South Africa: Thales wins R1.8bn signalling contract for one of the largest rail infrastructure projects in Africa


Thales, one of the world’s major players in transportation systems, is proud to announce it has been awarded a contract to supply a rail signalling solution to the Western Cape region of South Africa that will cover 250km of the province’s passenger rail system. This contract has been signed between the Thales-Maziya consortium and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA).

The new rolling stock programme is one of the largest rail infrastructure projects on the African continent. The project will include the modernisation of the rail signalling, communications and train management systems, covering 46 train stations over the highly populated area in the Western Cape region.

This state-of-the-art signalling system will enable highly reliable operations and improved passenger services and comfort.

The project includes:
• The construction of a new control centre, which will allow the monitoring and efficient management of all the train operations in the entire region;
• The design, supply, installation, test and commissioning of the new electronic interlocking systems and the associated wayside equipment, to ensure the highest levels of safety in train control;
• The design, supply, installation, test and commissioning of new telecommunications and security systems;
• Upgrade and construction of new technical buildings; and
• Improvement of the track in some significant and critical zones, towards better performance and more comfort to the passengers.

Consortium partner Maziya brings the infrastructure, civil works and power supply expertise.

Additionally, Thales is committed to transferring capabilities to assure the creation of local competencies in the rail signalling domain. Thales will also be engaged in support to the local communities, not only by the use of local manpower, labour and supplies, but also by the creation of initiatives towards the support and the development of the underprivileged communities.

Justice Tootla, deputy CEO of Thales South Africa, said: “Being part of the country’s major ground transportation projects is very exciting, and we are committed to delivering solutions that positively impact the communities and the country’s development. As local players forming part of a continuously innovative global company, we are able to match the local industry challenges with our global technology advancements. The provision of an integrated rail signalling system to the country’s Western Cape Province will ensure efficiency and reliable investments, contributing to a fast-developing continent.

“This major award confirms Thales’ worldwide leadership in the transport systems business, with the capacity to both deliver greenfield projects and upgrade existing infrastructures with minimum service disruptions for optimised performance and safety.”

Contributing to South Africa’s overall infrastructure, Thales has delivered a series of projects in several key areas for South Africa: Gautrain ticketing system, integrated security for King Shaka Airport, air traffic management solutions for ATNS, Tacis intelligence systems for the SANDF, and for use in peacekeeping missions in Africa.