Transnet has completed a feasibility study (FEL3) of the Swaziland Rail Link (SRL) Project, which will see the construction of a 150km-long rail line between Lothair in Mpumalanga, South Africa, to Sidvokodvo, Swaziland.

Approximately 50km of the line is expected to fall within South Africa, while the remaining 100km portion will be located in Swaziland.

The project will also involve the renovation of the existing adjacent lines in order to improve alignment and provide support to the new network.

It is set to be developed as the public-private partnership (PPP) project and the process of recruiting suitable partner organisations is currently underway.

SRL is expected to be able to accommodate 2.5km-long, 200-wagon trains featuring capacities up to 26t per axle upon completion.

The line will allow the operation of 12 trains daily, adding to the current capacity of the Swaziland Railway Komatipoort-Golela Line, which also supports 12 trains per day travelling in both directions.

"The new project is also expected to create 3,000 and 6,500 new jobs in South Africa and Swaziland respectively during the construction phase."

The new project is also expected to create 3,000 and 6,500 new jobs in South Africa and Swaziland respectively during the construction phase.

In addition, several new indirect jobs are also expected to be created throughout the development.

SRL is expected to allow the seamless traffic movement of 150-wagon vehicles without a halt at the borders.

A variety of detailed planning operations are currently underway in support of the initiative, including land acquisition, relocation of graves, resettlement planning activities and completion of engineering designs.

Construction the project is expected to begin once adequate funds have been finalised.

The SRL project is a collaboration between Swaziland Railways and South Africa-based Transnet Freight Rail, which is being conducted on the basis of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) originally signed between the two countries in 2012.