Metrorail’s Richard Walker says latest CT train fire will hamper service

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa has estimated the destruction of 12 coaches will cost at least R33 million.

A  general view of the Cape Town train station. Picture: @CapeTownTrains/Facebook.com.

CAPE TOWN - The torching of two trains in Cape Town will make Metrorail commuters’ journeys a difficult one.

A train on platform 13 was burnt over the weekend, and the fire spread to another train on platform 14.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has estimated the destruction of 12 coaches will cost at least R33 million.

Metrorail had just managed to boost its train sets capacity from 39 in December to 60 in mid-April. There had been no major infrastructure damage, like a train fire, in six months, until Sunday’s incident.

Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said that police need to try and find out what the motive is behind the attacks, as he believes it’s not related to frustrations over the slow service.

Walker said that this latest incident will hamper service even further now.

“We even still have platform 11 and 12 also still affected by previous fires because of the extent of the damage and the time it takes to actually repair the damage. So, it’s going to cause some delays and platform changes for our commuters.”

Walker says the service changes will be communicated at the stations, on social media and via Metrorail’s SMS-system.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)