PRASA (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) signed a contract with Gibela — a joint venture led by Alstom — to supply 600 passenger trains to be delivered between 2015 and 2025. The contract includes the construction of a local manufacturing facility.
In addition to this contract, Gibela will provide technical support and supply of spare parts over an 18-year period. This project is one of the biggest in rail transport worldwide and is the largest contract ever signed in Alstom’s history.
The contract is part of PRASA’s aim to revitalize the rail industry, create jobs and provide efficient, reliable and safe public transport. This ambitious program was launched by the South African government in 2010 to respond to the growing number of commuters in the country.
The program will replace the aging suburban trains in service in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, with electric trains over a period of 20 years.
PRASA and Gibela will now proceed with the process of reaching financial close at the end of December 2013.
PRASA will be supplied with X’Trapolis Mega, the new X’Trapolis train developed by Alstom. Each single-deck train is composed of six cars and is able to carry more than 1,300 passengers. Thanks to the modularity of X’Trapolis, PRASA will be able to adjust the configuration of the train depending on the number of commuters (from four to six cars with the option of having the set coupled).
The train is equipped with air conditioning, ergonomic seats, real-time on-board information, Wi-Fi Internet access, and a combination of direct and indirect lighting to increase the feeling of space.