Fi­res: Po­wer Van to chan­ge rou­te

George Herald - - News - A­li­da de Beer

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.

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