With all new or even some of the older railway projects launched and inaugurated, South Africa emerges as an efficient and secure rail transport market. European rail industry companies and rolling stock manufacturers now perceive it as an expanding transport market where they can sell their rail products.
Moloto Rail Project’s main objective is to ensure that passenger rail is the backbone of an integrated multi-modal transport system. In addition, this rail project would serve as a catalyst for economic development initiatives within and around the Corridor resolving challenges of safety, efficiency, reliability, affordability and overall integration with other public transport services.
Moloto Rail Corridor will integrate bus and rail transport, thus, one of the most important objectives is to increase the speed for buses from 70 km/h to 120 km/h and from 160 km/h to 200 km/h for standard gauge trains, reducing thereby time travel for commuters. This step is part of the government’s policy to develop an inter-modal transport solution.
The Moloto Development Corridor will include investments in passenger rail services in order to offer commuters a safer, faster and more accessible connection between three provinces in South Africa. Given the scale of the proposed changes, an intergovernmental structure will be established to coordinate the process between the State, Gauteng, Mpumalanga, Limpopo provinces and Tshwane municipality.
”The rail system will form the backbone of both the public transport system and the corridor development process. The rail stations and transfer facilities will become the centre points for hub developments. All commuters and the non-commuting public will use the rail facilities around the station and the hub in general as the basis and location for all commercial and other economic activities along the corridor” Joe Maswanganyi, South African Transport Minister explaines in an official statement issued this month.
Minister Maswanganyi also indicated the rail development corridor will facilitate the creation of new local production and services and therefore the creation of local employment opportunities.
In September 2016, Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China Communications Construction Company to build the Moloto Rail Development Corridor. “The construction of the rail development corridor is a direct response by government to excessive traffic congestion numerous fatal road accidents and general economic underdevelopment in the area,” said Bongani Ngqulunga, spokesperson for South African President Jacob Zuma.
The new rail service design will feature 13 new rail stations, 125 kilometers of double track, 38 road over-all rail bridges, 9 pedestrian bridges, with the potential of increasing the number of these bridges, 44 river crossings, 12 car train sets, 46 train sets, a capacity of transport for 15,000 passenger/ hour, 1 major multi-modal interchange and 160 km/h operational conventional speed.