Gautrain delay after cable theft

By Drum Digital
20 March 2013

The Gautrain running between Midrand and Samrand was delayed on Wednesday because of cable theft, an official said.

About 370m of signalling cable was stolen, said Bombela Concession Company spokesman Errol Braithwaite.

"Our security recovered the stolen cable soon after the theft."

The delays were expected to be up to 30 minutes.

"All trains between Centurion and Midrand will run at 30km/h," Braithwaite said.

It was hoped the problem would be fixed before midday. Trains running east-west, including the airport service, were not affected.

"We look to the authorities to act decisively to stamp out the scourge of the illegal copper trade," he said.

Democratic Alliance MPL Neil Campbell said he would ask for an explanation from Gauteng roads and transport MEC Ismail Vadi.

"I will accordingly submit questions to MEC Vadi requesting information on this incident and details on how the Gautrain's infrastructure, and specifically its critical cables, are secured and protected from both theft and destruction," he said in a statement.

"A world class commuter rail service must operate on par with the highest international standards. This includes preventing unnecessary delays through theft or vandalism of cables and other infrastructure."

Campbell said the delays were much longer than expected, but commended the Gautrain operators for tending to the problem speedily and updating commuters.

-by Sapa

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