Photo: Duane Daws

Photo: Duane Daws

The first of the 70 new AFRO 4001 locomotives, made in Spain, is already in South Africa and was successfully tested on a journey from Cape Town to Stellenbosch, reported the National Railway Agency (ANF).

The modern machine is lighter than the others currently in use in the southern country and is part of the government plan More Trains 2015 to provide an integrated, accessible, reliable and multi-modal transport system.

According to the Transportation Minister, Dipuo Peters, the South African Railway modernization and renovation program, at a cost of 15 billion dollars, seeks to restore the faith of the people in these vehicles and counteracts overcrowded in terminals.

In total, the project designed for a 10 year period includes the manufacture of 3,600 passenger cars or 600 trains and incorporation of high-power, efficient, fast and reliable locomotives.

South African engineers worked day and night to deliver the design of this locomotive to Iberian manufacturers so as to have as result a machine well adaptable to the national ground, said the director of ANF, Daniel Mtimkhulu.

The AFRO 4001 program will be fully operational next March, noted the communication from the National Railway Agency.