R33m worth of damage caused by latest Cape Town train fire - Metrorail

2019-04-22 20:01
Metrorail trains. (Jonathan Lestrade)

Metrorail trains. (Jonathan Lestrade)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The cost of rolling stock repairs for the train carriages gutted during a fire at the Cape Town station on Saturday is estimated at R33m.

Metrorail group chief strategy officer Dr Sipho Sithole said a total of 12 coaches, two motor coaches and nine plain trailers were destroyed.

"The estimated cost from rolling stock damages currently stands at R33m.  Approximately 300 meters of centenary and contact wires which are critical to automate train control has been damaged," said Sithole.

READ: Cape Town train fire: Sinister force at work to reverse ANC govt gains - Nzimande

Sithole added that the latest fire is a clear setback to Metrorail Western Cape in "its progressive improvement of its train set availability and to decrease overcrowding".

"The Western Cape has increased its available train sets from 39 trains in December 2018 to 56 trains with a further increase to 60 trains sets by mid-April 2019.

"In addition, the Western Cape has recently received two new trail trains as part of the next phase of new train deployments along with a R 9.1 billion capital  funding allocation to fund the Western Cape’s rail infrastructure upgrades."

He said the bulk of the funding, R3bn, would see the region phase in 35 new train-sets,  while R2.9bn will be used to upgrade the maintenance depot, security and fencing/walling. R1.6bn will be spent on station upgrades and another 1.6bn  for the replacement of signalling.

Arson attack

Sithole said the initial indications point to arson as the cause of the fire, and that it is currently being investigated by police.

"SAPS detectives were on the scene and along with the CCTV footage, a robust investigation is underway."

On Monday, Transport Minister Blade Nzimande blamed the fire on a "relentless force",  saying it was "now undeniable that there is a sinister force at work trying to destroy our rail system". 

The minister called on law enforcement to arrest the perpetrators behind the "sabotage" to the Metrorail trains in Cape Town.

READ: Cape Town train fire – No damage to prototype train unveiled by Ramaphosa

Cape Town Mayor Dan Plato also suggested that the fire was deliberate, saying the reality is that more than 40 carriages have been burnt in arson attacks since 2017.

He added that not a single person has been charged as being responsible for any of the more than 10 incidents over the past two years.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    metrorail  |  cape town  |  fires  |  public transport
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.