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Massive improvement in passenger train services in South Africa

As of the end of March, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has successfully restored five crucial Metrorail services across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), and the Western Cape.

These include:

  • Cape Town to Stellenbosch – Western Cape
  • Germiston to Elsburg – Gauteng
  • Johannesburg to Florida – Gauteng
  • Johannesburg to Nancefield – Gauteng
  • Merebank to Chatsglen – KZN

With the recommencing of passenger rail services on these lines, Prasa has brought 31 of its 40 corridors back into partial operation, up from 18 corridors in August 2023, with work continuing to achieve full operational status on all these railways.

“This milestone demonstrates our commitment to revitalising passenger rail services, providing an efficient and cost-effective public transport option for South Africans,” said the rail agency.

More to come

Other corridors that will be reinstated in the near future include an extension of the Cape Town-to-Stellenbosch line to Muldersvlei in the Western Cape, and the extension of the Merebank-to-Chatsglen line to Crossmore in KZN.

Furthermore, significant progress is being made on the Central Line in the Western Cape, with ongoing efforts to rehabilitate rail infrastructure from Phillippi to Nolungile and onwards to Chris Hani.

“This work has been facilitated by the temporary relocation of 891 households from the Phillippi station area, enabling us to proceed with necessary recovery work,” said Prasa.

“This work builds on the recovery of the Cape Town to Nyanga services, which marked an important milestone on what is one of the most important passenger rail routes in the country.”

In an effort to ensure safer operation and increased frequency of services, Prasa is also working on repairing vandalised signalling equipment and other dilapidated rail infrastructure plaguing its corridors.

Since 2022, Prasa has undertaken the rehabilitation of six bridges in the Western Cape to the tune of R59 million, in addition to four underground tunnels that were declared non-functional and unsafe at a cost of R75,000 per tunnel, said minister of transport Sindisiwe Chikunga in November 2023 in response to a parliamentary Q&A.



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