"While R172 billion to be spent over 20 years sounds great, this does not answer the daily disaster that is faced by so many train commuters." FILE PHOTO/ANA
My previous letter and Richard Walker’s reply refers. 

I have some sympathy with the situation wherein the metro railway system appears to be under an orchestrated series of attacks, but while R172billion to be spent over 20 years sounds great, this does not answer the daily disaster that is faced by so many commuters.

One has to wonder how many of these will be left when all the fancy improvements have been realised. Indeed, Mr Walker refers to “a diminishing fare box” as passengers desert the railway.

With reference to the age of the sets in service, often quoted, though not by Mr Walker, as being “from 1958”, this is not true as all the sets have had ground-up rebuilds within the last 20 years or so.

There are many examples of much older sets in daily use globally. I must, however grant that those are not exposed to the sort of arson and vandalism that local trains are subject to.

Regarding performance figures, I have to note that the fact that the Central Line only operates a limited, hourly service makes their performance figures appear worse rather than better with nearly 1 in 4 trains cancelled for the week from which I quoted, not good.

I guess that when only a slightly higher percentage of trains to and from Fish Hoek on its more intensive service get cancelled, I should be thankful.

Last, I don’t accept the statement that the return of the locomotive Blackie to the station concourse, originally supposed to have happened in 2010/11 after World Cup renovations of the station were completed, is still being held up by “procurement processes”.

I am reliably informed that design and agreement between Sahra and Prasa was reached almost three years ago, so the excuse simply doesn’t wash.

* Andrew Holmes, FISH HOEK.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Newspapers.

Cape Argus