Railway regulator curbs Prasa after Elandsfontein train crash


Railway regulator curbs Prasa after Elandsfontein train crash

Naledi Shange | 2017-06-03 10:57:19.0

Prasa train. File photo.

Image by: Sizwe Ndungane, The Times

The Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) on Friday barred the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) from manually operating its trains around Gauteng when cables‚ which allow the trains to be operated automatically‚ are stolen or impaired.

“The RSR has issued the Prasa Gauteng region with a prohibition directive in terms of section 36 of the National Railway Safety Regulator Act No 16 200 for abnormal working conditions‚ that is manually authorising train movements‚ which led to the Elandsfontein train collision‚” it said in a statement.

This comes after one person died and 102 others were injured when two trains collided in Elandsfontein‚ east of Johannesburg‚ on Thursday morning.

“The RSR’s preliminary investigation into this occurrence revealed that there was cable theft in the night before‚ which affected the track units circuits and signals in the section between Isando and Elandsfontein. This necessitated abnormal working conditions. The preliminary investigation further reveal that the two trains were authorised into the section at the same time‚ thus indicated poor management and unsafe execution of the manual authorisation process‚” said the regulator.

This was not the first time this had occurred.

“The operator is therefore‚ directed to immediately cease operating trains in the Prasa Gauteng region under abnormal working conditions‚” the RSR said.

It said trains would run again when normal operating conditions have been restored.

Should Prasa not to adhere to this order‚ it could be criminally charged and be imposed with a penalty.

On Thursday‚ Metrorail said the man who was killed was on board a train which had been thought to be empty. Initial reports had suggested that he was a train driver.

“We are investigating the reasons he was on board a train that was not in service‚” Gauteng Metrorail acting provincial manager Goodman Matampi said.

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