The X'Trapolis MEGA – a South African first
State-of-the-art, developed to accommodate South Africa's 1.067m gauge rail tracks, some X’trapolis MEGAs – each 131 metres long and weighing 220 tonnes – are already in service.
The first 20 trains were built at Alstom’s Lapa plant in Brazil – two as test trains and 18 for commercial service. South Africans were among the manufacturing team in Lapa as part of an ambitious skills transfer programme, and South African raw materials were shipped to Brazil, triggering Gibela’s commitment to a minimum of 65% South African content.
As more trains roll off Gibela’s Ekurhuleni production line, more will be deployed on Metrorail routes around South Africa, for the benefit of growing numbers of South Africa’s rail commuting public.
Currently estimated at 2.3 million and expected to double in the next 20 years, rail commuters are starting to experience unprecedented levels of safety, comfort, speed and reliability from the new trains.
The X'Trapolis MEGA’s stand-out features include:
- Capacity of up to 1 200 passengers in six cars – the modular design allows for adjustment during periods of higher and lower demand.
- Travelling speed of up to 120kmph that can be increased to 160kmph.
- Latest international safety features, including an anti-crash system designed to protect drivers and passengers.
- Lightweight structure, using South African stainless steel, consuming significantly less energy than standard trains.
- Numerous other energy-saving features – regenerative braking that delivers a 30% reduction in energy consumption; energy generated by braking is directed into the train's power network, reducing carbon emissions and costs.
- Components that are 90% recyclable.
- Six wide double doors per coach, providing commuters with easy access, particularly for those who are mobility challenged, the elderly and mothers with pushchairs.
- Spacious interiors making for easy movement.
- Large exterior windows providing lots of natural light, supported by various and various LED lighting options.
- Wide, unobstructed gangways, ensuring uninterrupted views down the train to enhance safety and security.
- Wi-Fi internet access.
- Large ergonomic toilets on board some of the trains.
18 December 2015
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