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Remarks by Lucky Montanna, Group CEO of The Passenger Rail Agency Of South Africa on the Occasion of The Launch of the Nasrec Station and Nasrec Rail Intervention

2 June 2010

  1. When we started discussions and plans for the for 2010 FIFA World Cup back in 2005/06, passenger rail was never given a chance. We were told that rail could not be allocated funds from the then Public Transport Infrastructure Fund (PTIF), which was later changed to the PTIS and that everything would be driven by our host cities.

  2. Some four years ago, when the former SARCC discussed rail’s response with the COJ, there was reluctance to opt for rail as a solution, as the only options at that time were accessing Nasrec via Kaserne onto the mineral line (fairly cumbersome route), or via Langlaagte with a 9 - 12 turnaround, as there was no direct loop/link from the Langlaagte line onto the mineral line and Nasrec.

  3. However, many of us continued to believe in the important principle that a revitalized rail transport was vital to building a dynamic and efficient public transport system that meets passenger demands. We agitated and fought for some rail allocations from the R3bn PTIF. The two projects we are launching today, the NASREC Station and NASREC Rail Interventions are part of 50 statsions upgraded over the past 3 years and with 2000 coaches upgraded. These projects, combined with all the other major projects executed, bear testimony to Government’s over R10 Billion investment in passenger rail over the past three years.

  4. Todate, PRASA has spent a total amount of R325 million for the critical rail interventions, which forms an integral part of the NASREC Precint Development, which include Soccer City, IBC 2010, NASREC Rail Link, Housing Development and a critical transportation hub driven by the CoJ.

  5. We are here today to confirm our readiness for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The passenger rail system remains the major system with the capacity to move massive numbers of passengers and soccer spectators during this and other major events. We have scheduled capacity in the order of 3 013 commuter and long-distance trains to ferry soccer spectators to watch this greatest global sporting event. As PRASA, we have spent in excess of R10 billion over the past 3 years to develop and deliver rail infrastructure to meet the needs of the World Cup and beyond. We have used the 2010 World Cup to accelerate and create the real foundation of a modern rail passenger system.

  6. I wish to invite the entire country and say, avoid congestion and travel for free on our 2010 dedicated trains to the games. Like Rugby supporters who boarded Metrorail trains to Orlando Stadium for the Super 14 Finals, many experienced, for the first time, the comfort and safety of our trains as well as a stress-free travel when they opted to travel by train, departing Pretoria Station on time, picking friends and family in Centurion and Kempton Park and joining many others at Park Station, they arrived in SOWETO for the great game. This station and the rail interventions made by PRASA becomes a key element of transportation during the World Cup.

  7. A significant event is also taking place today with the Rail safety Regulator issuing a Safety Permit to the Gautrain rapid Rail System. This is a significant and proud moment for the rail industry and all South Africans. PRASA wishes to take this opportunity to congratulate our colleagues in the Gautrain Management Company and Bombela Consortiun for a job well done.

  8. We are proud that this station has been completed in record time at a cost of R70 m. I must congratulate our property subsiduiary, Intersite who managed this project on behalf of PRASA, formerly the SARCC. We must also congratulate the main contractor, ENZA, for delivering such a facility on record time and the quality of the asset delivered is great. We thank the sub-contractors and workers for their commitment and dedication in completing this project in time for the World Cup.

  9. We have a right to feel proud as PRASA. This station is among the best among our new generation of stations that we are building and designed to meet international standards. The NASREC Station is a world-class development that boasts, among others, of a number special features:

    • Large station with the capacity to carry 25 000 commuter trips a day,
    • Station designed for growth until 2027,
    • Wide entrance ramps leading to the station concourse level and allowing the Special Needs Passengers (SNP) to access the station with ease - Accessibility to the station and its surrounding is important,
    • Lifts have been provided which will be controlled from the vontrol room for proper usage and control,
    • Natural light and proper ventilation (Doornfontein and cape Town Stations),
    • Help points, information Boards, PA System, CCTV and Signage,
    • A closed from weather elements tickets sales where you can view the station through the internet,
    • New technology,
    • Comfort and sense of belonging,
    • Emergency exits,
    • Security and Protection Service Facility, and
    • Offers convenience and safety.

  10. The slip link project includes very complex cross-overs and signaling configuration, and was the project that we though might not be completed by the 2010 even. However, it has also been completed in record time at a cost of R252 m.

  11. The project includes the slip link, reinstatement of signaling on the Nasrec line, signaling of the slip link and additional staging capacity at Nasrec station. This capacity allows for a quick clearing of trains after matches in all directions (south, west and east.)

  12. The significance of Nasrec and the slip link interventions should be viewed from the strategic importance of the future extension of the Nasrec line, currently a dead-end, to become the Bara link. A 10 km rail extension linking the Soweto lines to the mineral line, including possibilities of eventually linking up with Gautrain and ORTIA.

  13. The Bara link proposal will cover areas such as, Baragwanath (Cris Hani) Hospital, Orlando Ekhaya, Greater Nasrec/Soccer sports precinct, Vista University, as well as the industrial areas of Aerotan.

  14. The project will provide 40 000 additional daily rail trips. The estimated project cost amounts to R1,5 bn, excluding rolling stock with planning of the project completed. We will commence this year with feasibility, including reviewing appropriate technology applications.

  15. There are various technology options available to meet future capacity requirements for this growing and dynamic corridor. However, such applications cwill also demonstrate the mono rail not to be the most suitable or appropriate solution as previously proposed. PRASA will continue to engage the CoJ and the Province so that we develop a common strategy to make the Bara Link a reality and a success.

  16. In conclusion, these developments are a clear indicator that with the right kind of investment, rail could assume its rightful position within our public transport system, it could enable us to build sustainable and integrated cities, allow us to meet environmental targets and ensure that we avoid urban sprawl where the majority are further moved away and denied the dignity of accessing economic opportunities and jobs.

  17. It is important that as South Africa that we do not miss this round of railway renaissance currently unfolding around the globe. This sleeping giant must rise and meet the challenges of our times.

I thank you

 

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