Metrorail Gauteng has indefinitely suspended trains between Midway to Oberholzer corridor with immediate effect.
“Suspending this corridor is not only in Metrorail’s interest, but also in the interest of our fare-paying customers who want nothing but to travel safely and in a secure environment,” read the statement.
Metrorail Management conducted an assessment of the rail infrastructure on this corridor and were shocked to see that the continuous theft of rail clips and pins on this corridor has rendered the provision of a normal service unsafe.
“Commuters have raised many safety concerns in this corridor. Metrorail is serious about running a safe incident free service. We will continue inspecting our railway lines to ensure that they are in a good condition to provide a safe train service. This destructive behaviour not only inconveniences commuters, but also costs millions of Rands of taxpayers’ money to repair,” said Goodman Matampi, acting Provincial Manager, Metrorail Gauteng.
Metrorail also noted that It was shocking and disappointing to discover that criminals were vandalising key critical infrastructure that is required to run trains safely, and it is unfortunate that Metrorail took the decision that will inconvenience many commuters, but their safety comes first.
Matampi added that, “theft has affected the provision of a normal service causing delays because all our drivers have been given strict instructions to drive slowly in certain corridors. The commuting public has been notified about the suspension of the corridor and alerted about the dangers of crime”.
Commuters in possession of weekly and monthly tickets will be transported by busses between Midway and Oberholzer. However Metrorail Personnel will verify tickets to ensure compliance and check their validity.
Metrorail calls on commuters to work with Metrorail and Police by ensuring that these perpetrators are reported to the authorities, and invites the public to play an important role in protecting and preserving public assets belonging to them. “It cannot be that while the country is desperately trying to improve its public transport system, with government injecting billions to make this a reality, others are determined to undermine this at all costs,” read the statement.
Metrorail also called upon community leaders to expose those who place the lives of innocent commuters at risk through acts of crime, arson and vandalism.
Commuters and the public will be kept abreast of the developments towards reopening the line.