Cape Town - Every month Metrorail loses 70 train carriages due to fires and vandalism in Cape Town.
At Maitland station there is a whole "graveyard" of burnt out and vandalised train carriages. Last month two entire trains were set alight in Cape Town.
On a daily basis Metrorail reports vandalism of signals and cable theft.
Metrorail’s Riana Scott said suspects have been arrested in connection with cable theft.
A few weeks ago another person was arrested while in the process of vandalising a train carriage.
“The estimated repair cost and the value of the cable recovered amounted to R400 000.
"With regards to train windows - these have been the target of vandals for decades, initially for their aluminium frames, then later entire windows would disappear only to surface in informal dwellings," Scott said.
“It was suspected at the time that the thieves would sell the windows onto unsuspecting homebuilders.
"Subsequently our engineers designed half-drop windows with polycarbonate shrouds.
"Windows are still being vandalised. Their absence will not necessarily delay trains but is inconvenient to our customers especially during winter and rainy weather,” she said.
Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said they wanted to eradicate crime from rail precincts.
"We encourage communities and commuters to be part of the fight against crime by reporting suspicious behaviour. A reward of up to R25 000 is payable for any information leading to a conviction,” he said.
A commuter at Maitland station who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “The fact that trains are being burnt out like this, is sad because all of us are being affected by it.”