27 November 2008
Metrorail KwaZulu-Natal has set aside R140-million to build a new train station next to Durban’s Moses Mabhida Stadium, to make it more accessible for soccer fans ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup.
According to Metrorail, there are also plans to build a shopping mall in the vicinity of the stadium.
“We expect the train station to be ready by September 2009, and it will also serve as a safe and convenient crossing point for pedestrians wishing to reach the stadium from Umngeni and Walter Gilbert roads,” Metrorail acting business development manager Danny Hattingh said in Durban this week.
Hattingh added that the number of officers working with the South African Police Service’s railway police unit would be increased from 350 to 700 by 2010.
Public transport legacy
Metrorail KwaZulu-Natal regional manager Dumi Dube explained that the development formed part of the national transport strategy to ensure the safe and comfortable conveyance of fans during the tournament.
He added that in an effort to avoid congestion, park and ride facilities would be provided at several stations, enabling soccer fans to park their cars at the stations and then catch a train to the stadium.
“The major improvements to existing stations and the construction of an ultra-modern station near the stadium will be a legacy we want to put in place for our commuters beyond 2010,” Dube said, adding that 20 refurbished 10M5 trains would also be ready for use by then.
According to Metrorail, millions of rands have already been spent on renovating ticket offices and public toilets, building new paraplegic toilets, painting all buildings, fencing, resurfacing platforms, installing new station signage and upgrading station lighting, and public address systems.
The first phase of an integrated communications system, costing R25-million, will be installed at five stations, Berea Road, Rossburgh, Reunion, Umlazi and Duffs Road and will include passenger communication equipment, electric notice boards and emergency panic buttons.
Stations which have received a facelift are Thembalihle, Greenwood Park, Briadene, Dalbridge, Congella, Montclair, Lindokuhle and Umlazi, while refurbishment is in progress at Brea, Umngeni, Redhil, Umbilo, Merebank and Malvern.