The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has unveiled its new Afro 4000 locomotive series to be used on its long-distance main line services.
In October 2013, Swifambo Rail Leasing awarded a €250m contract on behalf of PRASA to Spanish company Vossloh Group to deliver 70 EURO dual locomotives.
The arrival of new locomotives is part of PRASA’s rail infrastructure modernising plan, including rolling stock, signal upgrade, infrastructure rehabilitation, station modernisation, new locomotives for long-distance passenger services and communications systems.
PRASA CEO Mosenngwa Mofi said: "The critical factor is to improve the journey experience and encourage more long-distance travel.
"This can only be achieved by providing reliable, efficient locomotives to haul these trains, thus minimising en-route delay."
According to Mofi, the new locomotives will serve the long distance market, while ten of them would be allocated to the Eastern Cape region. It will run along six long-distance corridors, including the Johannesburg to Cape Town route.
The vehicles will undergo for a three-month testing period and are expected to be operational in March 2015.
It features a driver display unit with route management and train management systems, designed to help the driver to detect and reset any faults while in section.
These highly powered locomotives will be able to pull both freight and passenger coaches.
Meanwhile, PRASA signed a contract with Gibela, a joint venture led by Alstom, to provide 600 passenger trains to be delivered between 2015 and 2025.
Image: Vossloh EURO 4000 diesel-electric locomotive. Photo: courtesy of Vossloh.