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Consortium to Implement One of the Largest Re-signalling Projects in South Africa

Consortium to Implement One of the Largest Re-signalling Projects in South Africa

  • Bombardier’s rail control solution to operate on Durban’s main rail corridors
  • First major delivery of Bombardier signalling technology for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA)
  • Commitment to local partnership, employment and economic empowerment

Rail technology leader Bombardier Transportation announced today that, as leader of the consortium Bombardier Africa Alliance, it has won the contract to implement one of the largest conventional mainline re-signalling projects in South Africa. The total contract is valued at approximately 1.1 billion South African Rand (95 million euro, $122 million US), with Bombardier’s share valued at approximately 318 million South African Rand (27 million euro, $34 million US).

The consortium, which includes ERB Technologies, Basil Read, Bakara Engineering, R&H Railway Consultants, SIMS and Tractionel, is delivering the globally-proven, state-of-the-art BOMBARDIER INTERFLO 200 rail control solution for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). This is the first major delivery of Bombardier signalling technology for PRASA. Once commissioned in 2017, the planned increase in trains operating on the lines is set to enhance mobility in the region for about 700,000 passengers daily. It constitutes a major multidisciplinary rail modernisation of the Durban main corridors.

The Bombardier Africa Alliance includes local and international railway expertise that share the vision of PRASA and the South African Government to create a modern rail environment. Bombardier is responsible for the signalling technology and is the overall project management lead on this highly complex metro application.

The INTERFLO technology is being delivered for 42 stations and 120 km of double-track. It will enable 2.5 minute headways, eliminating bottlenecks while increasing safety and availability. The upgrade also introduces the latest generation, high capacity BOMBARDIER EBI Lock 950 computer-based interlocking Release 4 and EBI Screen 900 local central traffic control (CTC) systems to the market, and includes replacement of all wayside equipment. Associated telecommunications equipment (fibre-optic backbone and voice radio) is being provided while the civil works include modifications to existing platforms, track and overhead equipment and new pedestrian bridges.

The Bombardier Africa Alliance is committed to a high level of product localisation, together with the transfer of skills and technology, which will be highly focused on South Africa’s Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment (BBBEE) regulations and other criteria. The consortium’s contribution to the local community in Kwa-Zulu Natal will also be significant as the project aims to create approximately 270 new jobs. Bombardier will strive to maintain these as a part of expansion plans into sub-Saharan Africa.

Peter Cedervall, President Rail Control Solutions, Bombardier Transportation, said: “Supporting South Africa in modernising and strengthening its rail control systems is a very exciting project and an important milestone in creating a long-term local presence in South Africa. We are fully committed to working in partnership with PRASA to deliver a new, more affordable and effective train service.”

PRASA's General Manager, Signalling & Telecommunications, Sorin Baltac, commented: “PRASA under the leadership of its GCEO Lucky Montana, is in a process of modernisation of its entire network to provide a first-class level service to commuters in the largest metropolitan areas in South Africa. The new signalling and telecommunication system will ensure the safety level, the frequency of the trains, and the traffic coordination required in a world class rail commuter environment. The Signalling and Telecommunication Department in PRASA is confident that the appointment of Bombardier for the resignalling project in Kwa Zulu Natal Region and the application of their control systems at PRASA stations and the Rosborough Central Traffic Control Centre will significantly increase the reliability of the signalling system and fluidity of the traffic. The completion of this project will provide commuters from the Durban area a more reliable, safer and quicker journey.”

INTERFLO 200 signalling solutions are typically used for busy, mainline networks, where headways are reduced and higher safety levels are required. INTERFLO 200 can be complemented with a national automatic train protection (ATP) system and can later be upgraded to European Rail Traffic Management system (ERTMS) operation. INTERFLO 200 has been installed extensively across the world in countries including Brazil, Russia, Thailand and across Europe.

Bombardier Transportation’s Rail Control Solutions portfolio covers the whole range of BOMBARDIER CITYFLO mass transit solutions, from manual to fully automatic, as well as communications-based systems. It also provides INTERFLO mainline solutions, from conventional to ERTMS Level 2 systems. Bombardier also provides a complete palette of wayside and onboard signalling products.

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