Gautrain carriages to creates jobs

Posted On Tuesday, 21 October 2008 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The first phase of Gautrain is expected to start operating at the end of June 2010 between OR Tambo and Sandton, and it will be fully operational in March 2011.

Gautrain ProjectGauteng MEC for Public Transport, Roads and Works, Mr Ignatius Jacobs visited the Union Carriage and Wagon Partnership in Nigel, to see the assembly of the first three Gautrain rail cars.

Web extras: Get a sneak peak in pictures of what the Gautrain carriages look like during assembly

He praised the UWC Partnership who have employed an additional 95 people. Thirteen are women, two have disabilities and three learners have been included in the newly created jobs.

"Investing in the development of our people and our communities is what Gautrain is all about," said Jacobs. He added: "When we signed the Concession Agreement with our private partners we set out several socio-economic development goals.

"Now we are proud to report that these goals were not merely empty promises but have made a real difference in the growth of our economy, local skills development, employment equity and attracting women in an industry dominated by males."

Seventeen of the new employees were sent to Derby in the United Kingdom for training, where 15 rail cars are being manufactured at the Bombardier Transportation’s workshop.

These 17 employees gained valuable hands-on experience, and are now conducting peer skills transfer programmes with the remaining 68 employees in competency assessments, product knowledge, computer programmes and technology skills transfer.

Moses Pitsi, Traction and Fit-Out Foreman, was one of the fortunate 17 to have visited Derby. Speaking about the Gautrain project he said:

"I was one of the lucky guys to train in Derby to enhance our skills. We learned new technology and techniques plus spent a lot of time concentrating on the safety of the workers and the passengers."

He added: "Now that we are back, we are training our colleagues with the new skills that we have learned."

"I am proud to be associated with the Gautrain project. I am going to perform to my personal best and feel that I will be leaving my footprint in the first project of this kind in South Africa." Said Moses.

Enthusiastic Quality Inspector Lucy Sekgobela joined the project two months ago. Speaking to Sowetan Online she said: "I check the parts of the carriages before they get assembled and I also coach the assemblers to get the job done right the first time according to the specifications."

"Everything has to be done properly as it is all about the saftey of the passengers who will travel in the carriages. The trains are going to be comfortable and of a high standard."

"It is an honour to be involved with a project that the whole world is watching. They are waiting to see how successful it is going to be."

More about the Gautrain carriages:

* Gautrain carriages will travel at 160 kilometres per hour;

* Each four-car commuter train will carry up to 321 seated passengers;

* A mirror production line has been installed in Nigel like the one in Derby;

* Ten experts from Bombardier have been commissioned to work at UCW to ensure that local production standards are on par with the Derby plant;

* The first locally assembled four-car train set is expected to be completed before the end of June 2009;

* The lightweight aluminium car bodies offer increased energy efficiency and reduced maintenance requirements. It has been customised to meet South African requirements;

* The successful production of Gautrain carriages could lead to future opportunities where they could compete for future Gautrain derivative vehicles elsewhere in the world;

* The upgrade of the UCW facility will also allow for repairs to be carried out on the Gautrain fleet as well as heavy overhauls, should this be required.


Last modified on Friday, 01 November 2013 08:06

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