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French get Metrorail revamp tender

Metrorail awarded a French company the multibillion rand revamp tender.

Metrorail Cape Town. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail bosses said on Tuesday commuters will have to change their behaviour by the time it launches its new fleet of passenger trains.

Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) recently awarded a multibillion rand tender to a French company to manufacture its new fleet over the next 10 years.

The first 28 test trains will hit Western Cape train tracks by 2015.

Most of the manufacturing will be done locally, promising more than 30, 000 jobs.

Metrorail's Mthuthuzeli Swartz said, "We can't allow these trains to be vandalised from day one. If we allow this kind of behaviour we might as well close shop and go home. This is why we're doubling up on the number security we have."

Western Cape Transport MEC Robin Carlisle said with the new trains' bells, whistles, air conditioning and toilets, it will last long.

"I think there is a huge awareness in Metrorail that protecting your assets is the single biggest priority they have."