Dr Popo Molefe, Chairman of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), stressed the state owned enterprise commitment to a series of signalling and infrastructure enhancements worth R172bn ($11.8bn), including the adoption of ETCS (European Train Control System), tailored to South African conditions.
Included in the commitment, is the R59bn ($4bn) modernisation project with Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, which is 61% owned by French Alstom. The project is well underway, and Pretoria commuters recently got their first ride in the newly purchased coaches. The modernisation projects targets PRASA’s 40 years old trains that plan to transport 2.2-million passengers daily in South Africa. PRASA operates commuter services in Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, including the largest network in Gauteng, between Johannesburg and Pretoria, operated by Metrorail.
PRASA earlier this year, opened the centralised traffic control hub, or Gauteng Nerve Centre (GNC) in Kaalfontein, led by Siemens, with support from Bombardier and Thales. The next phase of the signalling enhancements, will focus on the automatic train protection system.