Only one third of Metrorail’s infrastructure intact in CT

Three train stations, Mbekweni in Paarl, Firgrove near Somerset West and Cape Town, were affected by fires on Friday.

FILE: A Metrorail train on fire in Firgrove, Cape Town. Picture: Supplied

CAPE TOWN - Officials say only a third of Metrorail’s infrastructure is still intact due to fires and poor maintenance.

Three train stations, Mbekweni in Paarl, Firgrove near Somerset West and Cape Town, were affected by fires on Friday.

Trains from the CBD to Strand were affected due to the Firgrove fire while trains to Wellington and Kraaifontein were affected by the Mbekweni fire.

Commuters were again frustrated by train delays, lack of communication from Metrorail and having to part with more money to pay for alternative transport home.

The City of Cape Town’s JP Smith says foul play was involved in the three separate incidents, which he says were not by sheer coincidence.

“From what we had about four or five years ago, we have a third of our rail stock left. That’s due to neglect and arson.”

Smith says 100 dedicated officers, some in uniform and others in plain clothes, will be deployed to train stations from Monday.

DAMAGES

Metrorail's Richard Walker says repairs are still underway.

“I was at the station yesterday and it looks like limited damage. I think they’ll be able to repair the damage and have it fixed it by Monday peak.”

Walker says this is a crippling blow to an already struggling entity.

“Once again, we’ve lost and you know we’ve lost trailers, which means we’ll only be able to salvage one set of the three. Once again, commuters will bear the brunt.”

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)