Train services suspended in W Cape

Monday, December 11, 2017

Metrorail Western Cape has suspended all central train services as no trains are able to operate on the Chris Hani – Kapteinsklip and Bishop Lavis lines as a result of extreme vandalism.

The move by the Western Cape Metrorail management to suspend services was as a result of extreme vandalism at several mini sub-stations, cables and back-up batteries that feed electricity to the signalling system.

“This is a critical safety feature that controls train movement and ensures that trains run without colliding into each other while powering train movement,” the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) said in a statement on Monday.

No train tickets will be sold and stations will be closed until the service is fully restored, which could take weeks.

Prasa has advised commuters to find alternative transport as Metrorail regrettably has no buses to offer as alternative transport.

“The drastic measure comes in the wake of months of sustained vandalism, cable theft and destruction of critical infrastructure in the Bontheuwel – Netreg – Nyanga area reaching a stage where no further service is possible,” Prasa said.

Prasa Acting Group CEO Cromet Molepo said it was unfortunate that the organisation is spending millions of rands to repair old infrastructure and further delaying the Modernisation Programme.

“It is unfortunate that while the business has already begun with the critical Modernisation Programme for both rolling stock and infrastructure upgrades of R173 billion and on the eve of launching the new Train Manufacturing Plant we still see such criminality against a community asset.

“Our communities must be concerned and outraged about the level of vandalism and criminality that is happening just outside their doorstep,” Molepo said.

Prasa had already earmarked the high-volume corridor for modernisation which would have seen the deployment of the new Metrorail trains in the area similar to the Pretoria to Piennarsport corridor in Gauteng. 

In addition, the project would have created job opportunities and in the future, improved rail services on that line. –

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