Regulator: Manual authorisation of trains alone won't make trains safer

The Railway Safety Regulator has banned all manual authorisation of Prasa trains until a plan is in place to avoid human error in the wake of two serious crashes over the past week.

Rail officials on the scene of a train crash in Germiston on 9 January, 2018. Picture: Ihsaan Haffejee/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Railway Safety Regulator says that while it’s not opposed to the manual authorisation of Prasa trains, it doesn't believe this measure alone will make locomotives safer.

The regulator has banned all manual authorisation of Prasa trains until a plan is in place to avoid human error in the wake of two serious crashes over the past week.

Nineteen people were killed in a Free State collision exactly a week ago, while on Tuesday 220 commuters were hurt when one train rear-ended a stationary locomotive at the Geldenhuis station in Germiston.

The regulator’s acting CEO Tshepo Kgare says that communication and supervision is vital.

"In some of these sections where they are doing manual authorisation, there is signalling upgrades taking place. There are big projects in Johannesburg, Cape Town and KwaZulu-Natal."