Siemens Mobility and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) have successfully installed and operationalized a new signaling system in Johannesburg Park Station, Braamfontein and Pretoria station. To date, new interlocking systems have been installed in 40 of the 92 stations in South Africa’s Gauteng province as part of PRASA’s drive to deliver a world class commuter railway. Gauteng is the country’s most populated province, home to three of the five largest cities in the country. The new system will increase operational capacity, allow the system more flexibility and reduce delays, improving overall operations for the transit system.
“Since 2011, Siemens Mobility and PRASA have been working together to commission and install new signaling and control systems throughout the Gauteng region. The latest installations are in three of the country’s busiest stations and will help the transit operator improve passenger experience and guarantee availability,” stated Michael Peter, Siemens Mobility CEO.
The project is part of a multi-billion rand re-signaling program. Outside of the 40stations with new signaling installed, much of the network has systems that are beyond their life expectancy, dating as far back as the 1930s. Johannesburg Park Station is also one of the largest stations in Africa, consisting of 114 sets of points, 129 signals and 16 operational platforms. Braamfontein consists of 87 signals and 67 sets of points. Pretoria consists of 105 signals and 69 sets of points. Johannesburg Park and Braamfontein stations were installed and tested after intensive pretesting of soft- and hardware in the Interlocking Test Facility at Siemens Mobility in South Africa. The stations were put into service with minimal disruptions to commuter service.
Gauteng is the smallest, yet most densely populated province in South Africa and, as home to the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, the economic center of South Africa. Around ten percent of Africa’s gross domestic product is generated in the region. In 2015, Siemens Mobility built the state-of-the art control center for rail traffic in the province called the Gauteng Nerve Center. The new signaling systems will be monitored from the center for any operating issues.