D&M Rail at a glance
Transport volumes in the Southern African Region are skyrocketing and Namibia is rapidly developing into a highly stable gateway and transit hub for neighbouring countries. As traffic picks up, railways are the answer to congested roads and constitute a cost effective, safe and reliable way of shipping goods and moving people into Southern Africa. From humble beginnings in 1994, D&M Rail Construction (Pty) Ltd. has grown into Namibia’s leading railway construction and maintenance company. We have successfully completed over a dozen large-scale railway construction and rehabilitation projects and serviced the private railways of some of Namibia’s largest industrial players for almost two decades.
Uniquely, D&M Rail offers a full range of services, including construction; relaying of railway lines; maintenance; manufacturing of concrete panels for ballast-less track; loading, securing and offloading of bulk rail equipment; railway engineering consulting; and the supply of material and rolling stock. The growing importance of railways is reflected in the current upgrade of the national railway network to an 18.5 tonne axle load capacity and the extension of the grid to neighbouring countries. D&M Rail plays a pivotal role in realising these multi-million dollar projects for the development of Namibia and the Southern African Region.
Building railways the D&M way
We believe railways are a cost-effective and environmentally-friendly way to move goods and promote deeper regional economic integration in the SADC Region. For lower income passengers in Southern Africa, trains offer a safe, secure and affordable way of transport, thereby meeting a social necessity. Constructing railways is investing in growth. Growth of the economies in our region, growth for our people, and growth of the ambitions we have as a nation and as individuals. As a multi-skilled and purely Namibian company it is our mission to keep the country’s growth on track. We keep the wheels rolling for tomorrow and will continue to set the standard of rail work in Namibia, while endeavouring to become the regional company of choice in railway construction and maintenance.
D&M Rail is committed to Namibia’s future and is 90 per cent owned by previously disadvantaged Namibians, and is fully compliant with the New Equitable Economic Empowerment Framework (NEEEF).
Railways, a people’s job
Over the past 35 years, 60 per cent of all jobs in the railway sector in Africa disappeared because of the mechanisation of railway construction. We favour using a mix of labour and equipment, thereby creating jobs under fair conditions. Labour-based technologies do not only deliver the same quality, it has also been proven that relying on people to get the job done reduces the start-up time for projects and leads to forex savings of up to 60 per cent. It reduces environmental impacts and can lead to 30 per cent overall cost savings. Most importantly, labour-based technology creates two to four times more jobs than mechanised methods.
What do we do?
D&M Rail combines an unmatched set of skills to provide rail construction, maintenance, manufacturing and consulting services. Accustomed to working under tough conditions on time-sensitive projects with large budgets, we are proud of our outstanding track-record.
D&M Rail has been the constructor of choice in all of Namibia’s post-independence railway projects. For the Namibian Government, we have built the Northern Railway Extension as a sub-contractor, connecting Tsumeb with Ondangwa over several hundred kilometres. Currently we are building the next phase of the northern railway as the main contractor that will connect Namibia to Angola. We also constructed the 50 kilometre permanent way between Lüderitz and Aus, which was completed in 2005. D&M Rail has also constructed several railway sidings for private companies such as Manica, Ohorongo Cement and the port of Walvis Bay. We have a permanent, highly skilled construction team that can be deployed on projects around the country at any time.
Maintenance and rehabilitation
Our maintenance team is based in the growing port city of Walvis Bay. For the past 17 years we have serviced the railways of the Namibia Ports Authority and Rössing Uranium Mine, guaranteeing that these arteries of the national economy continue to run smoothly.
We have also upgraded sections of the Namibian grid for national carrier TransNamib and rehabilitated the Otjihase Mine rail. As railways gain new momentum in Africa, rehabilitation of old lines and the building of new extensions will remain a core activity of our business.
Manufacturing and transport
DM Rail has innovative transport solutions for the loading, securing and offloading of railway tracks at any destination in the country. We have wide experience with this, including the transport and offloading of 25,000 tonnes of rail for the Northern Railway and the offloading of 13,000 tonnes of rail in Ondangwa and Oshikango.
Our manufacturing division is currently building concrete panels for ballast-less track for the Aus-Lüderitz line. We have a long and rich tradition of manufacturing customised solutions, to address local conditions and needs.
Railway consulting and supply
Our consulting railway engineers and technicians share many decades of track experience between them. They are a first stop for questions on the technical and financial feasibility of projects and their implementation. D&M Rail provides professional and tailor-made advice on railway projects of any scale or scope. Furthermore, our procurement experts assist clients with the purchase of railway material and rolling stock of any size.
How do we do it?
Our team is what makes D&M Rail unique in the world of railway construction and maintenance. Using labour-intensive methods, we create jobs and provide skills training that will last a lifetime. Each individual at D&M Rail has the chance to grow to his or her full potential – from an unskilled track worker to the top echelons of management and anything in between.
At D&M Rail we invest in people. Over the years we have built a multi-disciplinary team of trained welders, trackmen, platelayers and supervisors. We employ 65 permanent staff and work with 300 people on a project basis. Our 20 middle and senior managers have between 30-40 years experience each.
We enrol recruits into an extensive training programme. Our on-the-job training modules are developed from scratch and informed by years of experience in building railroads. In this way we groom our people and make sure they are up for the challenges and the needs of the present-day working environment. Unskilled recruits over time have the opportunity to become artisans, supervisors and even managers.
Apart from our people we make use of state-of-art equipment that is specifically designed for the harsh local conditions. Our custom-made railway loader operating from a wagon is by far more effective than a crane and saves time and cost. We also have a large fleet of machines for cutting rails, grinding, welding, de-stressing, tamping and maintaining track.
Social corporate responsibility
No company operates in isolation. Aware of Namibia’s history and the legacy of high unemployment and low skills, D&M Rail gives back by sponsoring bursaries for students in the engineering and human resource development sectors.
Recognising the entrepreneurial talent among our own people, we helped one of our previous employees to open his own welding company, while we assisted another previous employee in setting up a safety management outfit. We supported both by being their first and biggest client.
Keep the wheels rolling
Our competence is reflected by our exemplary track-record, the growing number of projects that we are involved in and the continued confidence of our clients. D&M Rail ventures to connect countries and companies across the endless Kalahari and beyond. From ports to mining destinations or industrial hubs, we are your partner in building and maintaining a track that delivers the goods. Visit our website or give us a call to learn more.