SA. Heavy Haul Forum 2014



T he South African Heavy Haul Association (SAHHA) is a new platform in South Africa recently established by Transnet Freight Rail, Transnet Engineering, South African Institution of Civil Engineering (R&H Division), South African Society of Railway Engineers (SASRE), University of Pretoria (Chair in Railway Engineering), University of the Witwatersrand.

It is aimed at pursuing excellence in Heavy Haul railway engineering, technology, operations, and maintenance in South Africa. It shall strive to accomplish this mission through the acquisition of knowledge by organizing regional conferences, events, workshops, networking opportunities and other similar initiatives. South Africa is a member of a well-established International Heavy Haul Association (IHHA), amongst other 9 member countries: Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the USA. The UIC is an associate member. for more information). IHHA is a worldwide non-governmental association of railways and railway institutions dedicated to improvement of heavy haul railway operation, maintenance and technology. The establishment of the South African version of the Heavy Haul Forum will ensure that the technical knowledge and case studies shared at IHHA level are cascaded locally for the advancement of Southern African Railways development. In addition, this will also provide an opportunity for technical advancements originating from South Africa to be shared at the international stage.

The IHHA's mission is to pursue excellence in heavy haul railway operation, maintenance and technology, promoting the view that heavy haul railways are one of the best ways to enhance transport capacity while promoting technical co-operation and the exchange of information among members. The Conference is held every four years, and attracts in excess of 700 people. I am so delighted to announce that South Africa has been selected to host the International Heavy Haul Conference organized by IHHA in year 2019. As a result of this decision, the IHHA board meeting of 2018 will be held in South Africa. During the time of the board meeting in 2018, IHHA members will use this opportunity to confirm readiness of South Africa to host such a big event. Technical workshops will also be held around the same time of the board meeting. It is there for utmost important that we start demonstrating to the international community that we are indeed ready and organized locally to participate meaningfully in Heavy Haul developments. This conference is one of the ways to showcase our capability. .

SAHHF will be launched at the first Heavy Haul Conference scheduled for 8th and 9th September 2014, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa. The event provides an exceptional opportunity to exchange technical information about innovation in heavy haul operations, and our aim is to promote further progress in the heavy haul field across the African continent and abroad. Local and international experts and decision makers in the field of heavy haul technology will gather to present and discuss recent advancements in technology, engineering, maintenance and operations. The conference will also serve as a launch-pad for future heavy haul international conferences in South Africa. The theme of this conference is 'Technology and Capacity Creation Advancements in Heavy Haul Railways'. This conference will bring together an estimated 300 representatives of designers, constructors, researchers, engineers, managers, as well as suppliers, manufacturers and operators from countries with heavy haul railways. During the Conference there will be a welcome banquet and gala dinner, and visitors will have the opportunity to network.

This first conference offers an exceptional opportunity to exchange technical information and knowledge about heavy haul railways. More than 30 technical abstracts were submitted, to the Conference Technical Committee whereby 18 were selected. It was by no means an easy task because all the abstracts were of a very high standard.

On behalf of the SAHHA Committee, I am delighted to welcome delegates to the first SA Heavy Haul Conference on the 8th and 9th September 2014, Emperors Palace, Johannesburg, South Africa. I would like to take this opportunity to express my heartfelt gratitude to the co-organisers and sponsors for their sincere support. I wish the Conference complete success.

Yours faithfully,