Cape Town commuters affected after 2 trains burnt out

2016-08-08 14:00
Prasa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Prasa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - A number of peak-hour trains were cancelled on Cape Town’s southern line on Monday morning following the destruction of two train sets in a blaze on Sunday.

Metrorail is offering a reward of R100 000 for information resulting in anyone being convicted for the spate of attacks on Prasa property in the last 10 months, spokesperson Daphne Kayster said.

She confirmed that a fire had broken out at the Retreat staging yard on Sunday afternoon.

"The incident was reported at 14:43, causing damage to two plain trailers and two motor coaches of two respective train sets. The fire was extinguished by 17:40. No injuries were reported," she said.

"It is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire. We rely on the police to investigate and consider all possibilities in the course of their investigation."

Kayster said, since October last year, Metrorail had seen a "spate of deliberate targeting of assets", due to arson attacks which resulted in loss of capacity.

Costs

"It is not just the cost of the damage, the bigger dilemma is how soon these carriages can be repaired and returned to service and, until they are, thousands of commuters have to use other, already overfull trains," she explained.

"One train accommodates 800 to 2 000 commuters, depending on the number of carriages and its Metro/MetroPlus configuration."

The cost of the damages were determined by Prasa’s insurance loss adjusters after examining the carriages, Kayster said, and this could range between R1.5m and R6.5m per coach, depending on the extent of the damage.

Sunday’s incident was another setback to Metrorail and severely impacted its ability to respond to passenger demand, said regional manager Richard Walker.

"Moreover, it negatively impacts our recovery programme to bring back reliability of the train service. We apologise to commuters for bearing the brunt of the wanton destruction of our assets.”

City of Cape Town Fire Services spokesperson Liezl Moodie said the cause of the fire was registered as undetermined.

Read more on:    metrorail  |  cape town  |  public transport  |  crime

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