Metrorail ‘more than ready’ for World Cup

Rail passenger company Metrorail says it is more than ready to live up to its slogan, “Nomakanjani (No matter what), we’ll take you there” during the upcoming 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup.

Metrorail has been experiencing a number of delays in its operations along the Johannesburg and Vereeniging corridor which were, according to the company, sparked by damaged infrastructure as a result of violent service delivery protests at the Houtheuvel train station as well as electrical power supply problems in the New Canada vicinity this week.

While acknowledging yesterday that they were experiencing operational problems in the corridor in question, Metrorail spokesman Sibusiso Ngomane said football fans planning to attend the World Cup matches at various host cities in Gauteng need not panic as they have a “solid” operational plan in place.

“We are going to have special dedicated trains deployed to ferry fans to the respective stadiums across the province and country, so there is no reason for fans to panic as we also have a multi disciplined operational team of people who are currently working on the issue around the delays that we have been experiencing in our corridors,” he said.

In further revealing Metrorail’s plans for the World Cup, Ngomane said some of their operational plans, include: n the deployment of 610 special trains for the World Cup in Gauteng alone; n a total of 168 trains to be made available for all World Cup matches to be played at the Coca-Cola Park stadium in Johannesburg; 240 trains to be deployed for fans going to watch matches at the Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria.

Five first round matches and one second round match will be hosted there; and 202 special trains to ferry fans to the iconic Soccer City stadium in Nasrec, just outside Soweto.

The Nasrec train station is also currently undergoing a revamp phase and it would only take fans a five minute walk to the stadium.

Matches to be played at Soccer City include the opening between the hosts Bafana Bafana and Mexico, four more first round matches, as well as a round of 16 matches, a quarter final and the final.

Source:  citizen online, 20100305

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