SAQA All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.
SOUTH AFRICAN QUALIFICATIONS AUTHORITY 
REGISTERED UNIT STANDARD: 

Maintain rails 
SAQA US ID UNIT STANDARD TITLE
119977  Maintain rails 
ORIGINATOR
SGB Civil Engineering Construction 
PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QUALITY ASSURANCE FUNCTIONARY
-  
FIELD SUBFIELD
Field 12 - Physical Planning and Construction Civil Engineering Construction 
ABET BAND UNIT STANDARD TYPE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL CREDITS
Undefined  Regular  Level 3  NQF Level 03  21 
REGISTRATION STATUS REGISTRATION START DATE REGISTRATION END DATE SAQA DECISION NUMBER
Reregistered  2018-07-01  2023-06-30  SAQA 06120/18 
LAST DATE FOR ENROLMENT LAST DATE FOR ACHIEVEMENT
2024-06-30   2027-06-30  

In all of the tables in this document, both the pre-2009 NQF Level and the NQF Level is shown. In the text (purpose statements, qualification rules, etc), any references to NQF Levels are to the pre-2009 levels unless specifically stated otherwise.  

This unit standard does not replace any other unit standard and is not replaced by any other unit standard. 

PURPOSE OF THE UNIT STANDARD 
The qualifying learner is capable of:
  • Maintaining rails by preparing rails for placement, replacing rails and maintaining rail joints.
  • The learner will also be able to evaluate the completed work in accordance with relevant track standards and specifications.
  • This Unit Standard will contribute to the full development of a professional community of Rail Construction and Maintenance workers.The skills, knowledge and understanding demonstrated within this Unit Standard are essential for social and economic transformation and upliftment within the Rail Construction and Maintenance environment. 

  • LEARNING ASSUMED TO BE IN PLACE AND RECOGNITION OF PRIOR LEARNING 
    It is assumed that learners are competent in the following:
  • Mathematical Literacy at NQF Level 2
  • Communication at NQF Level 2
  • And are in possession of a License to operate relevant lifting equipment 

  • UNIT STANDARD RANGE 
    The typical scope of this Unit Standard:

    Competency must be demonstrated:
  • In different weather and environmental conditions.
  • Preferably in daytime.
  • In different yard layouts/mainline/sidings/private sidings/shed/workshop (might or might not include overhead traction and Railway signalling).
  • Within a specific time span.
  • Different site conditions, e.g. cuttings, embankments, multiple lines, tunnels, sites with restricted accessibility etc.

    This Unit Standard includes the maintenance of:
  • All rails of different profiles and mass in all types of railway tracks.
  • Jointed and continuous welded track.
  • Check rail curves.
  • Safety rails on bridges.
  • Junction rails.
  • Reconditioned rails.
  • Second hand rails.
  • All types of rail joints.
  • Rails not complying to specifications (e.g. defective rails).
  • Closure rails.
  • Special rails.

    The Unit Standard excludes the maintenance of:
  • Turnout components (all types of stock and switch rails, frogs, stock and guard rails).
  • Pre assembled spliced joints.

    Rail joints include:
  • Different types of fish plates.
  • Different types of insulated joints.

    Handling includes:
  • Storage.
  • Loading
  • Transporting.
  • Off-loading.
  • Stacking.
  • The use of push trolleys and rail transporters to transport permanent way materials.

    Actions to maintain rail joints could include:
  • Lifting and alignment.
  • Preparation for welding or grinding.
  • Lubrication of joint.
  • Replacement of material not complying to specifications.
  • Repairing or cropping battered and dipped joints. 

  • Specific Outcomes and Assessment Criteria: 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 1 
    Prepare for rail maintenance. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Relevant information pertaining to the type of maintenance work and location is obtained and interpreted from inspection reports. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Quantities are calculated accurately. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    A work plan detailing time frames and resources is compiled using organisational procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Condition of rails and fastenings is inspected and rail properties considered in accordance with safety requirements. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Material, tools and equipment are obtained and verified for correctness. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Relevant role-players including team members are informed and made available. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Relevant personal protective equipment is identified and applied correctly. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    Appropriate protection is afforded in accordance with procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    Occupation is taken correctly, in accordance with procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 10 
    Work environment is safe guarded in accordance with regulations and procedures. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 2 
    Prepare rails for placement. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Correct rail profile is selected in accordance with condition of existing rail. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Rails are handled in accordance with safe working methods and procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Correct off-sets are calculated in accordance with formula. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Rails are bent in accordance with rail bending instructions and specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Measurements of rail length are determined accurately. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Rails are cut in accordance with track standard specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    Rail is drilled in accordance with instructions and specifications. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 3 
    Replace rails. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Temperature is taken, recorded and correlated with destressing range tables, for a specific section. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Jumper cables are fitted correctly and safely, where applicable. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Existing rails in railway track are cut and bent in accordance with track standard specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Fastenings are loosened and existing rails removed according to organisational practice. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Track is destressed if required in accordance with destressing range for a specific section. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    New rails are inserted into track in accordance with track specifications and instructions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 7 
    New rails are fastened onto sleepers. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 8 
    New rails are fastened to existing rails in accordance with company specifications. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 9 
    Welding is prepared where required. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 10 
    Transposition is done in accordance with prescribed procedures, where required. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 11 
    Safe working methods and procedures are applied at all times. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 4 
    Maintain rail joints. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Appropriate action is identified and implemented to maintain rail joints. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Preparations for welding is done where required. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Broken or worn fastenings are replaced and loose fastenings secured. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Vertical and horizontal alignment is correct. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Expansion gaps between rails are re-set correctly. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Safe working methods and procedures are applied at all times. 

    SPECIFIC OUTCOME 5 
    Complete post maintenance operations. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERIA
     

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 1 
    Evaluate Quality of completed work is evaluated in accordance with relevant track standards, instructions and specifications and appropriate corrective action taken where required. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 2 
    Work site is restored and cleared as per instructions. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 3 
    Occupation is cancelled correctly and protection withdrawn in accordance with procedures. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 4 
    Environmental regulations are adhered to during maintenance process. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 5 
    Relevant documentation and reports are completed accurately and legibly. 

    ASSESSMENT CRITERION 6 
    Role-players including team members are informed on an ongoing basis of relevant information. 


    UNIT STANDARD ACCREDITATION AND MODERATION OPTIONS 
  • Anyone assessing a learner or moderating the assessment of a learner against this Unit Standard must be registered as an assessor with the relevant ETQA.
  • Any institution offering learning that will enable the achievement of this Unit Standard must be accredited as a provider with the relevant ETQA.
  • The relevant ETQA would be responsible for moderation of learner achievements of learners who meet the requirements of this Unit Standard. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ESSENTIAL EMBEDDED KNOWLEDGE 
  • Code of Practice 29
  • Rail inspection procedures
  • Composition of rails and different rail classes
  • Different rail profiles and properties
  • Factors to consider in the selection of rails for specific applications and in the re-use of rails
  • Typical rail defects and fractures
  • Principles of rail wear
  • Principles of the utilisation of rail wear gauges
  • Quantity calculations of rails and fastenings
  • Safe handling of rails, equipment and tools (storage, stacking, loading, off-loading, transportation)
  • Application and calculation of off sets
  • Methods of bending, cutting and drilling rails
  • Methods for placing rails
  • Rail fastening procedures
  • Rail joint maintenance procedures
  • Transposing procedures and principles
  • Temperature ranges
  • Track standards and specifications
  • Welding principles and procedures
  • Relevant environmental regulations and legislation
  • Health, Safety and Housekeeping procedures and regulations
  • Reporting and documentation requirements and procedures 

  • UNIT STANDARD DEVELOPMENTAL OUTCOME 
    Learners can understand the importance of:
  • Safety in the workplace.
  • Being a team player in the work environment, organisation and in society.
  • Economic impact of rail track operations. 

  • UNIT STANDARD LINKAGES 
    N/A 


    Critical Cross-field Outcomes (CCFO): 

    UNIT STANDARD CCFO IDENTIFYING 
    Learners can solve problems with regard to:
  • The correctness, quantity and quality of tools, equipment and materials.
  • Failure of equipment.
  • Temperature ranges/weather.
  • Availability of resources.
  • Non-availability of other departments.
  • Broken or worn fastenings.
  • Positioning of joints.
  • Determining off-loading position for rails. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO WORKING 
    Learners can work effectively with others and in teams when:
  • Relevant role-players are informed and available.
  • Allowing other departments to perform their functions.
  • Occupation is taken and cancelled correctly.
  • Rails are loaded, transported and off-loaded.
  • Rails are replaced. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO ORGANISING 
    Learners can organise and manage one self:
  • By observing and assessing work area to determine if work can proceed.
  • Hazards in the work area.
  • When calculating material quantities.
  • When informing team members of.
  • When preparing for rail maintenance. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COLLECTING 
    Learners can collect, analyse, organise and critically evaluate information by:
  • Selecting the correct rail profile.
  • Preparing rails in accordance with the required specifications.
  • Calculating the correct off-set.
  • Accurately determining measurements of rails.
  • Inspecting the condition of rails and fastenings and observing the work site. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO COMMUNICATING 
    Learners can communicate effectively by:
  • Completing relevant documentation.
  • Communicating with relevant parties for example, subordinates, technical personnel, etc.
  • Taking and cancelling protection and occupation. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO SCIENCE 
    Learners can use science and technology by:
  • Calculating correct off sets.
  • Bending, cutting and drilling rails.
  • Re-setting expansion gaps between rails.
  • Destressing the track.
  • Using latest technology. 

  • UNIT STANDARD CCFO DEMONSTRATING 
    Learners can understand:
  • Influence of varying temperatures on continuous welded rails in the railway track.
  • Impact of insufficient quantities or inferior quality of materials on railway line>Importance of rails being in accordance with track standards and specifications.
  • Influence of well maintained rails on all track components.
  • The supporting role of formation, ballast and sleepers. 

  • UNIT STANDARD ASSESSOR CRITERIA 
    N/A 

    REREGISTRATION HISTORY 
    As per the SAQA Board decision/s at that time, this unit standard was Reregistered in 2012; 2015. 

    UNIT STANDARD NOTES 
    N/A 

    QUALIFICATIONS UTILISING THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
      ID QUALIFICATION TITLE PRE-2009 NQF LEVEL NQF LEVEL STATUS END DATE PRIMARY OR DELEGATED QA FUNCTIONARY
    Core  49795   National Certificate: Rail Construction and Maintenance  Level 3  NQF Level 03  Reregistered  2023-06-30  TETA 


    PROVIDERS CURRENTLY ACCREDITED TO OFFER THIS UNIT STANDARD: 
    This information shows the current accreditations (i.e. those not past their accreditation end dates), and is the most complete record available to SAQA as of today. Some Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionaries have a lag in their recording systems for provider accreditation, in turn leading to a lag in notifying SAQA of all the providers that they have accredited to offer qualifications and unit standards, as well as any extensions to accreditation end dates. The relevant Primary or Delegated Quality Assurance Functionary should be notified if a record appears to be missing from here.
     
    1. R and H Rail (Pty) Ltd 



    All qualifications and part qualifications registered on the National Qualifications Framework are public property. Thus the only payment that can be made for them is for service and reproduction. It is illegal to sell this material for profit. If the material is reproduced or quoted, the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) should be acknowledged as the source.