Commuter rail agency the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's Metrorail Western Cape will restore services between Cape Town and Bellville via Goodwood and will introduce a passenger service by Wednesday March 16, which will come with a new operating timetable.
All the stations will be operational between Cape Town and Belville, with the exception of Parow station, which will need further repair works as it was badly vandalised. The line was closed as part of level 5 Covid-19 closures in March 2020.
"Metrorail is focused on recovering passenger rail services in the Western Cape. Our aim is to ensure that all our rail corridors are operating as expected post the Covid-19 level 5 shutdowns and that all vandalised station facilities are repaired in line with customer needs," says Metrorail Western Cape acting regional manager Kaparo Molefi.
Phase 1 will see trains running empty without passengers on the line starting on March 14 as part of trial operations. Metrorail will refine its operations before introducing the passenger service. This coming week will see Metrorail in the Western Cape restore the line in various phases.
Metrorail had previously finalised improvements and upgrades to three of the six stations on the line, namely Tygerberg, Vasco and Elsiesrivier stations. The upgrade of Thornton station is at final stages of completion. The repairs to the overhead electrical infrastructure has also been completed and is ready to supply overhead traction power to the trains.
The period of trial operations will be used to reorientate drivers and retrain them on safe operations along the northern line.
"Metrorail will focus on ensuring that station facilities as well as rail infrastructure are up to standard before we operate the line as per the Rail Safety Regulator. Passenger and employee safety in operations are the most important aspects of service resumption" says Molefi.