Johannesburg - A completed feasibility study into the acquisition of new rolling stock has been sent to transport minister Sbu Ndebele
for consideration, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said on Wednesday.
The technical, financial, economic, commercial, procurement and legal aspects of buying new stock were considered in the study, spokesperson Nana Zenani said.
She said Ndebele as well as Cabinet would need to approve the plan before a procurement process could take place.
The agency's vision was to invest about R97bn into new stock over 18 years.
A total of 8 600 coaches would be bought for Metrorail on electrified urban routes, and 2 200 diesel locomotives for long-distance trains.
"Prasa has previously emphasised the need for new rolling stock. We hope to phase in the first stock by 2015...and we are looking at safety in every design."
The agency's CEO Lucky Montana said phasing in the new fleet would ensure train services were uninterrupted.
The feasibility study, initiated in March, was completed by an intergovernmental steering committee.
Included in this committee were officials from the Railway Safety Regulator and treasury as well as the departments of transport, trade and industry, and public enterprises.
Zenani said the results of the study would be released once "all government due processes have been finalised".
Prasa was established in April 2009 to house the operations of Metrorail, Shosholoza Meyl, passenger bus group Autopax and Intersite property management services.