THE Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has restored more Metrorail services in the Gauteng, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape parts of the country.

The five latest services to resume are:

• Cape Town to Stellenbosch (Western Cape)

• Merebank to Chatsglen (KZN)

• Johannesburg to Florida (Gauteng)

• Johannesburg to Nancefield (Gauteng)

• Germiston to Elsburg (Gauteng)

This brings the number of Prasa-operated lines back in service to 31 out of a total of 40, with the operator aiming to restore trains to all parts of its network.

Prasa reports significant progress is on the Central Line, with ongoing efforts to rehabilitate rail infrastructure from Phillippi to Nolungile and onwards to Chris Hani. This follows the successful restoration of Cape Town - Nyanga services.

Many services were suspended following vandalism and cable theft in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. Prasa says it is looking to reinstate and enhance signalling on many lines so that it can increase frequencies to between 5-10 minutes in the peaks.

“Recognising the growing demand for our services, we are actively working to repair vandalised signalling equipment,” a company statement says. “These repairs are essential not only for the safe operation of our trains, but also to increase the frequency of our services to meet our commuters' needs.”

Earlier this month Prasa celebrated the delivery of the 200th TS200 six-car EMU, built by the Gibela consortium’s Dunnottar factory in Gauteng. A further 400 trains, based on Alstom’s X’Trapolis platform, are on order from a contract awarded in 2013.