Metrorail Western Cape
A Metrorail train pulling out of Kalk Bay station.
|Area served||Cape Town|
|Locale||Cape Town, Western Cape|
|Transit type||Commuter rail|
|Number of lines||4|
|Number of stations||122 (97 have ticket offices)|
|Daily ridership||621,000 (as of 2004[update])|
|Chief executive||Richard Walker|
|Number of vehicles||85 trainsets (1094 coaches)|
|System length||460 km (290 mi)|
|Track gauge||1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)|
|Electrification||Overhead lines at 3000V DC|
|Top speed||90 km/h (56 mph)|
Metrorail Western Cape is a network of commuter and suburban rail services in and around the metropolitan area of Cape Town, South Africa. It is operated by Metrorail, which operates commuter rail services in the major cities of South Africa. The routes are probably the most comprehensive of any of the cities in South Africa but some key areas have no train service, notably the Atlantic suburbs and Tableview. Metrorail distributes a free weekly magazine called Myline.
There are 85 operational trainsets, made up of 1094 coaches. There are 671 scheduled trains per weekday, operating over 460 kilometres (290 mi) of track to 122 stations and 4 halts. As of 2004[update] there were an average of 621 000 daily weekday passenger trips. The services are divided into three areas, each of which has various branches.
Most services commence or terminate at the main Cape Town station in the centre of the city, which has 24 platforms. All services are by electric multiple units, aside from the daily train to Malmesbury which is on a non-electrified line.
The Southern Line travels from central Cape town through the Southern Suburbs to Muizenberg, and then along the edge of False Bay to Simon's Town. Although Simon's Town is the southern terminus, many trains terminate at Fish Hoek because the line south is single-track.
Cape Flats Line
The Central Line serves areas to the south-east of the city centre. Trains run from Cape Town to Langa on two different routes, one around the southern side and the other around the eastern side of Pinelands. From Langa they travel on one of three lines, going either to Mitchell's Plain, to Khayelitsha, or through Belhar to Bellville.
The Northern Line serves the northern suburbs of Cape Town as well as some outlying towns. Some trains travel from Cape Town station to Bellville along the old main line through Salt River, Maitland, Goodwood and Parow, while others travel along the relief main line via Century City. After Bellville, trains run on one of three routes: through Kraaifontein and Paarl to Wellington; via Kuils River and Stellenbosch to Muldersvlei; or via Kuils River and Somerset West to Strand.
Two "Business Express" trains provide a luxury commuter service, travelling from the suburbs to Cape Town in the morning and the reverse in the afternoon. One train runs from Huguenot (Paarl) via Kraaifontein and Brackenfell to Cape Town, while the other runs from Strand via Somerset West and Kuils River to Cape Town.
There are also two longer distance trains stopping at all stations en route daily. One along the main-line to Worcester and at 174 km (108 mi) the longest possible route on a commuter train in South Africa. The other is the only diesel-hauled commuter train in the Western Cape to Malmesbury which travels 78 km (48 mi) on the route to Bitterfontein.
Frequencies can vary vastly from weekday peak to weekend off peaks. Services to Simon’s Town, Bellville via Century City, Strand, Muldersvlei (via Stellenbosch) and Wellington are less frequent over weekends with a train about every hour on Saturdays and every two hours on a Sunday. In contrast, weekday frequencies on some lines offer three-minute headways.
Every train displays a four digit digital or analogue train number. The route and destination of a specific train can be determined by just looking at the train number. Up trains travel towards Cape Town and carry even train numbers, down trains travel away from Cape Town and carry odd train numbers. Destinations can be derived from the following table:
|01xx||Simonstown ↔ Cape Town||Some trains terminate at Fish Hoek. Also see next entry||36 km|
|02xx||Simonstown ↔ Cape Town||Afternoon peak||36 km|
|05xx||Retreat ↔ Cape Town||Via Cape Flats line||24 km|
|23xx||Eersterivier ↔ Cape Town||Some weekend trains terminate at Faure||34 km|
|25xx||Kraaifontein ↔ Cape Town||31 km|
|28xx||Bellville ↔ Cape Town||Via Monte Vista and Century City||21 km|
|32xx||Strand ↔ Cape Town||53 km|
|34xx||Muldersvlei ↔ Cape Town||Via Stellenbosch||61 km|
|35xx||Wellington ↔ Cape Town||Includes service to Worcester (174 km)||72 km|
|90xx||Bellville ↔ Cape Town||Via Lavistown (through Ysterplaat)||28 km|
|95xx||Kapteinsklip ↔ Cape Town||Via Salt River, some terminations at Nyanga||32 km|
|99xx||Chris Hani ↔ Cape Town||Via Ysterplaat||38 km|
Infrastructure and rolling stock
||This section is in a list format that may be better presented using prose. (April 2016)|
- 1095 carriages
- 489 kilometres (304 mi) of track
- 119 stations
- 10,400 hectares (26,000 acres) rail reserve
- 320 kilometres (200 mi) of fencing
- 610 kilometres (380 mi) of track (including yards)
- 96 bridges
- 19 foot bridges
- 380 culverts
- 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) of sea walls
- 830 track points
- 1600 signals
- 1800 track circuits
- 32 relay rooms
- 1500 apparatus cases
- 3 520 block joints
- 610 turn outs
- 560 yards
- On 13 November 2006, a train hit a truck stalled on an unprotected level crossing. The truck was carrying at least 33 farmworkers; nineteen were killed and six injured.
- On 25 August 2010, a train hit a minibus taxi that had allegedly driven round the boom barriers on a level crossing. The minibus was carrying fourteen schoolchildren, of whom ten were killed.
- The number of carriages currently is 1094 (according to Rolling Stock a number of wrecks were refurbished as part of the refurbishment programme and at least three complete train-sets were re-allocated from other regions since 2006). The total includes carriages currently being overhauled at contractors
- "Fare Calculator". Metrorail Western Cape. 1 April 2012. Retrieved June 20, 2012.
- 2006 Time Table. Metrorail Cape. 2006.
- "Travel Information" (PDF). Metrorail Western Cape. 22 February 2011. Retrieved June 20, 2012.