Railway stations fenced

2018-12-18 06:00
Plumstead train station. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

Plumstead train station. PHOTO: Nomzamo Yuku

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Following several incidents and complaints about safety at railway stations, the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) recently started mending fencing in the southern areas.

The most recent tragic incident was of Leigh Jansen (“Leigh’s ordeal, recovery, People’s Post, 31 July).

Jansen suffered severe burn wounds to her neck and face and sustained lung injuries when a train carriage caught fire on Wednesday 30 May. She is currently recovering, and her mother, Ursula Schenker, says she is now at 83% functional ability.

Following the incident, there was an outcry for Prasa to secure railway stations as the public believed alleged attacks and trespassing could easily be monitored if the railways were secured and had full-time guards on site.

The project reportedly started shortly after the incident and is on the line from Observatory to Heathfield and is supposed to cover about 489km. The construction company is now busy at the Plumstead train station and workers on site say the project will continue for a few months into the new year as they will soon be taking Christmas leave.

Riana Scott, spokesperson for Metrorail, explains that the project is part of their ongoing maintenance.

She says: “Prasa replaces and mends fencing on an ongoing basis as funds permit and budgets are committed. The replacement, upgrading or repair thereof is planned and prioritised annually in terms of urgency and necessity, and implemented according to available funding. The purpose of railway fencing is primarily to demarcate boundaries and most fencing, even palisade, will not deter wilful entry. In many instances the fencing is still serviceable for its intended purpose. This is why we continue to advise the public and commuters to use authorised crossings [such as] bridges or subways to safely cross railway lines.”

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