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Warning - trains on track

By unknown | Jun 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Vuyolwethu Sangotsha

Eastern Cape roads and transport MEC Thobile Mhlahlo has warned communities along a reopened railway line to be vigilant and keep clear of the tracks.

Trains started to run on the tracks between East London and Amabele on the Kei Rail line on Monday for the first time in more than 10 years.

Mhlahlo said residents, especially children, were unaccustomed to seeing trains on the tracks at level crossings. The trains will not presently be carrying any passengers.

"They will be used to complete the comprehensive driver training undertaken by the Transport Department," Mhlahlo said.

This phase of the training follows an intensive two-month training period undergone by the drivers that includes, among other things, a refresher course in East London and train handling on a train simulator in Kempton Park.

The Kei Rail line is one of the toughest railway lines to navigate and the department needed to ensure that drivers were competent and comfortable with the train and the line.

"This extensive training programme was therefore crucial and will be the determining factor for the commencement of the Kei Rail passenger service. Driver training and accreditation must be satisfactorily completed first," Mhlahlo said.

The department was also involved in a rail safety awareness campaign for communities living along the line to ensure that they were aware of the dangers associated with an operational railway line.

The campaign will raise awareness that there will be trains running on the line before the service begins.


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