WATCH | Metrorail resumes service on Naledi line with new electric trains

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  • Metrorail has reinstated the Naledi to Johannesburg rail line. 
  • The line uses the new Electric Multiple Unit trainsets. 
  • The resumption of the line coincides with stricter regulations around eating, drinking and trading on trains. 

The commuter rail network operator, Metrorail, on Monday reinstated the Naledi to Johannesburg rail line, reviving a route which carries passengers from Soweto to Johannesburg. 

"I am excited to confirm that our train service between Naledi and Johannesburg, which resumed today, was a big success," said Metrorail spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng.

"We had big numbers – it was our first day and we had over 1 500 people on the first train."

The line uses Metrorail's new Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trainsets as part of Prasa's broader effort to renew rail infrastructure in the country. 

"Soweto can wake up and take a train to Johannesburg again tomorrow morning," Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula tweeted.

He asked that passengers share their opinions and experience of the resumption of the line. 

READ | Transnet's R2.9bn to conclude flood recovery and boost train capacity, Parliament hears

Videos posted on social media showed the train packed with commuters on its inaugural trip, cheering on their arrival to one of the 14 stops on the line. 

"We are happy and excited that you will be travelling in style, comfort, safety and security," the acting customer services manager, Kholiwe Oliphant, said in a video posted from the train to Metrorail Gauteng's social media accounts.

The line was reinstated after almost six months of dormancy, with new rules, like restrictions on eating, drinking or trading, which was implemented to help keep the trainsets well-maintained. 

Mofokeng said:

We really want to remind our commuters and communities… that they are dubbed 'The People's Train' for a reason because we want to encourage ownership.

The two trainsets on the Naledi line will operate during peak and off-peak hours on weekdays, as part of a greater Metrorail rollout of the EMU systems. 

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