Lucky Montana. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

Lucky Montana. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said on Tuesday that rail operations at the R1.3-billion Bridge City Station and Rail Precinct project would start on February 1, with a limited service.

Prasa said in October that the service was set to start full operations at the beginning of 2014.

The project links communities from Inanda, Ntuzuma and KwaMashu to Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal.

Prasa noted that a battery of tests in December had shown “that there were outstanding matters on the snag list which related particularly to the signalling system and that these have a bearing on the safety of commuters”.

Prasa group CEO Lucky Montana had, subsequently, ordered further tests.

Prasa was set to continue tests during January, followed by the introduction of a limited service from Bridge City Station toDurban on February 1.

“Once we are satisfied with the safety aspects of the system, we will roll out the service in full. The roll-out of the service will, however, be dependent on whether the outstanding matters have been satisfactorily addressed,” said Montana.

Actom Signalling carried out the signalling contract on the Bridge City project.

Engineering News Online learnt on Tuesday that a “very old style interlocking” had proved to make work on the project “very challenging”.

The Bridge City project integrated a number of public transport services into one transport hub.

A passenger railway line connected to a newly developed station located underground the Bridge City Shopping Mall. The hub also allowed for a bus and taxi interchange.