Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to begin testing new Metrorail train early in 2016

December 30, 2015

Africa, Did you know?, International

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to begin testing new Metrorail train early in 2016
The first test version of the train set to replace the old Metrorail fleet is in the country

TMG Digital

JOHANNESBURG- The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has welcomed “Test Train No1 (T1)” to its Wolmerton Depot in Gauteng.

The overhaul of the felt is envisaged to take place over the next 20 years.

The T1 “is the very first train built out of a planned 600 trains (3600 vehicles) which will be configured as six cars per train set able to transport 1346 passengers‚” PRASA said.

The agency said the first 20 train sets will be built in Brazil and the remainder “at a new facility to be established in South Africa forming part of a manufacturing hub in Ekurhuleni in line with Government’s Industrialisation Plan”.

“The local manufacturing plant will achieve an average of 67% local content over the delivery period and will increase to 75% local content by year 10 and have approximately an 80% local employee base by year five of its establishment‚” PRASA claimed.

A second test train is expected to land in SA “within the first quarter of 2016”.

PRASA said the new trains are part of its “modernisation programme”‚ which saw it start “with the execution of of its R172-billion (US $1.11 billion) investment in the acquisition of modern state-of-the-art passenger trains and the support infrastructure over a period of 10 years”.

Prasa board chairman Dr. Popo Molefe said: “We are in the process of building modern rolling stock that will form the backbone of a world class metro service that is safe‚ reliable‚ and affordable.”

Testing on the T1 will start early in 2016 and last about seven months.

Key facts:

3600 vehicles or 600 trains (at six-car set configuration instead of the current 12 car sets)
1346 passengers per six-car train (Metrorail on average)
31% energy saving compared to current stock
Design life of 40 years
Real-time diagnostic data for maintenance planning
Passenger counting for operations planning
Modern crashworthy energy-absorbing carbodies
Open-wide gangways for passenger visibility
Total CCTV coverage with two weeks’ data storage
“Black Box” event data recorder
Air-conditioned throughout
Modern visual and audio information‚ internal and external
Infotainment on Metro Express
Real-time data travel information
Designed for universal access for disabled passengers


Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) is the public entity that delivers communter rail service in metropolitan areas of South Africa.
PRASA is established in terms of Section 22 of the Legal Succession to the South African Transport Services Act on 2008 (as amended). It is a public entity wholly-owned by Government and report to the Minister of Transport. The legal mandate directs PRASA to deliver commuter rail services in the Metropolitan areas of South Africa, long-distance (inter-city) rail and bus services within, to and from the borders of the Republic of South Africa. This mandate is implemented in consultation with and under the guidance of the Minister of Transport.

Metro Rail South Africa

Its a reality, The Future is here

The future that PRASA has anticipated is here ….!

PRASA is definitely on track in delivering on its promise; that of creating a modern public entity capable of delivery high quality passenger service. The road towards a modern public entity is being delivered through an accelerated (i) rolling stock fleet renewal, (ii) depot modernisation, (iii) rail infrastructure, (iv), station modernisation and (v) technology improvements.
The government’s R172 billion investment program to modernise passenger rail infrastructure is fast coming into fruition. PRASA’s modernisation program, which includes the R51 billion manufacture of 3,600 coaches (600 trains), will become a reality when the first test train is delivered at Wolmerton Depot before the end of this year.

The manufacture of the modern commuter trains will migrate PRASA from 1950’s technology to a modern fleet which is up to world standards. The Rolling Stock Fleet Renewal Programme has been designed to achieve a number of key Government objectives such as the delivery of quality services to citizens, revitalization of South Africa’s rail engineering industry through local manufacturing and ensuring local content (65% minimum local content is prescribed) as part of the Government’s Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP2), employment creation and skills development as well as Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment.

Upon its arrival, this first train will be subjected to commissioning, testing and validation processes. The purpose of this first test train is to conduct a series of intensive tests. The testing programme is designed to ensure that the new train meets the safety parameters as set out in the technical specifications, and the prescribed standards by the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR).

The validation process will ascertain that all systems and discrete subsystems of the new trains meet its specified performance under all specified operating and environmental conditions. These tests will also confirm the performance of the components.

Once the static test has been completed the test train will then be the 120km/h High Speed Open Line Testing, which will be conducted on the De Wildt corridor. It will encompass a complex reality involving various technical aspects such as infrastructure, safe train operations and quality of the Future Train Service.
PRASA expects the Second Test Train set will be delivered in the last quarter of this financial year.

Video: New trains


Images by: Supplied by PRASA

Metro Rail South Africa

Metro Rail South Africa

Metro Rail South Africa

Metro Rail South Africa

Existing Metrorail fleet
Video: Cape Town- Metrorail trains in South Africa


Existing Metrorail trains within metropolitan areas





Gautrain -High-speed rail in Johannesburg and Pretoria
Video: Gautrain -High-speed rail in Johannesburg and Pretoria

Video: Gautrain -High-speed rail in Johannesburg

Video: Gautrain -High-speed rail northbound at Ridge Road, Midrand


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