In the latest signal of the African railway boom, Bombardier Transportation South Africa (Pty) Ltd has signed a contract with Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) for the delivery of 240 TRAXX Africa electric locomotives. These locomotives are are set to be part of a complete fleet renewal programme involving four different suppliers and the contract is expected to be effective by end of March 2014, following certain administrative approvals.
TFR will use the dual-voltage electric locomotives for its general freight business in South Africa. The locomotives will be designed for speeds of up to 100 km/h. The TRAXX Africa design benefits from the vast experience of the TRAXX dual voltage locomotives being in operation with many of the leading European rail freight and passenger operators.
Bombardier will build all its new locomotives in South Africa and is committed to localizing more than 60% of the contract scope. This implies investments in local manufacturing capacity, training and further improving the skills development of local employees, while working with local partners to achieve the same objectives. In accordance with South Africa’s Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) program, this project will create a significant number of quality jobs and skills to complement overall developmental objectives.
Bombardier has been established in South Africa since 1995, supporting local industry in locomotive and commuter train refurbishment programs. As the lead member of the Bombela Consortium, Bombardier was responsible for the core electrical and mechanical design and equipment for the Gautrain Rapid Rail Link. This prestigious turnkey project has provided a new state-of-the-art fleet of commuter trains and signaling systems for passenger services between Johannesburg and Tshwane as well as airport-link trains from Sandton. The majority of the 96 BOMBARDIER ELECTROSTAR vehicles for Gautrain underwent final assembly in South Africa.
As leader of the consortium Bombardier Africa Alliance, Bombardier is also implementing one of the largest conventional mainline re-signalling projects in South Africa. The consortium is delivering the globally-proven BOMBARDIER INTERFLO 200 rail control solution for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). This project constitutes a major multidisciplinary rail modernisation of the Durban main corridors.For more on African rail read this profile: ‘Into Africa’- how Chinese funding helps fuel an African rail boom; projects in Kenya, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Morocco.