Thirteen platforms at the Cape Town railway station will be closed to the public for a week due to a signal systems upgrade, as the second phase to commission the remaining platforms goes underway.
The commissioning work will be performed on platforms 1-12 and 24, which will all be closed for five days. This will take place from Saturday January 26 to Wednesday January 30 2019.
Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott says the re-signalling project is vital to amend the current rail network system, which has become obsolete. “The current signal system is old, heavily copper-reliant and therefore prone to metal theft and vandalism,” she says. “The upgrade will involve replacing the old signalling system with a new electronic type of system.”
The electronic signalling system relies less on copper technology, provides enhanced operational flexibility and improves operating safety. It has the added advantage that it can be remotely controlled from the recently completed nerve centre in Bellville.
Regional manager Richard Walker says the approach to split commissioning into two phases minimises the impact on commuters and increases operational flexibility to offer temporary alternatives. “We express our heartfelt thanks to our commuters for their patience while we work tirelessly to modernise the rail system,” he says.
The first phase, which involved work on platforms 13-16 and 20-23, was completed ahead of schedule in December last year. Commuters can expect similar conditions during the second phase to those they experienced during the phase.
Scott says trains will line up for alternative platform assignments on their approaches to Cape Town Station and that longer running times will be inevitable.
Commuters are advised to scrutinise the region’s social media or phone the toll-free Transport Information Centre 0800 65 64 63 for daily railway updates. Those registered to receive text alerts are encouraged to share the information with fellow commuters.
Provincial and local stakeholders, including organised business, labour, community organisations, and commuter representatives, have been informed of the anticipated impact of the work at the Mother City’s central railway station.
Platforms 17, 18 and 19, which were damaged by fires, remain closed for repairs and will be commissioned at a later date.