Urban Fold

South Africa's Crumbling Urban Rail Network

More than a third of the rolling stock in South Africa's urban rail network will go out of service within the next three years, creating a looming rail catastrophe across the country.

The poor shape of the nation's rail cars requires a major investment, according to transit officials. But that money is hard to come by, and some fear the entire system could crumble within the next decade if drastic steps aren't taken.

"And if the government fails to secure new rolling stock by the end of the year, Metrorail's already stretched service will be under further pressure, resulting in more overcrowding on trains and longer delays.

More than 280 000 passengers in KwaZulu-Natal make use of Metrorail's trains daily.

The country's urban railway system will have totally collapsed within 10 years without the necessary recapitalisation. About R5-billion a year is needed to make such a recapitalisation possible."

Full Story: SA's rail time bomb

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