Metrorail

Tuesday 24 November 2015

16:00

METRORAIL SERVICE ADVISORY:

KHAYELITSHA TRAINS TERMINATING AT MANDALAY STATION

 

 

Cape Town – Metrorail is forced to temporarily terminate trains to Khayelitsha at Mandalay, leaving commuters bound for Nolungile/Nonkqubela/Khayelitsha/Kuyasa/Chris Hani to find alternative transport from Mandalay Station.

The forced termination comes in the wake of a multi-functional, joint operation today to remove illegal electrical connections between Nolungile and Nonkqubela. Some households in the formalised X section are illegally supplying their opposite neighbours in the informal settlement in RR section with electricity.

Regional manager Richard Walker explained Metrorail’s predicament: “The wiring used to supply the electricity is not fit for purpose and dangerous; its electrical current carrying capability is inadequate with the result that the wires burn out easily. These illegal connections are supplied both across and underneath our rail infrastructure, causing havoc with our train service”.

Walker explained that 396 trains were delayed in October 2015 due to illegal connections; totalling 5 264 minutes of delays: “The connections are responsible for our electricity shorting out and creating false positive readings. The former causes extensive delays; the latter affect train signals creating dangerous operating conditions.” “The supply to ten particular informal dwellings pose great danger to the occupants of those dwellings as well as the surrounding community”.

A team comprising:

  • Local councillors from the City of Cape Town;

  • Metrorail Protection Services and Business Risk representatives;

  • ESKOM representatives; and

  • Members of the Khayelitsha SAPS (Harare), Public Order Police and the Rapid Rail Response Unit conducted information/awareness sessions in preparation and served notice of the intention to remove the connections before technical crews moved in today.

Retaliation followed as track boxes were set alight and other rail equipment damaged. Walker says Metrorail has terminated train services to the area after the backlash to protect commuters, employees and railway assets. “We are forced to withhold services until the situation stabilises, it would be irresponsible to endanger precious lives and vital assets”. He appealed to communities to refrain from damaging state assets in retaliation and to rather seek alternatives via their preferred structures.

He apologised to commuters for delays as a result: “We continue to monitor the situation closely and will reinstate services as soon as it is deemed safe to do so” he concluded. Commuters who require proof of delays for employers may request letters of confirmation at stations or register for the ‘Email my boss’ option on the mobi-site www.GoMetroApp.com.

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