Trains suspended after vandalism

Friday, October 12, 2012

Pretoria - Train services have been suspended on the Mabopane and Koedoespoort Metrorial route, Metrorail CEO Mosenngwa Mofi announced on Friday.

Following the delay of trains due to wheatear conditions, angry commuters earlier torched eight coaches at Kopanong station and one at Akasia station. Several other coaches were vandalised. 

Mofi said the estimated costs for the repairs and refurbishment will amount to R70 million. 

He said the trains were apparently running late because of heavy rain when commuters ran amok setting them alight and causing damage to other infrastructure. 

"A lightning strike resulted in power failure affecting control panels and overhead power. It must be appreciated that we run our rail operation with old infrastructure which is prone to constant failures," he said.

The Passenger Rail Association of South Africa had embarked on a massive capital programme to replace the old infrastructure. Some of the trains Metrorail was operating were over 50 years old leading to them not coping in severe weather. 

Metrorail has announced a R50 000 reward to be paid to anyone who can identify the culprits, the company said. -