Wrecked train carriages lay on their side as emergency workers prepare to cut apart the mangled wreckage of two passenger trains that collided near Pretoria.

Metro rail is to appoint a board of inquiry into the cause of the train accident which left one person dead and 200 injured.

A train driver was killed when Train 95, travelling from Mabopane to Pretoria, crashed into a stationary train, Train 96, on the same line last Friday. The driver of Train 96 was apparently waiting for a signal change.

The impact destroyed Train 95’s locomotive and fatally injured the driver. It took fire fighters hours to free her body from the wreckage.

Metrorail’s spokeswoman, Lillian Mofokeng, said yesterday: “We are going to appoint a board of inquiry to investigate the cause of the accident.”

She said the terms of reference for the board have not yet been finalised, but expressed the hope that they would be today.

Meanwhile, commuters travelling between Mabopane and Pretoria have complained about the late arrival of trains.

The complaints come on the eve of a media briefing by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) on commuter demands and short-term strategic interventions for Metrorail.

Some of the commuters at the Belle Ombre station complained yesterday that they were always late for work, and that in most instances, trains stopped at the Winternest train station in Pretoria North, “due to power failure”.

Mabopane resident Amos Sibeko said he travelled by train every day between the township and Belle Ombre station in Marabastad.

Sibeko said he left home at 4am for the 4:55am train, which at times did not arrive on time.

“The train is supposed to arrive at Belle Ombre station at 6am but this does not happen because it stops at Winternest station for no apparent reason,” said Sibeko.

He said they have previously complained to Metrorail about the problem but nothing has been done to resolve the issue. “They don’t listen to us,” said Sibeko.

Another commuter, who did not wish to be named, also complained about trains stopping at Winternest.

“Most of the time we are told that the train had stopped due to a power failure,” he said.

He also complained about the “terrible conditions” at the Belle Ombre station. “The station is dirty and some of the gates have been closed. This forces commuters to use alternative gates which are far from the platform,” he said.

Rantso Mongoe said that Metrorail had failed to sort out the problem.” We have spoken to them on several occasions, but they have not been able to respond,” he said. - Pretoria News