Latest from Western Cape Metrorail.
Salt River, Cape Town – Metrorail reported that three (3) train-sets were severely damaged by a fire reported in its Salt River depot at 16:40 this afternoon. A fourth train-set was also fire-damaged by the arson attack as well as a fifth module undergoing repairs that was destined to be returned to service within days. In total sixteen (16) carriages or plain trailers and three (3) motor coaches are out of commission due to this incident. No-one was injured and the fire was contained at 8pm.
Regional Manager Richard Walker condemned the loss of the trains in the strongest possible terms: “If not for this latest set-back we would have been able to offer our commuters in the Central line the full complement of thirty three (33) train-sets within weeks – sadly this latest loss affects in the main our busiest corridor”.
The suspected arsonist was arrested on-site on one of the trains and found in possession of goods apparently stolen earlier from the depot. “We will strenuously oppose bail and press for the harshest possible sentence”, Walker said. He also said that Metrorail Protection Services employees will co-operate fully with the police investigation.
Metrorail technicians will work through the night to re-configure three (3) replacement sets for the morning service. The three replacement sets will bring the total number of train-sets to serve Central commuters tomorrow for the morning peak to thirty (30) train-sets. A fourth replacement set will be ready for the afternoon peak service, bringing the total number of train-sets to thirty two (32) . The Khayelitsha/Kapteinsklip service is optimally serviced by thirty-three (33) train-sets.
Customers will continue to be informed by sms, mobi-site www.gometroapp.com, public address announcements and social media.