Testing programme

The X’Trapolis MEGA is being put through its paces in a rigorous testing programme leading up to the first train being put into service. The testing process interrogates each train’s performance, safety and integrity. It is of the utmost importance to Gibela that the trains are safe for South African commuters – and for this to be proven to PRASA.

The test team consists of Alstom specialists from around the world, including South Africa.

In South Africa, safety demonstration is enforced by the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) whose role it is to ensure the train’s design meets safety requirements for drivers, maintenance crews and passengers. Only once a No Objections Certificate is issued will PRASA be authorised to put the trains into service.

The first two test trains manufactured in Brazil did not have fully fitted interiors as their primary function was for testing. The first train tests focused on safety features, while the emphasis of the second train’s tests were on passenger comfort systems, such as air conditioners, heating, public address, passenger information displays and lighting. A third test train arrived in South Africa in March 2016 – fully equipped and set to be the first train to roll on to the rail network.

Steps in the testing process:

Step 1 Component testing
Step 2 Simulated crash tests
Step 3 Testing each car
Step 4 Static testing of the entire train
Step 5 Operational/dynamic testing of the train
Step 6 Testing on PRASA’s main-line test track