Johannesburg – The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has confirmed all systems are ready to go as the long-distance train, Shosholoza Meyl will be back on the railway network before the Day of Reconciliation.
Prasa made the announcement on Tuesday, via a statement that its long-distance passenger trains will kick off operations as of Wednesday, December 15, after almost a year since the last service.
“Given the high peak traffic volumes during the festive period and road fatalities, Shosholoza Meyl offers the public an alternative, safe and affordable mode of long-distance travel that will also help ease the congestion on our road” said the agency in a statement.
The long-distance trains are currently in stationery at the economic hub city’s Braamfontein, after they were forced out of operating since last year in January, due to Covid-19 and extreme vandalism on many essential routes.
Some of the major damages included theft of overhead electric power cables and essential station equipment.
Routes that will be operational include between Johannesburg and East London; Johannesburg and Gqeberha; Johannesburg and Bloemfontein (via Kimberley); and Johannesburg and Musina (via Polokwane).
Meanwhile, in Mabopane/Soshanguve railway network, Prasa has rolled out a newly refurbished ‘The People’s Train’ this week.
Prasa and Metrorail has been under immense pressure to restore normal train schedules across the country, due to theft and vandalism of railway network and rail stations.