I have three questions for Prasa / MetroRail and would like to see a public response from them; 

First, considering the extent to which commuter trains have been under attack in recent times, why have they not employed one or more security companies to provide a substantive presence on trains for passenger and asset protection.

Considering the millions of rands that these attacks are costing, along with the hardships that commuters are subject to, I simply do not accept any argument that this would be “unaffordable”. I am aware of the project now under way towards providing security guards - certainly much too late, hopefully not too little as well.

Second, while taking these attacks into consideration, why does “my” line - the South line - have such poor services when compared to the other lines. 

Based on Metrorail’s published figures, the comparative percentage performances from the beginning of June are: Trains on time AM (South) 20.9% (North) 47.2% (Central) 50.3%. Trains on time PM (South) 28.5% (North) 51.2% (Central) 61.4%. Trains cancelled (South) 29.7% (North) 22.7% (Central) 24.4%. 

I am sure the same applies elsewhere but where we used to have eight carriage trains we now have seven, six and even five carriage sets supplied.

Last, when is the locomotive Blackie going to be returned to the station concourse? 

I have managed to make contact with one of the heritage advisers on this matter who tells me that a new site was agreed between Prasa / Metrorail, SA Heritage Resource Agency and the heritage consultants over three years ago. 

Although I am assured that this 143-year old loco is in safe storage after being removed from the station in 2010 it is very long overdue for a return to public view.

* Andy Holmes, Fish Hoek.

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

Cape Argus