AusRAIL, Market Sectors

van Onselen set to become South African railways chief

<p>Marinus van Onselen, the former chief executive of rail companies V-Line Freight and Freight Australia, is preparing to head up the massive South African railway network.</p> <p>Mr van Onselen confirmed this morning (Wednesday, January 18) that he has been appointed chief operating officer of Spoornet, the railways division of the South African transport and logistics operator Transnet, with effect on January 30.</p> <p>He will leave for Johannesburg next Wednesday.</p> <p>Mr van Onselen said he was looking forward to this new and exciting challenge.</p> <p>Spoornet has a turnover of Rand13.5bn ($3bn), handles 176m tonnes of rail freight annually, employs 30,000 staff, runs 35,000 km of narrow-gauge rail track and operates in seven African countries.</p> <p>Mr van Onselen said that since the stressful sale of Freight Australia 18 months ago, he had had been re-energised, having travelled extensively in Europe and obtained a private pilot’s licence.</p> <p>He has signed a one-year contract with an option to extend by either party.</p> <p>Mr van Onselen would not rule out a return to the rail industry in Australia in the future.</p> <br />