Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town –  Cape Town commuters can expect delays after a train fire at Cape Town station in which Metrorail says another eight train carriages were destroyed on Tuesday. A ticket office located on the Parade Concourse was also damaged by the blaze. 

All train services were temporarily suspended to allow the large smoke cloud hanging over the station to disperse, and this has resulted in delays of at least 60 minutes on all lines.

Information about platform changes and revised operating schedules will be available on the company's regional information platforms.

Shortly after noon, a fire broke out on platform 17 and the flames quickly spread across the tracks to the adjoining platform. Fast action by fire and rescue services prevented the fire from spreading further and any passengers from being injured. Cape Town has been experiencing high temperatures for the past few days and Tuesday's windy conditions could easily have fanned the flames and inflicted greater damage.

According to Metrorail, platforms 13 to 21 remain to facilitate the removal of the burned train carriages. 

"A preliminary investigation also revealed that the overhead electrical wiring above the two platforms has been damaged. A structural team will assess the damage after the scene has been cleared. Forensic teams and police are on-site.

"It is not yet possible to accurately calculate the damage in monetary terms. As soon as the carriages are removed, Prasa’s loss adjusters will be able to assess the damage and determine a cost of repair/replacement," the company said.

According to Metrorail, a total of 175 train carriages have been lost to fire since May 2015.

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