South Africa orders 600 trains in order worth €3.8bn

South Africa’s rail authority PRASA has agreed an order with an Alstom-led joint venture for 600 new trains worth €3.8 billion.

The new passenger trains, which will amount to 3,600 cars, will be delivered between 2015 and 2015 as part of a major rolling stock renewal across the country.

PRASA’s rolling stock programme will see more than 7000 new trains enter service on South Africa’s railways over the next 20 years thanks to an investment of €9.1 billion.

Gibela – a joint venture between Alstom, New Africa Rail and Ubumbano Rail – will provide technical support and spare parts for 18 years.

A new site will also be built locally to manufacture the new trains, creating 1,500 jobs in Ekurhuleni, east of Johannesburg.

The contract was signed by PRASA Group chief executive Lucky Montana, Alstom chairman and chief executive Patrick Kron, and Henri Poupart-Lafarge, president of Alstom Transport.

Speaking in a statement issued by Alstom, Lucky Montana said: “The PRASA fleet renewal programme is the catalyst for the transformation of Metrorail services and public transport in South Africa as a whole. It is the beginning of the roll-out of government’s comprehensive rail programme.

“While the urgent challenge to improve passenger services remains primary, the rolling stock programme has been designed to achieve government’s objectives of developing skills, creating jobs and delivering quality services to citizens.”

The first phase of the project will involve Alstom supplying the X’Trapolis Mega EMU, which has been specially designed for us on South Africa’s narrow gauge system.

The new train, which has a standard top speed of 120 km/h, comprises six cars.



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