bay Port - 2 Days
    • Matsapha/Durban Port - 3 Days
  13. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING RAIL TRANSPORT?
    • High cargo safety & security
    • High volume/bulk capacity
    • Limited border constrains
    • Documentation on site
    • Predictability of train service
    • Economy and reliability
    • Efficient connection to the ports
    • Progressive cargo tracking
    • Environmental friendliness (Low Carbon emissions and noise pollution)
  14. WHAT IS AN INLAND CONTAINER DEPOT? (ICD)
    • This is the designated area for dispatch and receiving of containers inland. It is the country’s only dry port strategically located to efficiently handle cargo to and from countries up north through Eswatini.
  15. HOW MANY STATIONS DOES ESR HAVE AROUND THE COUNTRY?
    • ESR stations are at Matsapha, Sidvokodvo, Mlawula, Mpaka, Phuzumoya, Mhlume, Big Bend and Nsoko. Trains are dispatched and received at Matsapha and Train Control is housed at Mpaka with Mbabane as the Administrative Head Quarters.    
  16. WHAT ARE ESR OPERATIONAL HOURS?
    • Operationally ESR operates 24 hours 7 days a week. Office hours are Mondays to Fridays, 8am – 5pm. The ESR Team is readily available to work extended hours, holidays and weekends when required.   
  17. DOES ESR HAVE REPRESENTATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES?
    • Eswatini Railways has representation in both Mozambique and South Africa. There are 3 ESR employees at the Joint Operation Centre (JOC), 1 representative based in Maputo and another one in Nelspruit. Penfreight Consulting also handles this responsibility for the Richards Bay Corridor.  
  18. WHAT KEY ASSETS DOES ESR OWN?
    • ESR owns among other key assets; 4 locomotives, 2 Reach Stackers, 24 Skeletal Trailers, 1 Bull Dozer, 75 Mineral Wagons, 101 fuel tankers, 116 Sugar Wagons, 60 Container Wagons, 57 General Purpose Wagons, 120 Tarpaulins and 5 Guard Vans.
  19. WHICH STRATEGIC PARTNERS WORK CLOSELY WITH ESR?
    • Railway companies include but not limited to Transnet Freight Railway (TFR), Mozambique Ports & Railways (CFM) Zambia Railways Limited (ZRL), National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), and Botswana Railways (BR). Others include Penfreight Consulting, Scarl Transport, Temlo Holdings, Eswatini Revenue Authority, Mediterranean Shipping Company Eswatini, Safmarine Eswatini (Pty) Ltd, the Eswatini Freight Forwarders Association, Eswatini Investment Promotion Authority, Eswatini Textile Apparel and Traders Association and others within the logistics chain.
  20. WHAT IS A LEVEL CROSSING?
    • This is a place where the railway line interfaces with road or a pedestrian crossing. It is a designated place on the railway line for the authorised crossing of pedestrians and motor vehicles
  21. CAN AN APPROACHING TRAIN ELECTROCUTE A PERSON CROSSING THE RAILWAY LINE?
    • No, a train cannot electrocute a person crossing the railway line. Pedestrians have to keep a very safe distance from the railway line at all times
  22. WHEN WILL SWAZILAND RAILWAY BRING BACK THE JOY RIDE TRAIN THAT ONCE RAN IN SWAZILAND?
    • This is one of the strategic initiatives currently being undertaken for implementation by the end of March 2017. Information on bookings shall be available on the ESR website and the media once the logistics have been finalised.
  23. WHAT KIND OF PROJECTS ARE SPONSORED BY SWAZILAND RAILWAY?
    • The ESR Corporate Investment policy outlines projects in Education; Environment; Social and Economic Development.
  24. WHAT IS SWAZILAND RAILWAY DOING AS A SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY INITIATIVE?
    • Like all organisations out there, Eswatini Railways is always keen on giving back to the community. The company has sponsored many social, economic up-liftment activities and sporting events in the past years. This is an ongoing initiative under the CEO’s office.
  25. WHAT DOES ESRL STAND FOR?
    • ESRL stands for Eswatini Rail Link. This is the proposed rail line that will be connecting Eswatini and South Africa from Phuzumoya through Bhunya to Davel on the other side of the border line.
  26. WHY DOES SWAZILAND RAILWAY NOT HAVE A PASSENGER TRAIN LIKE SOUTH AFRICA AND MOZAMBIQUE?
    • The population of the country is not big enough to afford the company a viable daily passenger train service running through the cities. However, consideration is being made for tourist train rides through areas of interest during festive and cultural seasons.
  27. WHERE ARE TRAIN DRIVING LESSONS CONDUCTED?
    • Railway administrations like ESR train their own drivers who also qualify to drive trains in other countries within and outside SADC.
  28. WHERE CAN ONE LEARN MORE ABOUT SWAZILAND RAILWAY?
  29. WHAT MILESTONES HAS ESR ACHIEVED IN THE LAST 10 YEARS?
    • Purchase of 20 fuel tank wagons in 2010
    • ISO 2008:9001 Accreditation in 2012
    • Acquisition of 4 locomotives in 2014
    • Acquisition of 75 CR wagons in 2014 for transit traffic
    • Celebrated Golden Jubilee in 2014
    • Purchase of 50 fuel tank wagons in 2016
    • Acquisition of 40 Container wagons in 2016
    • Progressive real time cargo tracking and reporting
  30. WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM TRAIN SPEED ON THE SWAZILAND NETWORK?
    • The maximum speed on the ESR network is 60KM/H

Eswatini Railways Building
Dzeliwe Street
Mbabane

Tel: +268 2411 7400
Fax: +268 2411 7499

Email: info@swazirail.co.sz

P.O. Box 475
Mbabane
Hhohho
H100
Kingdom of Eswatini

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