4 June 2013
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has awarded a R1.7-billion contract for a rail signalling solution for the country’s Western Cape province to French multinational transport firm Thales, through the Thales-Maziya consortium.
The contract to modernise rail signalling, communications and train management systems will cover 250 kilometres of the province’s passenger rail system, as well as 46 train stations.
“This state-of-the-art signalling system will enable highly reliable operations and improved passenger services and comfort,” Thales said in a statement last week.
It forms part of Prasa’s rolling stock fleet renewal programme, which is looking at the acquisition of 7 224 electrical multiple units with an estimated investment of R123-billion over a period of 20 years between 2015 and 2035.
Ensuring safety and efficiency
The Thales contract includes the construction of a control centre which will enable the monitoring and management of all train operations in the region; and the design, supply, installation and testing and commissioning of new electronic interlocking systems and telecommunication and security systems to ensure the highest levels of safety in train control.
It also involves the upgrade and construction of new technical buildings and improvement of the track in critical zones to allow better performance.
Consortium partner Maziya will provide infrastructure, civil works and power supply expertise to the project.
“Being part of the country’s major ground transportation projects is very exciting and we are committed to delivering solutions that positively impact the country’s development,” said Thales South Africa’s deputy chief executive officer, Justice Tootla.
“As local players forming part of a continuously innovative global company, we are able to match the local industry challenges with our global technology advancements.
“The provision of an integrated rail signalling system to the country’s Western Cape province will ensure efficiency and reliable investments, contributing to a fast- developing continent,” Tootla said.