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Shosholoza Meyl is a division of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) that operates long-distance (intercity) passenger rail services. It operates various train routes across South Africa, carrying approximately 4 million passengers annually. Before 2009, Shosholoza Meyl was a division of Spoornet, but it was transferred after the formation of PRASA.
"Shosholoza" is the name of a popular South African song about workers on a train and it therefore means moving forward. "Meyl" is a word that is related to a South African word for "long distance train", according to the Spoornet/Shosholoza Meyl website. The company's name prior to change was "Mainline Passenger Services".
- Johannesburg – Kimberley – Cape Town
- Johannesburg – Pietermaritzburg – Durban
- Johannesburg – Bloemfontein – Port Elizabeth
- Johannesburg – Bloemfontein – East London
- Johannesburg – Nelspruit – Komatipoort
- Johannesburg – Polokwane – Musina
- Cape Town – Kimberley – Bloemfontein – Pietermaritzburg – Durban
- Cape Town – East London
Track and equipment
Shosholoza Meyl trains run on the Cape gauge (1,067 mm (3 ft 6 in)) Transnet mainline track. The trains are locomotive-pulled. Most routes are completely electrified 3 kV DC and 25 kV AC systems, usually class 6E1 or class 18E locomotives on the 3 kV system and class 7E on the 25 kV system. Diesel is used on the Johannesburg – Port Elizabeth trains between Bloemfontein and Noupoort, and on the Durban - Cape Town trains between Bloemfontein and Kimberley. Before 2002, the Pretoria – Cape Town trains were hauled by diesel locomotives between Kimberley and De Aar.
The trains are made up of three types of coach:
- Sleeper 4: six 4-person compartments and two 2-person coupés, plus shower and toilet facilities.
- Sleeper 6: six 6-person compartments and two 3-person coupés, plus shower and toilet facilities.
- Sitter: 72 seats, in 18 rows of 4 seats with an aisle in the middle, plus toilet facilities. There are also various older types of carriages with differing levels of comfort used as sitters.
Since 1 July 2006 Shosholoza Meyl has operated its sleepers and sitters as separate trains. Starting from 1 November 2006 sleeping carriages were re-introduced on selected Economy Trains, this decision was however reversed shortly thereafter. Now the Economy Trains convey 'Sitter' carriages only.
On 4 January 2018, a passenger train operated by Shosholoza Meyl collided with a truck on a level crossing near Kroonstad. The train was derailed and at least one of the carriages caught fire. Twenty people were killed and 260 were injured.
- ""LEANER" SHOSHOLOZA MEYL SERVICE". Railways Africa. Retrieved 2010-10-31.
- "SHOSHOLOZA MEYL SERVICES REINSTATED". Railways Africa. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
- "Routes". Shosholoza Meyl. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
- "South Africa train crash: Four dead in truck collision". BBC News Online. Retrieved 4 January 2018.