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Finally, some thoughts on systemic development

This sequence of pictures illustrates the notion of scalability in railways. Clearly, the genetic technology Coupling plays an important role, but there is more to it than that. The 20000 tonne trains shown evolved from 4000 tonne trains with head end power: Simply adding more rolling stock to an existing system does not cut it. Sometimes, systemic discontinuities get in the way of incrementally optimizing complex systems, and it may even be necessary to reconfigure a system to facilitate progress from an existing level of optimization to a higher level. A project to retrofit the operation shown here with networked braking and distributed power control is underway: This will once more relax existing systemic constraints, and so open a challenge to exploit the potential of a new system configuration. Railway Corporate Strategy CC has capability to work in this subset of Strategic Intent.

Head end, 200-wagon train: Electric 25kV heavy haul distributed power train with air brakes on COALlink Ermelo-Richards Bay line. Coal wagons, 200-wagon train: Coal train, similar Orex Sishen-Saldanha heavy haul export iron ore trains with 50kV power supply. Rear end, 200-wagon train: Diesel-electric distributed power remote locomotive consist on heavy rail track infrastructure and overhead traction equipment.