/ MEDIA STATEMENT / This content is not written by Creamer Media, but is a supplied media statement.
- Siemens commissions two of the busiest railway stations in Africa
- This new signalling system help will increase operational capacity, provide a higher level of flexibility and reduce train delays
As part of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA’s) drive to deliver a world class commuter railway system, Siemens was commissioned to install a new signalling system across the PRASA network in the Gauteng region as well as the construction of a modern control centre, the Gauteng Nerve Centre.
Siemens has this week commissioned two of the busiest railway stations in Africa, Johannesburg Park Station and Braamfontein station, with the Siemens Sicas electronic interlocking system.
The project forms part of the multi billion rand national re-signalling programme being undertaken by PRASA. Most of the rail network in the Gauteng area consists of old signalling systems that were far beyond their life expectancy, with some of them dating back to the 1930’s.
“This is a major achievement and milestone event for the South African rail industry because of the size and importance of these stations. Johannesburg Park Station consists of 114 sets of points, 129 signals and 16 operational platforms, making it one of the largest railway stations in Africa. Braamfontein consists of 87 signals and 67 sets of points. Both stations were commissioned in less than one month while under operational conditions. This required a tremendous amount of work and advanced preparation to ensure that the passenger service was still safe and reliable with minimum disruptions to commuter service. The installation works started months ago with continuous technical and operational coordination between the PRASA project team, the PRASA Gauteng regional team and Siemens,” says Kevin Pillay, Divisional Director, Siemens Mobility, Southern Africa.
To date, 38 of the 92 stations in Gauteng have already been commissioned with the new Siemens electronic interlocking system. Pretoria Station is the next mega station planned for commissioning in January 2019 with occupation works already under way during the festive break. The new system provides a modern interlocking base for the next level of Automatic Train Protection that will further enhance safety and reliability in the passenger rail network. The whole project is underpinned by stringent testing and safety processes in line with world standards. Siemens delivers local content greater than 60% on the project, with the engineering, manufacturing and testing taking place at the Siemens South Africa facility in Northriding, Johannesburg.
Various training is provided to PRASA technical, operational and maintenance personnel in order to bridge the skills gap between the existing technologies to the electronic based signalling system. In addition to this formal training, on the job training is being provided to young technicians and engineers at the Siemens local facility and on the project sites. This new signalling system will help increase operational capacity, provide a higher level of flexibility and reduce train delays. The Completion of the rail signalling project will see the Gauteng railway network aligned with modern rail networks across the world and Siemens is extremely proud to be involved in this significant project.