New train system to alleviate scheduling delays – minister

2016-05-24 19:50
(Kaveel Singh, News24)

(Kaveel Singh, News24)

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Pretoria – The introduction of Prasa’s new trains will alleviate scheduling and infrastructure problems, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday.

“All our people want are clean trains that are timeous and safe. We believe there could be stepping blocks to overcome initially, but ultimately it will smooth out for an efficient, world-class system,” she said at the public viewing of a set of six new carriages, in Pretoria.

The train was taken on a test ride from Pretoria station, via Kalafong, to Atteridgeville.  

It was part of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa) new trains which were scheduled to be put into use on October 1.

Speaking to News24, Peters said problems with scheduling and train signalling would be alleviated barring “minor initial stumbling blocks”.

Regional chairperson for the Tshwane United Commuters Forum, Gilbert Morife, said the trains looked and felt good, but was concerned about signalling.

“The minister has asked for the people to take care of the trains, but when people do not get to their stops on time, they get angry and cannot be controlled. We hope signals and scheduling is the best when the time comes.”

Train test

Prasa’s engineers used Tuesday’s test to showcase the infrastructure and upgrades that were part of the agency’s R172bn modernisation programme.

Prasa had begun building a R1bn train manufacturing and components plant. Dipuo said the plant would employ 1 500 permanent staff, with another 19 500 people receiving rail-related training at the plant.

Dipuo said a total of R800m had been set aside for skills development.

The features of the new trains include crashworthy energy-absorbing train bodies, automatic doors, open passageways throughout the train, air conditioning, CCTV, and a “black box” data capturing device.

Read more on:    prasa  |  dipuo peters  |  pretoria  |  transport

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