Metrorail suspends all train services on Cape Town central line

2017-12-11 10:18
(File, Netwerk24)

(File, Netwerk24)

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Cape Town – Metrorail Western Cape on Monday suspended all trains running on the central line, which services areas such as Khayelitsha, Philippi, Mitchells Plain, Bishop Lavis and Langa, until further notice.

"Stations will be closed and no tickets will be on sale until further notice," Metrorail said in a statement.

It advised commuters to use their own means to find alternative transport.

WATCH: Commuters risk their lives on overcrowded Metrorail train

The route runs along the Chris Hani - Kapteinsklip and Bishop Lavis lines, and covers a wide swathe of commuters, who rely heavily on the train service and who may not have easy access to alternative transport.

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The drastic decision was reached after months of sustained vandalism, cable theft and destruction of critical infrastructure in the Bonteheuwel - Netreg - Nyanga area, Metrorail stated.

ALSO READ: What Metrorail’s own stats show: Bad service

"Vandals targeted several mini sub-stations, cables and back-up batteries over the weekend, leaving us no option but to suspend services," said Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker.

"The rate of vandalism simply outstrips the rate of repairs."

Walker said teams would be sent in with armed escorts so that they can assess the damage before any attempt to recover the service would be possible.

Losing battle against crime

According to Walker, law enforcement officials are losing the battle against criminals in the area, which is in the grip of a crime wave.

"Our teams are no longer able to stem the tide of vandalism unaided," he said.

"Incidents of crime have become more aggressive with robberies and assault of our employees escalating."

ALSO READ: Metrorail commuters robbed, man shot when trying to flee

"Our call for assistance to law enforcement agencies and communities to help us fight against crime has not yielded the support we had hoped it would and commuters continue to bear the brunt."

Walker called on the police to take action against illegal scrap dealers, and also appealed to the communities along the railway route to help expose criminals.

According to Walker, the "high volume corridor" has been earmarked for modernisation, but ongoing vandalism continues to hamper their efforts.

Metrorail has offered a reward of up to R25 000 for any information leading to a conviction, with guaranteed anonymity.

Members of the public can SMS the crime line on 32211 or call the Metrorail Protection Services hotline on 021 449 4336/5056 or Crime Stop on 0860 10111.

Read more on:    metrorail  |  cape town  |  trains  |  traffic  |  transport

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