Western Cape Metrorail Stopped Due to Load Shedding, Commuters Forced to Make Alternative Plans

Photo via Metrorail Western Cape 

Metrorail lines across the Western Cape were stopped on Tuesday as a substation malfunctioned due to load shedding in the area. Commuters were forced to make their own plans. 

The Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (PRASA) said theft of its 11 KV lines between Retreat and Fish Hoek complicated the situation and left commuters stranded. 

Because the trains operate on electricity, they rely on ESKOM and substations to operate, PRASA said. 

Stage 2 load shedding was implemented from 17:00 on Monday afternoon due to a breakdown at Medupi Unit 3, ESKOM said. Load shedding is expected to be implemented until 5 am Wednesday. 

Since Monday morning, a unit each at the Matla, Kendal, Matimba, Kusile and Grootvlei power stations tripped, while a unit each at Arnot and Hendrina power stations were forced shut down. This, in addition to other units that had tripped during the weekend, reduced available generation capacity, forcing ESKOM to rely heavily on emergency generation reserves to keep the lights on, ESKOM said in a statement Monday.

PRASA said technicians are working on restoring power as quickly as possible as ESKOM handles the issues on their side. 

By Ben Rappaport


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