Metro-Rail Western Cape
Eddie Chinnappen from PRASA spoke about their 489km of track, the serious shortage of rolling stock and the major problems with infrastructure [track, leading to speed restrictions of 15km/h and tyre replacement every 3 to 4 months (against 2 years internationally); signalling so antiquated that spares have to be specially manufactured], vandalism and crime (including theft of copper from signal cables). Japanese visitors to PRASA said they couldn’t operate a system so fraught with multiple vicissitudes. Trains on time dropped from 76% in August 2016 to 52% in November 2017! PRASA is busy with vandal-proofing, building 3m high walls to keep people out of rail reserves, drones and armed guards, micro-chipping equipment. South Africa is again building trains at Dunnottar near Nigel, heading towards 35 new train sets in 2020 (however, no new sets coming to the Western Cape right now) and PRASA is to re-signal at R1,9 billion by December 2019. In the meantime they have been building some attractive new station buildings. Devolvement to cities…. 20 years?