There are over 50 private siding owners in Limpopo and in cases where they are located in an established industrial area, access to the nearest Spoornet line is usually via industrial lines owned and maintained by the local municipalities. With the decline in the rail share of the general freight market, many sidings and access lines are either underutilised or disused. Considering increasing road congestion it may be advantageous to reconsider the use of some of these sidings in the future. The following information is the latest update of the status of rail in the identified industrial areas. It is followed by a section detailing private sidings that are linked directly to Spoornet lines at stations and halts in Limpopo and the North West Province through which the line runs.
This industrial estate, located about 50 km north of Rustenburg on the R510 was originally developed as a "border industry" development for the former Bophuthatswana. It was rail connected by an 8 km line from Heystakrand but the lines have been uplifted since the railway administration changed its policy in respect of socio-economic services which undermined the general freight sector.
The industrial area in Makhado is spread from north of the railway station to the south along the railway line and adjacent to the N1. Only two private sidings serving grain mills at the station are in currently use, while those in the southern industrial area, including liquid fuel depots, are all out of use but still intact
A small industrial area to the south of the station serves a few private siding owners, although none are currently utilised.
There is a small industrial area on the east side of the railway line and there are two or three private sidings, only one which serves a grain silo is in current use. A substantial quantity of a lime product (over 287 000 tons in 2011), classed as "Earth" is loaded at the station and is railed to Pyramid South from where distribution is by road.
Apart from passing trains, the only "industrial" railway activity in Musina is on the south side of town where coal from the nearby colliery is loaded. The old copper mine directly to the north of town has been closed for some time. A grain mill receives grain by rail although it is not rail-connected.
The Polokwane industrial area is located to the north of the Polokwane urban area. It is served from the Polokwane yard at the north end with a service line providing a link with several private sidings for liquid fuel companies, grain mills and a cement distributor. Another line runs from the northern end of the railway yard to the Dendron Industrial area. A small yard is located at the far end of this line and two private sidings serve a liquid fuel depot and a grain miller. The industrial rail facilities in Polokwane are the busiest in Limpopo.
Prior to the late 1970's the railway went through the heart of town but with the construction of the Tzaneen dam it was relocated on high ground to the south-west of town. There is a new industrial development area here but the only private railway siding currently in use serves a liquid fuel depot.
The places listed below serve individual companies that have private sidings but are not associated with developed industrial townships.
It is important to appreciate the fact that in official railway terminology, a station is a manned facility serving both passenger and freight services. Many former stations have been downgraded to mere passing loops or halts which have not passing loops. The places listed below are identified in terms of their current status. A passing loop is generally regarded as a halt, although a halt may not have a passing loop.
A lime product has been loaded here in the past but during 2011 was loaded at Naboomspruit. In addition, some 9 000 tons of maize was received for use by a local mill.
Site of a long private siding to a military camp. A small amount of ammunition was received while ammunition and explosives were dispatched prior to 2004. It is assumed that any such current traffic is on road since the line's closure.
Location of a large cement factory near the original Middelwit station which has expanded its production recently. Shrink-wrapped palletised cement is loaded here and railed to various distribution centres in Gauteng and further afield.
A large timber pole treating plant is situated adjacent to the station and while the siding is intact, it is not currently being used.
Andalusite from a nearby mine is brought by road to a siding area at the station. Some 17 000 tons was loaded during 2011 (Down from 45 000 tons in 2007 shipped for export to Richards Bay.
A small station where 4 113 tons of Aviation fuel was received during 2011.
A line works was still loading lime products at this point in the 2003 - 2004 review period but this has since ceased and there is no service on the Zebediela branch.
A small yard is located on a branch from the west side of the halt and chrome ore for export is loaded once or twice a month. During 2007 nearly 70 000 tons was forwarded to Richards Bay but this increased to 266 495 tons in 2011, most likely due to the increased international demand.
The very large coal mine will supply coal by conveyor to the local power station, and by rail to various domestic steel mills and for export. The mine operates its own locomotives.
A busy citrus loading point. In the past, this was a major fruit loading point but the traffic declined significantly during 2011. Orangedene and Hoedspruit are also fruit loading points.
The location of a large dolomite quarry, developed during the 1930's for the Pretoria iron and steel works. Over 85 000 tons of dolomitic limestone was railed into the early 2000's but this has ceased with closure of the branch.
A large and expanding cement factory located at the end of a private siding extending to the west of the former station area which is no longer used. During 2011 over 550 000 tons cement was railed from this point, mainly to Gauteng but about 21 000 tons was sent to Maputo.
There is an industrial area at the end of a short spur on the south-east side of the station. A liquid fuel depot received over 135 000 tons of product during the review period, down from over 260 000 tons during the earlier 2007 report.
There has been no rail traffic here for a number of years but the fruit loading shed is still intact and could be used in the future.
Junction of the out of use Zebediela branch. Grain traffic from the local silo was routed to countries in the north during the mid-2000's but there has been no recent traffic. Service lines for the branch are now disused and the yard facilities are underutilised. 287196 tons of a lime commodity (48) was railed to Pyramid South during the 2011 calendar year.
Export fruit to Durban was railed from this point in the past but none during 2011.
Over 300 000 tons of coal was loaded for dispatch to Vanderbijlpark and Pretoria. Compared to the past, no citrus fruit was loaded in 2011 while no petroleum products (compared to 27 000 tons in 2007 were received, nor was there any maize.
The junction of the branches to Middelwit and Lepahale. There is a grain silo but only 704 tons of wheat were loaded to rail in 2011.
Another export citrus fruit loading point but where only about 1 200 tons was loaded in 2011.
Three important rail users generated over 5.6-million tons of product during the 2011 review period. Rock phosphate accounted for over 2.2-million tons of traffic. Because of increased international sale (mainly to China) over 3.6-million tons of magnetite - compared to just 250 000 tons five years earlier was loaded in 2011. In addition, phosphoric acid, sulphur and vermiculite are produced in the area.
The large fruit loading sheds are not currently used for rail transport.
A grain silo is located here but since suspension of services on the Zebediela branch all traffic has been dispatched by road.
A grain silo is located here but since suspension of services on the Marble Hall branch all traffic has been dispatched by road.
A major loading point for domestic iron ore. During 2011 some 850 000 tons of iron ore was railed, compared to 2.7-million tons several years earlier but this is no indication of future mining prospects in the area.
The Impala platinum mine received mine prop timber in the past but this appears to have gone to road. The station does not appear in the 2011 report.
Wood chips were loaded here until recently but this traffic has recently ceased. During the early 2000's over 5 000 tons of wood chips was sent to several locations but this traffic in now on road. Over 10 000 of containerised traffic - presumed to be fruit - was loaded to Table Bay Harbour and export. Nearly 30 000 tons of liquid fuels were received at the private petrol sidings (Down from 80 000 in 2003-2004.
Granite is loaded at this place. Some 10 000 tons was loaded in 2011, down from 35 000 tons five years earlier. In addition, 3 256 tons of maize and 2 196 tons of seeds were received by a local mill. However, cement traffic ceased.
The last services on the line were to Immerpan but this ceased in 2004. The line and to Zebediela and the station facilities are still intact.
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