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‘A sinister force’ plotting to destroy CT trains – the City’s Brett Herron

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A “sinister force” is attempting to destroy Cape Town’s railway stations, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport Brett Herron suspects after three train carriages were set alight on Friday.

According to reports a shooting and a fire caused serious train delays at Mbekweni train station in Paarl in the Western Cape.

The City’s Fire and Rescue Service was also summoned to Firgrove railway station, near Somerset West, when two carriages were targeted.

At around the same time, a stationary carriage at Cape Town Central train station was set alight.

“I have said before that there appears to be a well-orchestrated and sinister force at work to destroy our very fragile but essential rail service,” Herron said.

“A total collapse of our Metrorail service is a prospect too ghastly to contemplate.”

Metrorail spokesperson Zino Mihi stated that Metrorail required a minimum of 88 train sets to operate the service in the Western Cape. Only 42 reliable sets are currently available.

Regional Manager Richard Walker said the rate at which the company was losing train coaches to arson and vandalism “now far exceeds the rate at which we are able to introduce coaches back into service”.

He said 47 coaches were lost in 2018 alone but since 2015, more than 150 coaches have been lost due to train fires.

He appealed for urgent intervention from state security and law enforcement authorities, and offered a R25 000 reward for information on the perpetrators.

Herron claimed that the City lost more than 140 carriages to arson.

“I call on the South African Police Service to investigate [these incidents] as a matter of urgency,” he said.

“Our commuter rail system is under relentless attack, and it is our most vulnerable citizens who are the worst affected by the declining rail service. This has a huge impact on our local economy and also affects other Capetonians.”

[Source: News24]
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