The Standard Gauge Railway is Kenya's biggest infrastructure project since independence

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has resumed the Mainline Passenger Services (MLPS) from Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town, as the country gets ready for the holiday period.

This line was suspended in 2021 due to operational and network infrastructure challenges. PRASA -- the state-owned railway company -- noted that resuming the long-distance passenger rail services showed its commitment to offer an alternative mode of transportation for South Africans to meet their families and friends affordably and conveniently.

The long-distance rail service will also be a bonus for people who are visiting different cities like Cape Town and Durban or Johannesburg for the holidays.

"These services resume as cash-strapped consumers are battling with the costs of long-distance travel. For just less than a R1 000 for a single trip, PRASA is inviting passengers to a unique experience to their destinations far from the hassles of traffic congestion and escalating traveling costs," PRASA said, SA News reported.

"The trips are more than just reaching one's destination; it promises a unique an unforgettable experience for families and friends alike."

PRASA also announced that one of its divisions, Shosholoza Meyl, will also offer private car transportation services at affordable rates at an additional cost for those traveling to Durban.

This means, if a person wants to transport their private vehicle to another city via rail services, then they can do it via Shosholoza Meyl.

"The business is also working on restoring long-distance passenger rail services, with Shosholoza Meyl currently transporting people from Johannesburg to Queenstown and Musina. The resumption of the Johannesburg to Durban and Cape Town services marks another milestone in the revival of long-distance passenger rail services," PRASA added.

The railway company stressed the seats were limited, adding that customers should book in advance to ensure their seats were confirmed. To do so, customers can call 011-013-0231/2/3 alternatively 012-748-7362 or 015-299-606, or visit the nearest Shosholoza Meyl Ticket office.

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. He revealed PRASA successfully recovered 18 corridors, while seven of them were operational. Chikunga said that Gauteng's rail infrastructure redevelopment was "making significant progress" as the PRASA spent R2.1 billion on the project.