CT International needs a rail link – Prasa

2012-06-20 11:27
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa have called for a rail link between Cape Town International Airport and the city, Eyewitness News reports.

The agency outlined its strategy to modernize the country's railway system in parliament yesterday and CEO Lucky Montana urged the Mother City not miss another railway revolution.

He said 12 million tourists pass through Cape Town International every year, and that a rail link to the city, could greatly simplify transport for tourists.

Furthermore he said that the agency envisions that trains will depart from the airport every 15 minutes, but that the municipality will have to come on board to help realise the project.

Prasa also called for the modernization of the country's entire railway system.

Briefing members of the public services select committee, Montana warned that many of the country's passenger coaches -- almost all of which are between 20 and 50 years old -- would soon become unsafe to use.

"If we had our wish, we would be scrapping these trains in the next three years, because they will not be safe to carry people beyond [this date]," he said.

Prasa Rail, a division of the agency, uses 4638 coaches in its urban Metrorail operations and 1223 on its long-distance Shosholoza Meyl.

According to a document tabled at Tuesday's briefing, the average age of Metrorail coaches is 40 years, while the average age of coaches in the Shoshloza Meyl fleet is 33 years.

Government plans to invest heavily in new rolling stock over the next 20 years, acquiring 7224 "new modern coaches".

Montana said a feasibility study -- involving Prasa, the National Treasury, and the departments of transport and public enterprises -- had now been completed.

"It shows that this country requires 7224 new modern coaches over a period of 20 years. The first 3600 coaches will be bought in the first 10 years."

Montana said a request for proposals for the design of the coaches had been put out to certain companies on April 19 this year.

What do you think of the prospect of Cape Town getting a rail link to the airport?

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