PRASA gears up to open sections of the Western Cape’s Central line

25th July 2022

By: Irma Venter

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor


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The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) will start trial operations on the Cape Town to Langa via Mutual station route, the Cape Town to Langa via Pinelands station route, and the Bellville to Ysterplaat via Lavistown station route, on the Central line corridor in the Western Cape, on Tuesday (July 26).

The trial operations will determine the state of readiness to resume commuter services on the corridor.

This service recovery forms part of Phase 1 of the Central line recovery programme.

The Central line was closed in 2019 owing to theft and vandalism.

Subsequent recovery work on the corridor was also hampered by illegal occupations on the rail network during the Level 5 lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The resumption of the service on the lines is a major milestone given the difficulties experienced with the relocation of households on the rail reserve, as well as the constant attacks by criminal syndicates on security personnel, says PRASA.

“While the relocation project, led by the Housing Development Agency (HDA), is at an advanced stage, PRASA revised its strategy to resume the much-awaited services on the Central line, which now involves cordoning off the informal settlements for the safe running of trains ahead of schedule, while HDA finalises the relocation process.”

To resume this service, PRASA had to rebuild the infrastructure from the ground up, notes the agency.

“Vandalised/stolen electrical cables, perway (tracks), and railway clips, including the foundation that supports the rail network, have all been replaced. 

“This also includes the rehabilitation of five vandalised substations that power the rail network. 

“To safeguard the rail infrastructure, PRASA has increased security on the ground for the safety of our commuters and staff. We have also installed anti-vandalism and antitheft technology to mitigate against future theft and vandalism.”


Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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