World class centre for train commuters

Tembisa – Train commuters will soon experience a transport system that is safe, reliable and efficient as the state of art Gauteng Rail Nerve Centre (GNC) was unveiled on Monday.

The centre, which will act as the signalling control centre for the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), was launched by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, in Tembisa.

Minister Peters said she was impressed with the centre as it allows for communication with the commuters regarding any interruptions on the network.

The centre also has a protection room which will monitor criminal activities at train stations and depots through CCTV footage.

“When we say the train is late people will be immediately informed, it is very important that people be timeously informed so that they can manage their time.

“I am happy about the integrated communication centre which means the people at the stations will be informed on what is happening because the centre would have picked up a challenge that is there, but also in terms of intervention for correction or attending to the challenge that also for me is very important,” she said.

Minister Peters said the new system at the centre is advanced and will put an end to train drivers using cellphones to communicate with the centre.

The aim of the nerve centre was to address Prasa’s challenges due to railway infrastructure and technology that had reached the end of its design lifespan, poor levels of reliability and predictability.

Gauteng Transport and Roads MEC Ismail Vadi said the staff of Prasa will be trained on how to run the system which will be integrated with the Gautrain system to ensure that the entire railway network in the province is monitored.

“We hoping in the New Year the old centre will be decommissioned and then the new centre will be operational.

“We are hoping that in the next few months a technical team can get together so that in the shortest possible time we can have a birds eye view of the entire rail network, both Gautrain and Metrorail within the centre,” MEC Vadi said.

The programme to improve the transport system for commuters will also be rolled out in Durban and the Western Cape at a later stage.

“There is a lot of investment that is being made by government to improve transportation especially in the rail space.

“Government is serious about uplifting the lives of its people in South Africa,” Prasa acting Group CEO Nathi Khena.