Cape Town - In an attempt from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to turnaround rail travel in South Africa, a new high-powered diesel locomotive has been imported from Spain and unveiled at the Cape Town station on Monday, 1 December.
The new Afro 4000 locomotive is the first of its kind in Africa, and although it cost R46 million to design and build, Prasa believes it is money well spent as it is a brave first step in providing high-quality, safe and reliable long distance rail travel service, reports Eye Witness News.
The Afro 4000 is expected to make it's maiden journey in March 2015.
Business Day reports that the new locomotives were designed by the Spanish rail industry manufacturer Vossloh, who built the locomotive to suit local conditions.
Mosenngwa Mofi, the CEO of Prasa, told the media that the unveiling of the new Afro 4000 locomotive series was overwhelming. He said that it was an emotional day for Prasa representatives because the Afro 4000 is a realisation of a dream that will change the travelling experience of all South Africans.
The new Afro 4000 is the first manifestation of Prasa’s recapitalisation project, that will see an overhaul of its fleet over the next 10 years. The project is expected to cost R170 billion and will see older trains being replaced by faster and more reliable trains on local railways, reports Eye Witness News.
This is what the new Afro 4000 looked like at the unveiling on Monday: