PRASA award Gibela with Provisional Acceptance Certificate

Gibela hands over the first X’Trapolis Mega train to Prasa. Gibela employees have been putting the train through a rigorous testing programme at Prasa’s Wolmerton depot.

The handover took place at Prasa’s Wolmerton depot at Capital Park on Friday.

“This is a major milestone for Gibela and our customer Prasa, a moment we have been preparing for since signing the contract in 2014.

“The train is the first of 600 to be delivered by Gibela to Prasa over the next 10 years and represents years of work by designers, engineers, and project and logistics specialists, among others,” says Marc Granger, chief executive officer of Gibela.

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Prasa’s first phase trial run was undertaken with no passengers on board as per the South African Rail Safety Regulator requirements.

The trial run was scheduled between Pienaarspoort Station, Mamelodi and Rissik Street Station in Hatfield from Thursday (December 1) until January 16.

From January 18 to February 28 the second phase of the trial run will give passengers an opportunity to travel on the new train between Koedoespoort Station and Rissik Street Station.

The new train is expected to enter full commercial service soon afterwards.

Gibela’s Dunnottar manufacturing plant, where 580 trains will be produced, is currently under construction and is expected to be completed by the end of 2017.

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To date, close to 300 South Africans have received training in various aspects of train manufacture at Alstom’s worldwide centres of excellence, in preparation for the start of train manufacturing in South Africa.

As part of Gibela’s support of the South African government’s National Development Plan, the maths, science and English Saturday classes will provide extra support to 450 learners in Grades 10, 11 and 12.

Almost 22 national diploma and university graduates will start their Gibela internships in February to gain work experience in their chosen disciplines.

Gibela was awarded 280 bursaries to students studying specific courses at South African universities and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions, and 300 bursaries have been awarded for 2017.

“My thanks goes out to everyone who has been involved,” says Granger.

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