More delays for Cape Town train commuters

2016-11-29 18:21
Officials work on Metrorail cables. (Photo supplied)

Officials work on Metrorail cables. (Photo supplied)

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Cape Town - Cape Town's train commuters are in for more delays on Tuesday, as Metrorail continues its laborious train shuttle system while damaged and stolen cables are repaired and replaced.

Cable thieves struck on Saturday, disabling one of the company's communications nerve centres, rendering controllers unable to see where the trains were on the lines.

“It is very dangerous,” regional Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said. She equated it to air traffic controllers being unable to see aircraft on a radar.

Metrorail suspended all services on Sunday and set about fixing the damage.

Commuters were left to make their own travel arrangements. After an all-nighter on Monday, the company had devised a train shuttle system to get commuters to work.

The system bypassed the most severely affected stations, like Salt River, and moved from one station to another, with commuters changing trains along the way.

Trade union federation Cosatu said it was appalled by the disruptions, and demanded that police and Metrorail work together to catch the culprits.

Scott said anybody who wanted their train fare refunded for the days they were out of action, should approach the station manager with the request. It would be considered.

The refunds were not automatic because the situation was not of Metrorail's making, and the tickets were already heavily discounted.

She said the real problem was scrap dealers who bought the copper cables without checking the origin.

These are the services for Tuesday afternoon:

CENTRAL LINES
- All trains continue to operate via Langa/Mutual Stations
- Outbound shuttles:
- Cape Town – Mutual; transfer to Maitland – Heathfield;
- Home-bound commuters from Pinelands/Ndabeni continue their series of shuttle services:
- Departing platform 8 at Cape Town Station - Mutual; 
- Embark at Pinelands/Ndabeni - connect with Cape Flats trains - Maitland

NORTHERN LINES
- Wellington/Strand/Muldersvlei operate via Mutual/Ysterplaat;
- Kraaifontein/Eerste River/Worcester/Malmesbury/Business Expresses operate via Monte Vista to/and from Cape Town;
- Outbound shuttles: 
- Cape Town – Mutual departing from platform 8 at Cape Town Station)
- Worcester trains – commuters should use Cape Town – Mutual shuttle to embark at Mutual

CAPE FLATS LINE
Outbound shuttles this afternoon:
- Cape Town - Maitland shuttle; 
- Transfer to Maitland - Heathfield

SOUTHERN LINE
Outbound shuttles:
- Cape Town - Plumstead (arriving and departing from platforms 1 & 2 at Cape Town Station);
- Plumstead – Simon’s Town (departing from platform 3 at Plumstead Station).

AUXILIARY BUS SERVICES 
- Golden Arrow Bus Service:  Metrorail weekly/monthly ticket holders may utilise their Plumstead – Cape Town service after 18:00;
- Prasa Bus Service:  Metrorail weekly/monthly ticket holders may utilise their Plumstead – Cape Town service after 7pm.

Read more on:    metrorail  |  cape town  |  transport

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