35 new trains delivered to Cape Town
Thirty-five new trains will be delivered to Cape Town next year to alleviate some of the public’s transport woes.
The trains, manufactured locally, are part of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa) rail rolling stock fleet renewal programme that will see the manufac- ture of more than 7 000 new trains over a period of 20 years.
President Cyril Ramaphosa officially launched two sets of the new blue trains labelled “Uloliwe wabantu” – the peo- ple’s train – at Cape Town station yes- terday, a move that has been welcomed lobby groups and unions.
Ramaphosa boarded a test ride and travelled from Cape Town to Mowbray. While on board he had a walkabout, admiring the train’s features including cameras in all coaches, fire sprinklers, air conditioning, a trigger emergency button for commuters and a telecom that announces the next station.
The train doesn’t move if doors are open, there are no in-between coaches, no metro plus side; drivers will be able to communicate with passengers and the train stops automatically.
“I am delighted that we are doing this launch in the Western Cape, where we have been faced with enormous problems and challenges. I am also pleased with the efforts made by the City, Prasa and the provincial govern- ment,” said Ramaphosa.
“This for me is a joyous moment because this is the third interface I am having in just a few months with our rail transportation facilities.
“The first time was when I went to the factories that are making these trains and I was immensely impressed to see how we are now making trains in South Africa and that we are also looking forward to making trains for the continent.”
He said the Gibela Factory was pos- sibly the only factory on the whole continent that could make trains for passenger rail transportation.
“I am delighted at having seen these trains being made by young people – a factory of highly skilled young people, and most of them, you will be pleased to know, were women.