South Africa’s new passenger train to begin test operation

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Photo: Alstom.

South Africa’s passenger rail authority, PRASA, has given provisional certification for the new X’Trapolis Mega train.

The Provisional Acceptance Certificate means the first train, which has been built by the Alstom-led Gibela joint venture, can enter test service without passengers.

The test trains will run a scheduled service between Pienaarspoort and Rissik Street in Hatfield until January 16, 2017.

Testing with passengers is expected to follow, with the train scheduled to go into passenger service not long after that.

Gibela, a joint venture between Alstom, Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail, is supplying a total of 600 new trains over the next 10 years. Although the first 20 have been built in Brazil – of which 14 have been delivered so far, the vast majority of the vehicles will be constructed in South Africa.

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