The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) says it will terminate rail services on three Gauteng corridors for the next few months to allow for the rehabilitation and restoration of the electrical cables and traction substations that were vandalised or stolen during the Covid-19 Level 5 hard lockdown.
The revamp will also allow PRASA to “run more efficient train services and to introduce the electrical motor units which form part of the agency’s modernisation programme”.
The rehabilitation work is part of an effort to recover services on the country’s top-ten high-volume passenger rail corridors.
The ten corridors were selected based on the demand for services, the extent of
damage and the time required to recover and rehabilitate the infrastructure, says the agency.
The corridors earmarked for immediate rehabilitation work in Gauteng are Pienaarspoort to Pretoria (May 23 to August); Naledi to Johannesburg (May 23 to September); and Leralla to Elandsfontein (May 30 to October).
Work on the line between Pretoria and Kaalfontein is also scheduled to start in the next few weeks, with passenger services expected to resume by the end of October.
In Cape Town, rehabilitation work on the Central Line has begun, as part of an effort to recover passenger services between Cape Town and Langa.
The process to relocate illegal settlements on the rail tracks is under way, and is being led by the Human Development Agency, notes PRASA.
The service between Cape Town and Langa via Mutual is currently operational, while rehabilitation work on the Cape Town to Langa via Pinelands route is 90% complete.
Work is also under way to recover the service between Langa and Nyanga, as well as Cape Town to Bellville via Sarepta.