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Gautrain additional rolling stock and depot enhancement procurement programme, South Africa

24th May 2019

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Gautrain additional rolling stock and depot enhancement procurement programme.

Location
Gauteng, South Africa.

Client
Gautrain Management Agency (GMA), an agency of the Gauteng Provincial government (GPG).

The Gautrain is operated by the Bombela Concession Company (BCC).

Project Description
The project involves the acquisition of additional rolling stock comprising 12 new trains of four cars each and a workshop for the maintenance of the new trains.

The first contract includes the design, supply and maintenance of the new rolling stock, as well as the design, construction and maintenance of the depot extensions to accommodate the new trains. Three service providers were pre-qualified and participated in the bidding process.

Potential Job Creation
The project is expected to sustain 10 000 jobs in Gauteng.

Capital Expenditure
The total project value is estimated at R2.5-billion.

The GPG will be the owner of the project and funding will be provided by the Development Bank of Southern Africa.

It is, however, amenable to alternative funding options as presented by the successful bidder.

Planned Start/End Date
The project for the procurement of the new trains has been suspended until 2026.

Latest Developments
The tender for the procurement of new 12 new four-car trains for the Gautrain system will not be reissued, GMA communication and marketing senior executive manager Dr Barbara Jensen has said.

An almost three-year tender process – initiated in February 2016 to secure additional train sets for the Gautrain system – came to an end last year, but failed to deliver the desired results when none of the three short-listed bidders produced a compliant bid.

Jensen has said that the GMA and system operator, Bombela, are preparing a business case to acquire a smaller number of train sets “while the larger procurement is deferred to 2026, when there is an opportunity to combine this with a larger recapitalising of the system”.

The concession period for the current operator, Bombela, comes to an end in 2026.

The  tender for the acquisition of 12 new trains was aimed at alleviating congestion on the Gautrain system during the morning and evening peaks.

Now it is hoped that a revised schedule of the Gautrain service, implemented on May 1, will assist to alleviate congestion and stem ridership losses.

Ridership on the Gautrain reached 15.6-million passengers a year in the 2016/17 financial year, dropping to 15-million in 2017/18.

At the end of April 2019, the total passengers transported for the year to date was within 1% of the same period in 2018, indicating that the passenger numbers have stabilised, Jensen has noted.

“In May, Gautrain introduced a number of new initiatives to restore passengers . . . and these measures are expected to positively impact on ridership.”

The change in scheduling and in rolling stock deployment should prove especially beneficial to peak-time and airport passengers on the Gautrain.

Bombela explains it has suspended the higher peak fare for a trial period. However, depending on capacity constraints, it may be reintroduced at a later stage.

“For now, the higher peak fare will not apply,” Bombela spokesperson Kesagee Nayager has said.

The afternoon peak period will also be extended northbound only – from Park station, in Johannesburg, to Hatfield station, in Pretoria – from Monday to Friday.

The afternoon peak now starts at 14h38, as opposed to 15h28.

This means that trains will be available every 10 min from 14h38, while off-peak fares will apply during this extended peak period.

Also, trains travelling southbound – from Hatfield station to Park station – will start service earlier in the morning, but only on weekdays.

The first train will depart at Hatfield station at 05h05, as opposed to 05h26, with a knock-on effect at each station travelling south.

Nayager notes that Bombela has also introduced additional eight-car trains during the morning and afternoon peak periods on the north–south line to deal with capacity constraints.

The schedule changes will also result in the first train departing from OR Tambo International Airport (ORTIA) at 05h19, stopping at Rhodesfield and Marlboro stations.

As such, the Rhodesfield and Marlboro stations now have an earlier train departure on weekdays.

Also, on weekends and public holidays, trains are now available every 20 min between ORTIA and Sandton stations, as opposed to every 30 min.

The time of departure for the last trains at the close of service remains the same as before at all stations, with trains not running later in the day.

Nayager notes that the schedule changes do not require the use of additional rolling stock.

The Gautrain system currently operates 96 coaches, with train configurations of either four or eight coaches, depending on time-of-day demand.

Key Contracts and Suppliers
None stated.

On Budget and on Time?
Too early to state.

Contact Details for Project Information
GMA senior executive manager communication and marketing Dr Barbara Jensen, email barbaraj@gautrain.co.za.
 

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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