PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Ian Van Zyl
 
Comments: 6
Article views: 746
 
 
 

Off the rails, off the record: Metrorail mum on derailment

19 March 2014, 12:34
Commuters on Cape Town's busy urban rail network face delays and service disruptions on a daily basis. We have become accustomed to the terminology by now - they are like old friends. The names of the usual suspects are announced without fail on PA systems: "failed in-section", "defective track circuits", "sets out of service", "signalling problem", "defective points". And as a consequence the repercussions follow shortly after: "has been cancelled", "is delayed by X minutes", and ultimately, "Metrorail apologises for the inconvenience". This week saw the welcoming of a new rascal in our ranks. He shall be named "infrastructure problem", and he currently resides at Cape Town Station. His presence is felt all over the network, as trains are delayed on most of the lines. Almost half of the platforms at Cape Town Station are out of service while the "infrastructure problem" is being dealt with. Little - in fact nothing - has been said about how this situation came to be.
On the evening Saturday, 15 March, the train from Kapteinsklip (most likely the 9552) derailed as it was creeping into Cape Town Station, fully laden with passengers, many of them on their way to the carnival parade. Chaos ensued. There was hysteria as people forced open the doors, jumped off the stationary train and made their way across the tracks to the nearest platform. We assisted elderly passengers to get to the safety of the platform. Some people were injured. Behind us sparks were flying and the grass had been set alight. We stood there looking at the derailed train and the evident damage to the tracks and overhead cables, feeling lucky to have come off relatively unscathed. 
But where were the Metrorail or PRASA officials? Where were the emergency response teams? The answer is simple: they were nowhere to be seen.  A lone figure with a fire extinguisher made his way to the wreckage. And that was that. No announcement followed. Nobody came to assess the extent of injuries. Nobody took the details of passengers who had travelled on the ill-fated train. 
To this day, there is no press release on the websites of PRASA, Metrorail or GoMetro. Just the by now familiar name "infrastructure problem". 
As I read about another level crossing incident this very morning, I cannot help but think that a major mishap is imminent. Has Metrorail become so nonchalant about the deterioration of its track record that it does not deem a derailment a major event any more? More worryingly, I dread to think about Metrorail's ability to respond in case of emergency. What measures are in place to deal with injury and the potential life-threatening accident scene?
Moreover, as PRASA has already proudly adopted the imagery of future trains in its marketing material and even name badges of staff, what is being done to make the infrastructure safe (as a matter of urgency) for those trains to travel on? Metrorail's standard response is that years of underinvestment in infrastructure has caused the current problems, and that we should have a safe and reliable train service in about twenty years.
Is it then not time for Minister Dipuo Peters, as well as PRASA and Metrorail to shout it from the rooftops: "Our rail infrastructure is crumbling!"? How else are we going to get Treasury to get serious about allocating enough funds for an entire overhaul of our urban rail network? Or must we be satisfied with being fed this fuzzy nonsense about there being an "infrastructure problem"? How long before we grow accustomed to hearing "Trains on the Central Line are delayed due to an earlier derailment in which X passengers died. Metrorail apologises for the inconvenience"?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.
 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Maluleka Paul
SADTU's proposed 'Nationalist his...

The nationalist history curriculum approach is always under scrutiny everywhere around the world and for a good reason. Read more...

2 comments 266 views
Submitted by
Godless Heathen
How good are Christian Morals rea...

Christians and other believers in various brands of wuckfittery seem to think that the morals of the world are declining.  Read more...

80 comments 2517 views
Submitted by
SilverBack
In response to Paulus on the Gene...

This article is long, so unless you have an interest in the subject or you read Paulus' Article, this will not be of interest. Read more...

97 comments 561 views
The Folly of Men

When the heart is darkened, not in the same light with God, it turn out to do foolish things.  Read more...

39 comments 221 views
Submitted by
Chiedza Ufic Majongwe
Return our relatives home please

We are grateful to the South African government for all they are doing in assisting us and also the Nigerian government. However we are appealing to South Africa and Nigeria to speed up the process. Read more...

0 comments 273 views
Submitted by
CraigJoseph
Another R35bn reasons why...

Having read about the wasteful and irregular spending of another R35bn, I can't help but wonder why so many of our countrymen still have faith in the ruling party. Read more...

14 comments 1054 views

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on your iPhone Get News24 headlines on your iPhone.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

Calais Website keywords automated by OpenCalais.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2014 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.