Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi has directed the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to speed up the investigation into the cause of the two Metrorail trains that collided this 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 this crash as a rear-end-vision on the platform and a comprehensive investigation in underway.
“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,” said the Department of Transport.
Minister Maswanganyi has directed Prasa to fast track its plans to modernise rail services in South Africa, including expediting the process to replace all existing signalling interlocking, which consist mainly of obsolete mechanical and electro-mechanical systems, with electronic interlocking.
“A budget of about R5.6 billion has been set aside for the signalling modernisation since 2015 to 2018… 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 Minister Maswanganyi.
Minister Maswanganyi called on communities, civil society and business to work together with government to secure the railway network from the criminals who vandalise the railway network system for economic gain.
Trains running between Johannesburg and Germiston are running on a single line with delays in scheduling to ease inconvenience for commuters.
“Prasa will give the injured and their families the most needed comfort and support during this period through the Metrorail walk-in centre located at 30 Wolmarans Street, Umjantshi House in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
“For further assistance, commuters who were involved in this crash and their immediate families can call 011 013 0067,” said the department.
Minister Maswanganyi has wished all the injured a speedy recovery.