Trains out of Cape Town on track - Metrorail

2017-06-13 17:09
Members of Parliament's portfolio committee on transport inspect the aftermath of the rampage at Cape Town station (Sibongile Maputi, News24)

Members of Parliament's portfolio committee on transport inspect the aftermath of the rampage at Cape Town station (Sibongile Maputi, News24)

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WATCH: Cape Town station in ruin after overnight fires, looting

2017-06-13 11:08

Two trains were set alight and shops looted at Cape Town station on Monday night, when commuters went on the rampage in reaction to lengthy delays.WATCH

Cape Town - Metrorail will soldier on to keep trains running on Tuesday night, albeit with fewer available coaches and platforms, after Monday night's rampage at the Cape Town Station, the company said.

"Trains may be placed in a holding pattern outside Cape Town Station for this reason," cautioned Metrorail.

Anticipated delays on Tuesday afternoon are as follows:

Monte Vista line

10 - 20 minutes

Northern line

10 - 20 minutes

Central line

50 - 60 minutes

Cape Flats line

20 - 30 minutes

Southern line

30 - 40 minutes

 Metrorail said it had beefed up security and had cleared the smoke and debris, after commuters set coaches alight because of delays on Monday night.

Those delays were caused by an overloaded electrical system that tripped and brought trains to a standstill. While technicians were trying to fix the problem, some commuters starting breaking turnstiles and set two trains alight.

READ: Commuters rebel as Metrorail fails

For Tuesday evening's commute, Metrorail advises:

  • Platforms 14 to 17 have been reopened, but platforms 15 and 16 remain closed to remove the carriages torched on Monday night;
  • Train times and platforms for the Cape Flats and Central Line services may not all be on the electronic notice board and platforms, so trains will be announced as platforms become available, in real time;
  • Commuters must listen to the station announcements to make sure they board the right train at the right place;
  • Passengers must check notices on their phones if they are registered with the Metrorail information service;
  • Golden Arrow Bus Services will help Metrorail weekly/monthly ticket holders off-peak (after 18:00)

'Burning trains is not a solution'

Meanwhile, members of Parliament's transport portfolio committee said they were shocked after seeing the damage.

"Burning trains is not a solution. Instead, it exacerbates the transport challenges that our people encounter. This is the only thing we have to move people to work. We must find a permanent solution to this challenge," committee chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane said.

He was told that signal failure, due to electricity cuts and cable theft, had led to extended train delays, and that there were not enough buses to take people home.

As a result, people he regarded as criminals had burnt two trains, vandalised and looted shops in the station, and broke electronic signs.

"Commuters must flush out the criminals. They must not act under the guise of being commuters. This is no ordinary crime. It is clear it was carried out by people who understand the system," he said.

The repairs were expected to run into millions of rand, he added.

After Monday's events, the United National Transport Union demanded that Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker resign immediately.

General secretary Steve Harris said Metrorail did not warn commuters about the problem, which left commuters agitated.

They started attacking staff and damaging property. Some even went looking for train drivers and ticket officers in their rest rooms, he said.

Read more on:    metrorail  |  cape town  |  public transport  |  crime

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