File picture: African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: African News Agency (ANA)

LOOK: Trains back on the rails in Pretoria but no eating or drinking allowed

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Jul 1, 2020

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Pretoria - Metrorail in Gauteng has introduced a limited train service in the City of Tshwane, on the Pienaarspoort–Pretoria corridor. The train service had been suspended during the stricter levels of the nationwide lockdown imposed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus (Covid-19). 

“This service will be provided by two train sets, which are expected to run 12 train trips daily, with longer turnaround times to allow for sanitising at terminal/end stations. Diesel locomotives will be utilised until all infrastructure challenges are resolved in the corridor,” Gauteng Metrorail said in a statement. 

“Each train will carry 486 commuters on board and will be cleaned and disinfected overnight. Commuters are advised that the train service will be phased in gradually, with stops only at key stations. Less-patronised stations will not reopen initially.” 

Metrorail said the reduced train service will only operate during the morning peak hours from 5am to 9am and the afternoon peak times from 3pm until 7pm. The trains will stop at only eight stations: Pienaarspoort, Mamelodi Gardens, Eerste Fabrieke, Denneboom, Silverton, Koedoespoort, Rissik and Pretoria. 

Metrorail Gauteng acting provincial manager Jackie Moshe said only single-trip tickets were being sold at the moment. 

"Only single tickets will be sold at the stopping stations to ensure that Metrorail meets the social distancing requirements of having a limited number of commuters both at the station and inside the trains. No return and monthly tickets will be on sale until further notice,” said Moshe. 

“We welcome all commuters and invite them to observe and maintain physical distance outside and inside the station, on the platforms and inside trains as indicated by markers. The service will be monitored daily to address any challenges.” 

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has provided interventions to manage the risk of Covid-19 infections. A commuter without a face mask will not be allowed entry to the train station or onto a train, and physical distancing of commuters will be observed and controlled.

Metrorail added that customer services, security and platform marshals will monitor compliance on platforms and inside trains. The passenger train company said commuters should use designated stations to catch their trains. These stations will be monitored by security and police.

Hygiene will be observed in the reintroduced trains by sanitising hands, and symptomatic commuters will not be allowed to travel. Eating or drinking as well as informal traders are not permitted on the trains. 

African News Agency/ANA

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