Cable theft ruins Shosholoza Meyl return

The relaunch of the Shosholoza Meyl, South Africa’s long-distance rail service, was ruined due to cable theft. 

Passengers travelling from Johannesburg to Cape Town experienced an unexpected change in their journey on Friday.

The incident occurred a week after the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) announced progress in rebuilding and repairing rail infrastructure. 

This repair effort came after the Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town services were suspended in 2021.

On Friday, travellers were forced to switch from train to bus in Wellington, following the theft of overhead wire cables between Kaalfontein and Muldersvlei. 

The train managed to reach Wellington despite operational and infrastructure challenges, but the journey to Cape Town had to be completed by road.

Prasa issued a statement expressing regret over the disruption of the Main Line Passenger Services (MLPS) from Johannesburg to Cape Town on December 8, 2023. 

The agency acknowledged the inconvenience caused to passengers due to the cable theft incident.

Later the same day, Transnet Freight Rail confirmed that train services on the section between Muldersvlei and Kraaifontein on the Cape Mainline were restored. 

The repair came after the early morning cable theft led to a temporary suspension of services.

Pictured above: Shosholoza Meyl.

Image source: Prasa

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