M1 Abrams tanks and armored vehicles sit in a rail yard in Southeast Washington

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) announced on Wednesday that it has restored five vital Metrorail services across Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape.

The rail services have been restored and works on routes from Cape Town to Stellenbosch in the Western Cape, Merebank to Chatsglen in KwaZulu-Natal, Johannesburg to Florida, Johannesburg to Nancefield and Germiston to Elsburg in Gauteng.

"We have successfully brought 31 of our 40 lines back into partial operation and are focused on achieving full operational status for these corridors, with work to extend the abovementioned lines continuing," PRASA said, SA News reported.

It added, "This milestone demonstrates our commitment to revitalizing passenger rail services, providing an efficient and cost-effective public transport option for South Africans."

PRASA noted that the rail service is making significant progress on the Central Line, with continuous efforts to rehabilitate rail infrastructure stretching from Phillippi to Nolungile and onward to Chris Hani. The entity temporarily relocated 891 households from the Phillippi station area for smooth progress of recovery work.

This initiative builds upon the successful recovery of the Cape Town to Nyanga services, representing a significant milestone for one of the nation's most crucial passenger rail routes.

"Recognizing the growing demand for our services, we are actively working to repair vandalized signaling equipment. These repairs are essential not only for the safe operation of our trains but also to increase the frequency of our services to meet our commuters' needs," the agency said.

The rail services noted that the recovery of these lines was possible due to its "dedicated staff across various regions, who have spared no effort and commitment in reaching these achievements, despite facing considerable challenges."

It added, "We remain steadfast in our mission to restore passenger rail as the backbone of public transport in South Africa."

PRASA announced in December that it has resumed the Mainline Passenger Services (MLPS) from Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town. The decision to restart MLPS comes a few months after South Africa's minister of transport, Sindisiwe Chikunga, re-launched the Leralla-Germiston line in August.