New control center from Siemens in South Africa's Gauteng is now in operation

New control center from Siemens

Siemens builds a new state-of-the art control center for centralized rail traffic management called the Gauteng Nerve Centre (GNC) in the province of Gauteng, which is operational and will start with the changeover of stations from January. The new operations control center now accommodates the existing 35 control rooms in one place. The GNC constantly monitors each and every one of the over 600 trains in operation every day, and can immediately respond to any operating failures, accidents and other incidents. Siemens has been upgrading the signaling systems for the entire railway network of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) since 2011.

The new building covers an area of around 3,400 square meters, and acts as the "eye" overlooking the entire PRASA network. The control room at the heart of the GNC is equipped with a video wall over 52 meters long and two meters high, monitoring all train movements and displaying traction power supply, weather information and operational data. The train movements are controlled via 30 multiscreen workstations, which are each fitted with an integrated communication module, combining telephone, trunked radio and GSMR communication. The GNC also includes the centralized control of passenger information systems, monitoring equipment for the overhead contact line systems and CCTV systems for the stations.

The signaling systems currently in use in the province of Gauteng are obsolete. They comprise a mix of technologies, with some dating back to the 1930s. Upgrading the trackside equipment will help develop the densely populated province of Gauteng as an economic region, as the advanced track systems are designed to reduce the headway between successive trains from 15 minutes to around 2.5 minutes, thus increasing operating capacity and ensuring greater flexibility, a higher level of safety and fewer train delays. Siemens is upgrading one quarter of the obsolete signaling systems in Gauteng for completion in 2017. The follow-up order awarded in 2013 is to replace the remaining three-quarters of the trackside signaling systems. Three of the total 92 stations to be modernized are now up and running with Siemens interlocking technology.

Covering an area of 18,000 square kilometers, Gauteng (twelve million inhabitants) is the smallest but most densely populated province in South Africa. With the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria, it forms the economic center of the South Africa. It is responsible for generating around ten percent of Africa's total GDP. To strengthen Gauteng's position as an industry and trade hub, PRASA, the state-owned rail operator, is investing heavily in locomotives and rail cars and in the expansion of railway infrastructure.

About Siemens AGSiemens

Siemens AG (Berlin and Munich) is a global technology powerhouse that has stood for engineering excellence, innovation, quality, reliability and internationality for more than 165 years. The company is active in more than 200 countries, focusing on the areas of electrification, automation and digitalization. One of the world's largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is No. 1 in offshore wind turbine construction, a leading supplier of combined cycle turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure solutions as well as automation, drive and software solutions for industry. The company is also a leading provider of medical imaging equipment – such as computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging systems – and a leader in laboratory diagnostics as well as clinical IT. In fiscal 2014, which ended on September 30, 2014, Siemens generated revenue from continuing operations of €71.9 billion and net income of €5.5 billion. At the end of September 2014, the company had around 343,000 employees worldwide on a continuing basis.

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