PRASA receives first of 600 new commuter train sets

BY CHARL BOSCH - DECEMBER 18, 2015

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has taken delivery of its first commuter bound passenger train set intended to replace the aging fleet of Metro units.

Secluded to undergo testing for the next seven months before being put into service, the Brazilian-built X’Trapolis Mega forms part of the state-owned parastatal’s R172-million investment to modernise its rolling stock over the next 20 years.

The result of a contract awarded by PRASA to Gibela Rail Transport, a subsidiary made up of manufacturer Alstom, New Africa Rail and Ubumbano Rail, for 600 six-car sets 18 months ago, the agreement would see the first 20 units being built in Brazil and the remaining 580 at a brand new dedicated plant near Dunnottar in Gauteng.

“This government is committed to the transformation of passenger rail infrastructure and in ensuring that rail becomes the backbone of public transport and a mode of choice for the multitudes of our people who depend on affordable, reliable and safe public transportation,” Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said at the unveiling of train on Friday.

“This train is the realisation of government’s investment on the rolling stock fleet renewal program. Our government is serious about implementing infrastructure and rail transport programmes as spelled out in the National Development Plan (NDP). Transport is one of the key pillars of the National Development Plan”.

In a similar reaction, PRASA Chairperson Popo Molefe said the arrival of the train “signals the start of our journey to modernise passenger rail infrastructure”.

“We are in the process of building modem rolling stock that will form the backbone of a world class metro service that is safe, reliable, and affordable,” he said.

“PRASA is serious about delivering on its mandate. We aware of the enormous responsibility entrusted upon us and we intend to meet and exceed our customer and stakeholder expectations”.

A second train is reportedly expected to arrive early next year.

 

IMAGE sourced from alstom.com