Johannesburg - The Minister of Transport, Joe Maswanganyi, has directed the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to expedite the investigation into the cause of the two Metrorail trains that collided on Tuesday morning at Geldenhuis Station East of Johannesburg.
Both these trains were authorised to travel on the same line toward Springs from Johannesburg. Investigators on the scene, classified the crash as a rear-end-vision on the platform and a comprehensive investigation was underway.
Minister Maswanganyi said :“It is estimated that about 226 passengers have been injured with 67 sustaining moderate injuries and 159 sustaining minor injuries. Most of these injuries are as a result of emergency brakes being applied by the driver of the incoming train”.
Maswanganyi has directed Prasa to fast track its plans to modernise rail services in South Africa including expediting the process to replace all existing signaling interlocking, which consist mainly of obsolete mechanical and electro-mechanical systems, with electronic interlocking as the technology of choice.
“A budget of about R5.6 billion has been set aside for the signalling modernisation since 2015 to 2018, as we know that our rail network has previously been characterised by years of disinvestment by the apartheid regime. Cable theft remains one of the major challenges that keep on undermining our determination and efforts to provide a safe and secure railway experience for all South Africans,” said Maswanganyi.
Maswanganyi calls on communities, civil society and business to work together with government to secure the railway network from all the criminals who are hell-bent on vandalising the railway network system for economic benefits.
To further alleviate inconveniences to the commuters, trains running between Johannesburg and Germiston are running on a single line with delays in scheduling.
Maswanganyi wishes all the injured a speedy recovery.
African News Agency/ANA