With plant construction two months away from completion, the Gibela Rail Transport Consortium, in which Alstom holds an interest, has moved its dedicated team into the new train manufacturing plant and training centre complex in Dunnottar, Ekurhuleni.
“All teams are now on board and ready to start manufacturing in a brand new factory with new staff and a new supplier base,” said Alstom senior VP Middle East and Africa Didier Pfleger.
Work has started on the manufacture of the first of 580 six-car X’Trapolis Mega commuter trains to be built over the next ten years for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).
At peak production, more than 1 000 employees are expected to be manufacturing an average of five trains a month.
By the end of the first quarter of 2018, the first train’s car body shell – essentially, its panel-clad metal frame – is expected to be completed, with the first South African-built train ready for delivery to PRASA by the end of 2018, said Pfleger.
Further, most of the 65 apprentices selected during 2017 have started their training at the Gibela training centre.
One of the 20 trains built at Alstom’s Lapa factory, in Brazil, will now be based at Gibela’s training centre, where it will be instrumental in the training of some 19 500 artisans and technicians.
One train will be used for testing purposes, while the remaining 18 trains have been in commercial service for part of 2017 and are estimated to have already clocked up more than 500 000 km.