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Marshalling Yards

There are a number of important marshalling yards in Limpopo. They are:


A large yard is used to marshall trains. A train control officer dispatches over 15 trains a day from this point. Rock phosphate trains are made up into 75 wagon blocks while magnetite trains are marshalled into 58 wagon loads . Class 18E electric locomotives are used on trains and they are operated from Komatipoort although it is planned to use the new 41 Class diesel-electric locomotives which are coming into service on through loads to Richards Bay.


This is the change over point between electric and diesel traction. On an average day 10 to 12 trains operated in each direction. 40 wagon air brake trains are the norm for coal traffic from Musina, while other trains are vacuum braked. With the reduction in general freight traffic, the large yard is not fully utilised at present.

Electric locomotives are operated from Pyramid South but Polokwane has an allocation of 32 Class 34 diesel-electric units for main line traffic and 10 Class 36 for shunting. The operating staff complement consists of 38 drivers and 35 assistants who work to crossing point on both main lines north and south.

There is an important wagon repair depot at Polokwane which has recently been transferred to the Transwerk division of Transnet.

Train control on lines north is by the radio "track warrant" system, introduced in 2000. This replaced the former Van Schoor tablet system but it is not a fail-safe system.


A ten road yard is situated adjacent to the former station. It is used to make up iron ore trains from the nearby Kumba mine. In normal circumstances, coal trains from Lephalale bypass the yard itself. An open loco service and stand-by area is located at the north end of the yard and both diesel and electric locomotives can be found here.