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Rolling StockDCD Rolling Stock, formerly known as RSD, has developed a new bolsterless fabricated passenger coach bogie specifically designed for South African conditions, harnessing the latest internationally proven design concepts and components. The new unit, developed over four years with a capital investment exceeding R7-million, ideally positions DCD Rolling Stock to participate in the current R123-billion tender for rolling stock initiated by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), a state-owned enterprise responsible for most of the country’s passenger rail services.

The funds were allocated to PRASA in the 2012 Budget and support their objective to renew its rolling stock across the country in order to improve service reliability and passenger safety.

DCD Rolling Stock, part of the DCD conglomerate (previously DCD-DORBYL), operates as an international systems house with an in-house capability that allows it to offer a total rolling stock package, from design and manufacture, to refurbishing and modernising bogies and supporting the aftersales market for bogies, including supply of renewal parts.

Contracted independent prototype testing conducted by Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) has confirmed that, compared with the existing Commonwealth bogie, DCD Rolling Stock’s new bolsterless coach bogie has better running safety and ride quality characteristics and meets the specifications required by European UIC Code 518. The prototype also meets Transnet’s RSE/TE/SPC/0076 specification.

DCD Rolling Stock has its own accredited quality, environmental, health and safety systems in place — SABS ISO 9001:2008, Moody International BS EN ISO 14001:2004 and Moody International BSI OHSAS 18001 — which ensure that manufacturing processes are carried out under controlled conditions to mitigate their impact on the environment and to international quality standards.

“The significant time, manpower and capital invested into the development of this new unit now make it possible for us to offer OEMs and coach body manufacturers a proven bogie that has passed all the required initial tests,” Carl Rehder, Executive Director of DCD GROUP, says. “From this point the bogie can be further designed to interface with any type of coach.”

In 1985, as RSD —the former Rolling Stock Division of Dorbyl, the company was awarded the supply of South African’s first stainless steel passenger coaches by Spoornet, dubbed the 8M, these coaches were built under license to Hitachi at that time. Although Spoornet planned to procure about 144 coaches per year for 20 years, since 1991 no new passenger coaches were purchased owing to budgetary constraints.

“This is, therefore, the biggest tender of its kind to come onto the market place in thirty years and we realised that to be able to participate in it, we would need to develop, manufacture and test a relevant bogie to suit the PRASA requirements with particular emphasis on suitability for South African operating conditions with low life cycle operating and maintenance costs, using internationally service proven concepts and components giving a save and comfortable ride characteristic, ” Daryl Leggitt, Technical Manager at DCD Rolling Stock, adds.

“In preparation, four years ago we sent a multidisciplinary team to meet with PRASA to determine and understand the in-service performance of the 8M fabricated bogies and to obtain firsthand knowledge of the aspects favoured by the PRASA operating personnel, and to determine areas for possible improvement in our design for the new bolsterless bogie. Feedback from the PRASA engineers indicated that they were very happy with the 8M’s ride quality and low maintenance costs and from this base, tapping into our broad knowledge of bogie design for 1067 millimetre gauge local conditions and requirements, we developed the bolsterless passenger coach bogie with a local content exceeding 80%.”

Designed for speeds of up to 160 kilometres per hour and axle loads up to 20 tons, the bogie has low life cycle costs and service-proven high reliability components and has been designed to contain noise levels as required in suburban areas. Other key features include reduced bogie mass, parts availability, standardisation between trailer and motor coach and positively guided wheelsets.

“Two prototypes were produced in 2010 and we fitted them to an old Metro Blitz coach for testing,” continues Leggitt. “Because we wanted an unbiased finding, we contracted TFR to run these initial tests and the outcome has been very favourable meeting our design expectations. We believe this design has the potential to exceed PRASA’s required lifetime of 40 years.

“We’re now ready to partner with OEM’s and coach body manufacturers from anywhere in the world on the PRASA tender. We have the in-house engineering and manufacturing expertise to produce the bogies at turnaround rates to suit any OEM.”

Strategic thrust
Rehder comments that R&D is one of DCD Rolling Stock’s strategic thrusts, focusing on expanding the company’s intellectual property.

“Building for the future is one of our guiding principles and, as a socially responsible international systems house, we are committed to providing sustainable products and solutions for the transport sector, by developing intellectual property in partnership with governments, customers, suppliers and communities. I believe we have achieved this with the bolsterless bogie.”

About DCD Rolling Stock
The change in the company’s name and branding is part of a greater, group-wide restructure introduced in early 2012 by DCD-DORBYL (Pty) Ltd, a global leader in the manufacture and supply of heavy engineered products and services. The restructure is aimed at expanding current supply to emerging markets and niche offerings in developed economies. The new-look group is moving forward under the condensed banner of “DCD” and now operates via a cluster approach in the rail, mining and energy, defence, as well as marine sectors.

As part of the rail cluster, DCD Rolling Stock designs, manufactures, refurbishes and services a complete range of locomotives, wagons and bogies for national railways, mining houses and industrial users throughout South African and international markets. Operating for more than a 100 years, the company has designed and manufactured over 130 000 wagons, 1 000 electric and GE diesel electric locomotives, and 4 000 underground locomotives.

The East Rand-based DCD Rolling Stock site, of which 40 000 square metres is undercover, incorporates state-of-the-art technology and equipment. The company’s processes are designed by well-trained and qualified industrial engineers and all products are thoroughly inspected at various stages of production to ensure conformance to technical specifications.

The company holds the intellectual property rights on most of its manufactured products and has been granted licences for affiliated products from American companies such as McConway & Torley/NACO, Keystone Railway Equipment Company, Columbus Steel Castings/Buckeye and, locally, Railway Dynamic Systems for HS self-steering bogies.


CAPTION FOR PHOTOGRAPH PIC 01 : DCD Rolling Stock, formerly known as RSD, has developed a new bolsterless fabricated passenger coach bogie specifically designed for South African conditions, harnessing the latest internationally proven design concepts and components.

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