Locomotive Engines and the Future of Railway Automotive Power in Africa: A Review


  • J. I. O. Oche Nigerian Railway Corporation, Ebute Metta, Lagos, NIGERIA
  • N. M. Lawal Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Abuja, NIGERIA


Automotive, Combustion, Renewable, Locomotive engine, Maintenance


This work presents the review of locomotives and the future of railway automotive power in Africa. Locomotives down time on account of inadequate spare parts still remains a challenge in African. It is thus, imperative to review the locomotives in African, to establish the current capabilities as well as provide recommendations to bridge the gaps and its extrapolated trends in future. Firstly, the comparison factors were track length, electrified rails, number of locomotives and yearly passengers on each of Egypt, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia rails. Secondly, the focus was on engine parameters from literatures and maintenance logbooks of locomotives. From available data, it was found that South Africa and Egypt have more advanced rail system than the rest four selected countries. It was also found that additive manufacturing, 3D printing, ductile cast iron and die-forging can be used to produce the engine body for diesel engine using steel and aluminum alloys while aluminum silicon and tin doped with copper are good for reciprocation mechanisms. And finally, increased reliability of locomotives can be guided by an engine selection matrix, while use of renewable and energy hybridization are needed to meet the expansion of railroads in Africa.






Chemical, Industrial, Materials, Mechanical, Metallurgical, Petroleum & Production Engineering