A ceremony was held to celebrate the start of commuter service for 13 X’Trapolis Mega trains from Gibela, Alstom’s South African joint venture (JV) partner. Jacob Zuma, the State president of the Republic of South Africa, unveiled the first new trains at Pretoria station in front of more than 2000 guests.
The trains are part of a fleet of 600 new trains being built by Gibela for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The new trains will initially run in the Koedoespoort – Rissik Corridor in Pretoria with a total of 146 trips a day.
Gibela CEO Marc Granger 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.”
“By bringing Alstom’s skills and infrastructure to South Africa, we are helping to upgrade the country’s railway transport,” stated Yvan Eriau, managing director for Alstom Southern Africa and CEO of Alstom Ubunye. “The success of this project with Gibela positions us as a long-term rail partner in South Africa.”
The X’Trapolis Mega is a new train in Alstom’s X’Trapolis suburban range. The first 20 trains have been manufactured at Alstom’s Lapa factory in Brazil. Gibela’s manufacturing facility in Dunnottar is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017. The on-site Training Center is already finished.