[caption id="attachment_13140" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Photograph: Eugene Armer"][/caption]South African intercity passenger train operator Shosholoza Meyl, a division of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) has announced the reinstatement of service and a revised schedule to be fully implemented at the end of November 2010. This comes following the total suspension of trains in mid-August and the partial resumption of some services in subsequent weeks.
In a statement dated 16 November, Shosholoza Meyl head Paul Zikhali says: 'In the past weeks we had to reduce a number of our trains due to, amongst others, the unreliability of locomotives which inconvenienced our passengers to a large extent. We managed to refocus our services in response to the identified customer demands. The reviewed schedule offers services to all corridors maximising capacity on all trains to ensure that no train runs empty. Our approach going forward is to offer a combination of services on one train where our passengers will now get a sleeper service on a traditional sitter class train and vice versa.
'All loyal rail customers will now be able to book and plan their December/January holiday in advance. Bookings for the chartered train services are open and will run based on the bookings for the specific service. Shosholoza Meyl apologises for the inconvenience caused over the past weeks and would like to encourage all passengers to make their travelling bookings in advance to avoid disappointment since the festive season is approaching. As part of our continuous efforts to ensure that safety of our passengers is a priority and measures are put in place to curb overcrowding, no passengers will be allowed within our operational areas without a valid train ticket.'
The department of public enterprise and the National Treasury have indicated that they intend to consolidate procurement for locomotives into a single institution, under the directorship of Transnet....