PRASA’S NEW TRAINS

Piet Sebola, who heads enterprise programme management at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), concedes that the first new trains expected in 2015 will not go a long way towards solving all current shortcomings. Priorities are to be addressed through a corridor-based approach, For instance, major improvements high on the list are the Johannesburg-Naledi and Cape Town-Khayelitsha corridors.  In the course of vehicle procurement, localisation of 65% is aimed at, with 80% ultimately in view.  Twelve-car trainsets capable of 120km/h are envisaged, equipped with Wi-Fi access, closed-circuit television cameras and electronic information signs, and offering easy access for people with disabilities. Sebola confirmed that 1,067mm gauge is to be used throughout. Some of the older coaches being withdrawn might be made available to other countries in Africa which have indicated interest.

[ Prasa CEO Montana stated previously that a third of the current fleet is inoperable. By the time the working units (“up to 40 years old”) are withdrawn, one wonders how many will be much use? – – editor, Railways Africa.

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