Serge Kabengele, a Congolese (Congo-Kinshasa) mechanical engineer and graduate from ISTA (Institut Supérieur des Techniques Appliquées) has conceived and built a miniature electric train head for his final project. This project aims at developing a railway system that can power an electric train head.
A real replica of the miniaturized system is possible, but would necessarily require a strong involvement of the Congolese State by laying out cables along the railway and ensuring, among others, the supply of seamless electric power.
Serge Kabengele wanted his final project to be both theoretical and practical. Theoretically, the system is documented in a report he has written. Practically, to the surprise of ISTA teachers, he has exhibited a miniature model that consists of a circular track, a train head with a catenary, a remote control that controls the whole system, etc. The whole system is connected to a 220 V electric current and is entirely made from recycled objects.
Such an initiative could help SNCC (Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer du Congo) upgrade its today falling down network. If this cannot be the case, this achievement could find another application, especially in the manufacture of miniature electric toys that respond to international standards, and addressed to the African market, for instance.
This inventor shows, once again, that Africans are full of talent and have nothing to envy Western or Asian inventors who have modern infrastructures that enable them to easily excel. Serge Kabengele's achievement, which is essential for the development and improvement of the rail system in Africa, gives hope to a continent which is only depicted through rather sordid images.