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Security concerns remain as Metrorail resumes northern line service

For the first time after two years of no movement on the corridor, Metrorail is expecting to introduce a passenger service on Wednesday which will come with a new operating time table. Picture: Twitter

For the first time after two years of no movement on the corridor, Metrorail is expecting to introduce a passenger service on Wednesday which will come with a new operating time table. Picture: Twitter

Published Mar 15, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - While the resumption of the Northern Line train service has been welcomed by commuters, there are still security concerns.

For the first time after two years of no movement on the corridor, Metrorail is expecting to introduce a passenger service on Wednesday which will come with a new operating time table.

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The Cape Town and Bellville via Goodwood line was closed in March 2020 under lockdown level 5 as part of the country’s Covid-19 restrictions.

Metrorail acting spokesperson Nana Zenani said the line would be restored in several phases. On Monday, as part of phase 1, trial empty trains were operating without passengers.

Metrorail acting regional manager Kaparo Molefi said their aim was to ensure that all 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.

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“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 (RSR). Passenger and employee safety in operations are the most important aspects of service resumption,” said Molefi.

United Commuters Voice (UCV) spokesperson João Jardim said: “The line being closed for about two years is due to Prasa mismanagement. Many train stations have gone downhill. Goodwood railway station, which used to be one of the best, is filled with homeless people who are now living along the lines. There is still lack of working security and safety of commuters is still an issue.

“What difference will it make to have military veterans to security personnel? This is not new. This line will probably run for a week and we will hear it has been affected by vandalism, that is what happened on the Southern Line.

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“We have been calling for changes and transformation in leadership, but our calls fall on deaf ears. Unfortunately commuters are the ones who suffer most.”

Provincial Legislature Standing Committee chairperson on Transport chairperson Derick America said Prasa was sticking to the time-frames for the restoration of services on the Northern Line.

“This will bring welcome relief to commuters, who have been deprived of the service. It is my hope that every possible effort will be made to have the Langa to Nyanga and Langa to Bellville via Sarepta restored and operational by the end of July. We will continue to partner with Prasa in its effort to bring this crucial service fully online.”

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Cape Times

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