Fires: Power Van to change route
The Outeniqua Power Van’s popular excursions into the Outeniqua mountains have had to be halted due to fire damage to the railway line.
Operator Nicol Marais said, however, that they will still take passengers on excursions, but to Great Brak River.
Transnet Freight Rail said in a statement an inspection last week of the line between George and Oudtshoorn revealed that about 4 000 sleepers have burnt and will have to be replaced. “This closure can be for an indefinite period,” it said.
It affects the route of the Rovos Rail that usually journeys from Oudtshoorn to George, from where passengers travel in the Garden Route for activities like golf. These
Business hours might change depending on demand, but the following facilities are open to sell cards and top up trips on your card.
Seven days a week, from 05:30 - 20:30:
• Four Smart Card kiosks:
Next to York Park glass building, York Street Transport Hub
Garden Route Mall
Blanco Triangle passengers now have to be transported to George by road. A freight train also uses the line at least once a week.
Picnic spots where the Power Van used to stop to allow its passengers to enjoy refreshments and admire the views, were completely destroyed by the fires. Marais said without these facilities their excursions into the mountain cannot go ahead. “This is a huge blow for the area. It is a major line and a big asset for the country. At least we can continue our service on a different line,” he said.
Transnet said the sleepers will be replaced and the line “might be reopened in the near future”.
“This main line between Port Elizabeth and Cape Town does have tremendous economical value for the region.” • Two Smart Card mobile vehicles Leaflets with the fixed schedule of where and when the two mobile vehicles visit the different parts of town is available from all Smart Card kiosks, the Info kiosk at the Hub and GO GEORGE champions.
• Top-up vendors - own business hours:
A growing network of top-up vendors (currently 28) all over town will do top-ups only. Where a specific area is low on top-up vendors, the mobile Smart Card vehicles do more shifts per week to make sure that residents all have the opportunity to top up when needed. To find out where your nearest top-up vendor is, please phone 0800 044 044, follow GO GEORGE on Facebook or visit www.gogeorge.org.za.
You don’t need any identification when you top up - that was only required to buy your first Smart Card at the special price of R20. Just hand over your card to the cashier who will ask you how many trips you want to buy. She will insert your card into the card machine to load your trips and hand back your reloaded card with a receipt showing your purchase as well as the new balance of trips on your card.
See more photos at www.georgeherald.comInspection of the railway line in the Outeniqua mountain revealed damage to 4 000 sleepers that have to be replaced.