Crash cuts Joburg, Pretoria trains

2013-02-20 19:06
Metrorail train (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Metrorail train (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - Gauteng Metrorail said on Wednesday that no trains were running between Pretoria and Johannesburg after an accident near the Kempton Park station.

Three people were injured when a train hit a heavy duty machine operating close to the railway line outside the station, the company said.

"The machine was used to dig trenches for a fibre cable, and that pulled down the electrical power overhead beam. It fell over and onto the train," spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng said.

"All railway lines at Kempton Park station have been closed and the entire overhead power in the area is down."

Mofokeng said the accident happened around 15:00.

Metrorail provincial manager Tembela Kulu said as a consequence, no trains were running between Pretoria and Johannesburg.

"Technical teams are working on multiple strategies to recover the service as soon as possible," Kulu.

"All trains from Johannesburg currently turn in Elandsfontein Station, while those from Pretoria turn at Kaalfontein Station, to cater for commuters."

Kulu said efforts were underway by late afternoon to remove the beam, to open one line where shuttle services could be used to get commuters to connecting trains.

Metrorail said taxi drivers in the Kempton Park area were "frustrating Metrorail efforts to offer alternative transport in the form of buses to commuters stuck in the trains".

"Commuters are urged to make alternative transport arrangements whilst the situation is receiving urgent attention from technical teams."

The company apologised, saying the "unfortunate situation" was beyond its control.

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