Sun. Apr 21st, 2024

Passengers on the first Shosholoza Meyl long-distance trip from Johannesburg to Cape Town in two years experienced an unexpected disruption, having to complete their journey by bus. The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) reported the theft of overhead cables in Wellington, approximately an hour and a half away from the destination, leading to operational challenges. Despite the setback, Prasa expressed its commitment to reviving the long-distance service.

Prasa highlighted the theft of overhead wires between Kraaifontein and Muldersvlei, impacting the train trip. The agency, along with Transport and Transnet Freight Rail, plans to address cable theft effectively. The incident occurred shortly after Prasa announced the resumption of its Shosholoza Meyl service, which had been suspended in 2021 due to operational and infrastructure issues.

Acknowledging potential challenges, Prasa noted a shortage of locomotives, and the reliability issues of available ones could lead to delays or cancellations. Contingency plans are in place for all four corridors where the main line passenger service operates. Additionally, concerns about the condition and quality of infrastructure may affect the travel experience. Prasa emphasized its determination to address these challenges, outlining plans to improve locomotive access and enhance infrastructure quality in collaboration with sister agency Transnet.

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