Steady progress made in restoring Central Line train service – Prasa

Nolungile Train Station in Site C, Khayelitsha, is currently undergoing construction, which includes platform alignment.

Nolungile Train Station in Site C, Khayelitsha, is currently undergoing construction, which includes platform alignment.

Published Jul 2, 2024


The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has made steady progress in getting passenger trains back on track along the Central Line as it completed refurbishing more stations.

After four years with no passenger trains, residents will soon experience limited services running from Cape Town to a number of stations, including Stock Road, Mandalay and Nolungile.

About 106 of 121 stations in the region are now operational.

Operations at a total of 11 stations on the Central Line corridor, which was once the busiest in the Western Cape, were suspended due to rampant vandalism and infrastructure damage attributed to the removal of security personnel, and the establishment of informal settlements on rail tracks which escalated during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown.

Prasa board members conducted oversight visits at Nolungile and Chris Hani stations, as well as between Kapteinsklip and Lentegeur stations to assess progress.

In May, test trains were running in Nolungile, with the service expected to be extended from Nyanga to Mandalay.

“The Stockroad Station has been refurbished and is ready for the extension of the Central Line service from Nyanga to Mandalay Station. The Mandalay Station has been refurbished and is now ready to commence operations.

The extension of the Central Line service will run from Mandalay Station to Cape Town, enhancing connectivity and service efficiency. At Nolungile Station we are currently undergoing construction, which includes platform alignment, upgraded customer facilities and improved waiting areas.

“These enhancements are aimed at elevating the overall customer experience and service efficiency. The progress is because of Operation Bekele where the families are being relocated,” said Western Cape Rail acting regional manager Raymond Maseko.

Khayelitsha Development Forum chairperson Monde Nqulwana hailed the progress, saying with the tough economy, the restoration of trains was urgently needed.

According to Prasa group chief executive officer Hishaam Emeran, the state entity has managed to recover almost 80% of passenger rail corridors across the country since 2020.

“The resuscitation of the 31 corridors translates into the steady return of rail passengers. We are not where we need to be yet, but we are seeing significant progress. A year back, we had 15 million passengers and by the end of March this year, we reached 40 million passengers,” he said.

Meanwhile, MyCiTi introduced 5% adjusted fares effective on Monday. The new myconnect card will cost R40 and passengers replacing their expiring cards will still only pay R22 at a kiosk.

Peak fares apply to journeys starting on weekdays from 6.45am to 8am and from 4.15pm to 5.30pm

Off-peak or Saver fares apply to all other times, including all day on weekends and public holidays.

Urban Mobility mayco member Rob Quintas said as a responsible City their budget has to anticipate the rising costs of providing the MyCiTi bus service throughout the financial year ahead.

“As the cost of providing services increases, fares increase to ensure we continue to provide a safe, reliable, well-run public transport service. We looked at each tariff band, and in some distance bands the price has actually decreased and in some cases increased very minimally. All relevant factors, including diesel price, consumer price index and the producer price index, are analysed and the lowest possible adjustment is found.

“All residents and interested parties are given the opportunity to comment on proposed adjustments as part of the City’s annual budget process,” said Quintas.

Cape Times

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