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R& H Railway Consultants Johan Schlebusch, managing director of R& H Railway Consultants, talks to Jayne Flannery about the company's expanding international reach J ohan Schlebusch is a man keen to share his passion for railways. Having cut his teeth with the De Beers Anglo Group, he says his next challenge was to " identify an engineering product that could provide a social and economic backbone to developing nations and also become a value added item for the next generation to enjoy". Railways fitted the bill perfectly. " It is an excellent product, with huge social and economic value," he says. " Infrastructure development will be Africa's saviour and railways have many advantages." In an era beset by concern over carbon emissions and climate change, Schlebusch is convinced that congested roads and petrol-guzzling trucks and cars are fast becoming yesterday's news. " There has already been enormous investment in improving airport facilities across the continent. The next big challenge is to find a clean, fast and efficient way to facilitate the mass movement of goods and people across land. Railways are the product that can deliver that," he adds. Schlebusch points out that the old image of coal- fired engines, all dirty and black, could not be further from reality. " The new generation of electric trains can be powered by renewable energy sources. Even in diesel locomotives, there have been huge advances in environmental terms." R& H Railway Consultants was established over 50 years ago and specialises in railway framework planning; track design and construction management; railway maintenance management; signalling and telecommunications; and the electro- mechanical installations that make railways work. Five years ago, the company joined the Dar Al- Handasah Group. This is one of the world's leading multi- disciplinary development groups, which has been a pioneer in the planning, design and implementation of development projects in the Middle East, Africa and Asia for more than half a century. The group has more than 40 offices throughout 30 countries and is recognised worldwide for its expertise in problem identification, customised design solutions, quality and multi- disciplinary expertise. order February 10 www. bus- ex. com 117