PRASA unveils Gibela-built X’Trapolis Mega trains in South Africa

State-owned enterprise Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has unveiled two Gibela-built X’Trapolis Mega trains in Cape Town.

The two trains were launched by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in the presence of government and company officials. These two units are part of 600 new trains being built by Gibela for PRASA.

Gibela is the South African joint venture (JV) of rolling stock manufacturer Alstom.

Currently, the first 18 X’Trapolis Mega units, which were manufactured at Alstom’s Brazilian facility, have started operating in Pretoria, north of Johannesburg.

Most of the vehicles will be built at Gibela’s new train manufacturing facility located in Dunnottar.

Recently, the South African facility delivered the first three trains manufactured in the country to PRASA between December 2018 and March 2019.

Alstom Southern Africa managing director and Alstom Ubunye CEO Xavier Boisgontier said: “Alstom is very pleased to be participating in the country’s railway transport revitalisation. The success of this project with Gibela positions us as a reliable partner, established for the long-term in South Africa.

“Indeed, Gibela is consistently receiving recognition through various industry bodies, the latest being from the South African Government’s Transport Education and Training Authority for excellence in Skills Development and Training.”

Inaugurated in October last year, the Gibela plant is capable of delivering 62 trains per year at peak production.

Overall, it is expected to build 580 X-Trapolis Mega commuter trains over the next ten years.

Various local suppliers are also associated with the supply chain, which in turn will support the local economy and skill development.

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