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Cape Town -
City commuters were angry at Metrorail for continued train delays caused by a derailment at Cape Town station on Saturday.
Commuters vented their ire on social media as Metrorail tweeted updates of delays and cancellations due to “infrastructural problems” which had led to the closure of platforms 11 to 18.
On Tuesday morning, a maintenance team was working on the lines leading to those platforms. An employee told the Cape Argus a train had derailed there, about 200m from the end of the platform, on Saturday at about 6pm.
The derailed train had apparently been removed with a crane at the weekend. A girder post, which supports overhead electric cables, had been uprooted and others were bent.
Tuesday morning, Metrorail told commuters there were problems on the Southern, Northern Central and Cape Flats lines. Services to Cape Town from Kapteinsklip, Chris Hani, Khayelitsha and Retreat were cancelled. Trains from Heathfield to Cape Town were delayed.
It informed irate commuters, it was “busy fixing the problem” but could not say when services would be back to normal. On the Traffic fines, cameras & updates in Western Cape Facebook page, Nicole Charne Sylvester said: “Something drastic needs to be done… Metrorail doesn’t seem to understand how many people rely on them to get to work. We need to boycott or something…”
“Trains on central line haven’t been on time for three weeks now and all they say is sorry for the inconvenience,” said Moegamat Adiel Hanslo.
“Its frustrating they can’t run a reliable service, its even worse when (you) must interchange at stations. I haven’t been on time for work or arrived home on time (for a) whole month.”
Levina Adams responded: “So true its frustrating to keep on being late for work. The government must assist Metrorail in spiking up public transport. They want to bring e-tolls here which cost billions of rands, why can’t they use that money to spike up the public transport.”
Metrorail regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz apologised to commuters and said “every effort” was being made to get the affected platforms back into action. He conceded, however, that “full functionality” was only expected within 14 days.
On Monday, a contractor damaged equipment that forced Metrorail to close platform 10 as well, although that service was expected to be restored later on Tuesday.