First train of new PRASA commuter fleet enters service

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Photo: Alstom.

Gibela – a joint venture between Alstom, Ubumbano Rail and New Africa Rail – has commissioned the first new X’Trapolis Mega train in South Africa.

South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, attended a launch ceremony at Pretoria station on May 9.

The Gibela JV is supplying 600 new trains for the passenger operator PRASA – the first 20 of which have been manufactured in Brazil.

A local manufacturing facility is due to open in Dunnottar by the end of the year. Once open and at peak production, the factory will be building 62 trains a year.

PRASA will begin operating the new six-car trains on the Koedoespoort-Rissik corridor in Pretoria.

Marc Granger, Gibela chief executive, said: “This is a historic moment for Gibela, its shareholders and the country at large as South African commuters finally have access to a service that marks entry into a new age of rail.”

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