Dec 10, 2010
Multibillion-rand signalling upgrade project for 2011Back
Africa|Commuter Rail Network|Outdated Signalling Equipment|Rail Network|Railway Signalling Technology|Douglas Chauke|Nana Zenani|Prasa|Railway Signalling Technology
© 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“The outdated signalling equipment also affects the efficiency of the operations of the trains and the service levels of Prasa,” says Prasa acting regional manager Douglas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
Other Video News
Updated 49 minutes ago South African property loan stock company Arrowhead has acquired an unnamed property letting enterprise and its related immovable properties at 55, 57 and 59 Glover Road, Honeypark Extension 20, in Johannesburg, from Standard Bank South Africa for R150-million. The...
Updated 1 hour 10 minutes ago A year after being absorbed into JSE-listed Altron subsidiary Power Technologies (Powertech), QuadPro Power Solutions has secured orders valued at R280-million in three identified growth markets, Altron said on Monday. Altron last year acquired a 51% stake in QuadPro...
Updated 1 hour 21 minutes ago Construction major Murray & Roberts has driven its African expansion further northwards, officially opening its new offices in Kitwe, Zambia, from where the company will support projects in that country and in other key areas of the central African infrastructure and...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
Road and Rail 2013: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2013 Report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move...
Liquid Fuels 2013 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Liquid Fuels report examines South Africa’s liquid fuels market, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing,...
Projects in Progress - Second Edition (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s second Projects in Progress supplement considers some of the major project developments under way, including high-profile energy and transport projects, as well as a few of the lower-profile public and private developments. What remains apparent is...
Water 2013: A review of South Africa’s water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2013 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.
Canadian Mining Roundup for June 2013 (PDF Report)
The June 2013 roundup includes details of the development of TSX-V-listed Aldridge Minerals’ flagship Yenipazar polymetallic project, in Turkey; the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission’s renewal of Cameco’s uranium mining licence pertaining to the Cigar Lake...
This Week's Magazine
Mitsubishi Motors South Africa (MMSA) has introduced a 4x2 derivative of its Pajero Sport sports-utility vehicle (SUV), which will give it access to a substantial slice of the full-size SUV market, where it will compete with the likes of the Ford Everest, Chevrolet...
South African Energy Minister Ben Martins has affirmed that the government wants the country to be globally competitive in the nuclear sector. "Our responsibility has always been ... to ensure that, in nuclear energy, South Africa can compete with the rest of the...
Mercedes-Benz South Africa (MBSA) president and CEO Dr Martin Zimmermann describes the new S-Class as “a special place to be”, with the car creating a sense of “wellness” once you are seated inside the German brand’s flagship model. It is difficult to argue...
Water scarcity and water-quality issues are broadly recognised and understood in most political, business and civil organisations in South Africa, but solving water issues will require wide and continuous action in catchments and municipalities by organisations and...
Work is well under way on the R212-million Imvutshane dam, 30 km north-west of Stanger, in KwaZulu-Natal, which is a key link in supplying people in rural Maphumulo with a reliable source of safe drinking water.