Rail technology manufacturer Bombardier Transportation South Africa (BTSA) is progressing well with State-owned mass transportation system operator Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa’s (PRASA’s) R1.1-billion resignalling project, in KwaZulu-Natal, BTSA sales head Aubrey Lekwane tells Engineering News.
He says BTSA is currently in the final stages of completing the design phase of the Durban portion of the projects.
“The project is scheduled for completion in 2017, with the commissioning of the first line scheduled for May 2015.”
Further, Lekwane explains that the project will modernise the signalling on 42 train stations and 120 km of double track, and is to be completed over the next five years.
The project is being undertaken by Bombardier and the Bombardier Africa Alliance’s consortium partners: railway signalling company ERB technologies, development and engineering group Basil Read, diversified rail engineering company Bakara Engineering, rail consultancy R&H Rail, railway infrastructure maintenance management services and technology solutions provider Stimela Infrastructure Management Services and electrical construction company Tractionel Enterprise.
Lekwane points out that the consortium is delivering the Bombardier INTERFLO 200 rail control solution to PRASA.
He says the rail control solution will enable a 2.5 minute headway, thereby eliminating bottlenecks while increasing safety and availability.
Moreover, Lekwane highlights that the INTERFLO 200 signalling solution is typically used for busy mainline networks, where headways are reduced and higher safety levels are required.
He adds that the INTERFLO 200 can be complemented with a national automatic train protection system and can later be upgraded to a European Rail Traffic Management System, or ERTMS, operation.
The INTERFLO 200 is widely used in many countries, including Brazil, Russia and Thailand, as well as throughout Europe.
“The upgrade also introduces the latest-generation, high-capacity Bombardier EBI Lock 950 computer-based interlocking, or CBI Release 4, and EBI Screen 900 local central traffic control, or CTC, systems to the market, and includes the replacement of all wayside equipment,” he notes.
The two systems supervise and control wayside objects such as signals, point machines and level protection equipment.
The interlocking system receives route commands from traffic control centres or local control systems and sends indications or status reports back. It also checks that conditions for the commands are fulfilled, locks the routes and releases them after a train has passed.
Further, Lekwane points out that associated telecommunications equipment, such as fibre-optic backbone and voice radios, are provided, while the civil works, including the modifications to existing platforms, track and overhead equipment, and new pedestrian bridges, are being undertaken.
“Once commissioned in 2017, the planned increase in trains operating on PRASA’s lines is set to enhance mobility in the region for about 700 000 passengers on a daily basis. This will constitute a major multidisciplinary rail modernisation of Durban’s main rail corridors,” he states.