Defective signalling likely caused Joburg train crash

2015-07-19 11:47
(Arrive Alive via Twitter)

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Johannesburg - A defective signalling system seems the likely cause of the train crash at Booysens station in Johannesburg, in which 239 people were injured on Friday night.

The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR), which is investigating the accident involving two trains, said the system between Kaserne and New Canada was a threat to safe operations.

"The RSR has therefore taken the decision to issue a prohibition directive with immediate effect on the utilisation of the signalling system as a primary mode of train protection," it said in a statement.

The directive prevents trains from operating on the affected line.

The RSR said one of the trains (number 9934) had stopped at a red signal just before the Crown station. The second train (9404) left Booysens. It had a yellow signal, indicating it should proceed with caution.

"During the investigation, the RSR discovered that the stationary train was not amply protected due to a defective signalling system," it said.

"The signals which were supposed to protect train 9934 were observed to be yellow, when instead, it should have been red. This resulted in the rear-end collision between the two trains, where 239 people were injured."

Most of the injured had already been released from hospital.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has called on the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and the RSR to expedite the testing of the signalling system.

Both Prasa and RSR had assured the minister that it would be concluded on Sunday around 17:00. Should it take longer, both Prasa and RSR had to tell commuters about contingency plans, the transport department said.

Read more on:    prasa  |  johannesburg  |  transport

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