On the morning of the 18th December 2013, amid obvious miserable / less than desirable weather conditions in Durban, South Africa, a rather significant railway event played out at O Shed in Durban Harbour, as the class leader of the new Class 20E (Chinese built), 20 001, was set down on South African soil by the floating crane "Indlovu", having just arrived by ship.
Fellow South African and RailPictures.Net contributor, Col. André Kritzinger, has done the most amazing work on Wikipedia (the free online encylopedia), in respect of a series of articles, where he covers the full technical and introductory details of each and every locomotive Class / Type / Series to have worked in South Africa and I quote from his insertion on the Class 20E. "The first ten of ninety-five 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC dual voltage Class 20E electric locomotives for Transnet Freight Rail were built in China by Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co., a subsidiary of the China South Locomotive and Rolling Stock Corporation (CSR), China's leading train manufacturer. The first two of these locomotives, no. 20-002 and 20-003, were landed at Durban Harbour on 14 November 2013. Three more, no. 20-001, 20-004 and 20-005 were landed on 18 December 2013. The contract marked Zhuzhou’s largest single foreign order of electric locomotives to date and made provision for the company to export electric locomotive manufacturing technologies to South Africa to enable a local production ratio of more than 60 percent. The roll-out ceremony of the first locomotive, no. 20-001, took place at the factory in Changsha in central China's Hunan Province on 20 August 2013. The remaining eighty-five locomotives are to be built in South Africa by a consortium composed of CSR Zhuzhou and the South African Black Economic Empowerment company Matsetse Basadi. The Class 20E has regenerative braking, a maximum speed of 100km/h, and is equipped with low-speed controls. The units, with radio frequency distributed power (RFDP) technology, will be able to work mid-train in lengthy wagon consists. Following testing, the ten Chinese-built lococomotives are expected to enter service in March 2014. The Class 20E is destined for the ore line between Sishen and Port Elizabeth.”
Rare South African photographs (older and newer) on RailPictures.Net, where the potential to recreate them either no longer exists for any number of reasons, or the chances of another opportunity are very slim or non existent!
Photos taken in the Durban area, from the PRASA / Metrorail yards just North of Durban Station to Rossburgh Station including the Bayhead yards and along the Esplanade, Maydon Wharf and around Durban Harbour.