Samiksha Jaiswal

Metrorail Western Cape

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Area served  Cape Town
Chief executive  Richard Walker
Operator(s)  Metrorail
Number of lines  4
Daily ridership  621,000 (as of 2004)
Founded  Cape Town, South Africa
Transit type  Commuter rail
Metrorail Western Cape httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Locale  Cape Town, Western Cape
Owner  Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa
Number of stations  122 (97 have ticket offices)

Metrorail Western Cape is a network of commuter and suburban rail services in and around the metropolitan area of Cape Town, South Africa. It is operated by Metrorail, which operates commuter rail services in the major cities of South Africa. The routes are probably the most comprehensive of any of the cities in South Africa but some key areas have no train service, notably the Atlantic suburbs and Tableview. Metrorail distributes a free weekly magazine called Myline.


There are 85 operational trainsets, made up of 1094 coaches. There are 671 scheduled trains per weekday, operating over 460 kilometres (290 mi) of track to 122 stations and 4 halts. As of 2004 there were an average of 621 000 daily weekday passenger trips. The services are divided into three areas, each of which has various branches.

Most services commence or terminate at the main Cape Town station in the centre of the city, which has 24 platforms. All services are by electric multiple units, aside from the daily train to Malmesbury which is on a non-electrified line.

Southern Line

The Southern Line travels from central Cape town through the Southern Suburbs to Muizenberg, and then along the edge of False Bay to Simon's Town. Although Simon's Town is the southern terminus, many trains terminate at Fish Hoek because the line south is single-track.

Cape Flats Line

The Cape Flats Line travels east from Cape Town as far as Maitland, then turns south through Athlone, rejoining the Southern Line at Heathfield. The service terminates at Retreat.

Central Line

The Central Line serves areas to the south-east of the city centre. Trains run from Cape Town to Langa on two different routes, one around the southern side and the other around the eastern side of Pinelands. From Langa they travel on one of three lines, going either to Mitchell's Plain, to Khayelitsha, or through Belhar to Bellville.

Northern Line

The Northern Line serves the northern suburbs of Cape Town as well as some outlying towns. Some trains travel from Cape Town station to Bellville along the old main line through Salt River, Maitland, Goodwood and Parow, while others travel along the relief main line via Century City. After Bellville, trains run on one of three routes: through Kraaifontein and Paarl to Wellington; via Kuils River and Stellenbosch to Muldersvlei; or via Kuils River and Somerset West to Strand.

Two "Business Express" trains provide a luxury commuter service, travelling from the suburbs to Cape Town in the morning and the reverse in the afternoon. One train runs from Huguenot (Paarl) via Kraaifontein and Brackenfell to Cape Town, while the other runs from Strand via Somerset West and Kuils River to Cape Town.

There are also two longer distance trains stopping at all stations en route daily. One along the main-line to Worcester and at 174 km (108 mi) the longest possible route on a commuter train in South Africa. The other is the only diesel-hauled commuter train in the Western Cape to Malmesbury which travels 78 km (48 mi) on the route to Bitterfontein.


Frequencies can vary vastly from weekday peak to weekend off peaks. Services to Simon’s Town, Bellville via Century City, Strand, Muldersvlei (via Stellenbosch) and Wellington are less frequent over weekends with a train about every hour on Saturdays and every two hours on a Sunday. In contrast, weekday frequencies on some lines offer three-minute headways.

First class MetroPlus coaches are always on the side closest to Cape Town.

Every train displays a four digit digital or analogue train number. The route and destination of a specific train can be determined by just looking at the train number. Up trains travel towards Cape Town and carry even train numbers, down trains travel away from Cape Town and carry odd train numbers. Destinations can be derived from the following table:


  • On 13 November 2006, a train hit a truck stalled on an unprotected level crossing. The truck was carrying at least 33 farmworkers; nineteen were killed and six injured.
  • On 25 August 2010, a train hit a minibus taxi that had allegedly driven round the boom barriers on a level crossing. The minibus was carrying fourteen schoolchildren, of whom ten were killed.
  • References

    Metrorail Western Cape Wikipedia

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