Dec 10, 2010
Multibillion-rand signalling upgrade project for 2011Back
© Reuse this
The multibillion-rand signalling project will include upgrades to, and the replacing of, most of the current signalling systems with new railway signalling technology, starting in Gauteng, as well as the GNC, a new centralised train control centre. With the new signals, the monitoring of train movements in Gauteng from one centralised centre will now be possible.
The current signalling system has exceeded its design life and is becoming obsolete. The signals are not able to support modern and safe railway operations and this unreliability has contributed to the occurrence of accidents and poor performance in the past, says Prasa.
“The outdated signalling equipment also affects the efficiency of the operations of the trains and the service levels of Prasa,” says Prasa acting regional manager Douglas Chauke.
The technology currently used is over 30 years old and Prasa is unable to maintain this equipment as the parts required are no longer manufactured, says Prasa head of communications Nana Zenani.
“The current railway signalling system consists of a mixture of technologies developed in the 1970s and 1980s, with some parts based on 1930s and 1950s technology. Upgrading the system will replace the manual changing of signals by pulling levers,” she says.
The implementation of the signalling systems will start in Gauteng, where more than 60% of the Prasa rail network, comprising the oldest technology, exists. “This will be the most challenging region to upgrade and will cost about R1,2-billion,” says Zenani.
While such an upgrade will, initially, result in delays to, and disruption of, services, which may inconvenience passengers, Prasa reports that there are many benefits of the new signalling project.
Prasa will be able to increase its capacity through more trains being in operation and reduce the headways from the current 12 minutes to about three minutes, explains Chauke.
“The new signalling project will change the South African rail industry,” he says.
It will also allow the efficient introduction of new, modern rolling stock into Prasa’s rail network, as the electronic systems will already be in place, says Zenani.
Prasa needs to replace its rolling stock, besides other equipment and infrastructure, as it is approaching the end of its useful life, as most of the equipment and technology is over 30 to 40 years old.
Engineering company Siemens South Africa is Prasa’s preferred bidder for the new signalling project and negotiations should be completed by December. Engineering company Actom is the reserve bidder.
The investment is in line with Prasa’s aims for the next three to five years of upgrading the existing passenger railway system and adopting new railway technology best practices.
“The rail company has identified the need to recapitalise its fleet over the next 18 years, for which an investment of over R80-billion will be required for new and refurbished coaches and locomotives,” Prasa states.
Edited by: Brindaveni Naidoo© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Top Projects News
Johannesburg-based company Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Africa, which is constructing boilers for State-owned power utility Eskom’s new Medupi and Kusile power stations, announced a revised top structure, including a new executive chairperson and a new chief...
Updated 7 hours ago The government of St Helena (SHG) and its Department for International Development (DFID) on Friday appointed airline Comair as the provider of air services to St Helena with the Island’s first airport opening in 2016. Comair would offer a weekly Saturday service,...
Updated 7 hours ago The Department of Communications (DoC) digital terrestrial television (DTT) project team was accelerating its efforts to “revive” South Africa’s long anticipated transition from analogue to digital broadcasting. After a more than six-year delay, the next few weeks...
Updated 7 hours ago Residential property prices are forecast to grow at 7.2% this year, on the back of 6.72% growth in 2014.
Recent Research Reports
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
This Week's Magazine
Projected capital expenditure (capex) in the South African automotive assembly industry should reach a record R7.48-billion this year, says the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (Naamsa) in its 2014 fourth quarter business review. Capex...
After several years of navigating project-threatening red tape and currency fluctuations, the 4.4 MW Bronkhorstspruit biogas power plant, which will supply clean energy to a leading automotive manufacturer in Gauteng, is expected to enter production before June....
South African paper and pulp producer Sappi reported earlier this month that it would build a pilot plant for the production of low-cost Cellulose NanoFibrils, or CNF (nanocellulose) at the Brightlands Chemelot Campus in Sittard-Geleen in the Netherlands.
The long-term outlook for Nigeria is a country that has the potential to be very strong. So affirmed International Monetary Fund (IMF) Nigeria Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative Dr Gene Leon on recently. "But we are starting from a point of huge...
Poor infrastructure planning and inadequate maintenance are becoming increasingly problematic for new developments and the associated infrastructure required to support such developments. In many urban and rural municipalities, the state of infrastructure has been...