South Africa. On the 2nd of February, a Johannesburg bound Metrorail train rear-ended another train and some hours later, two trains got into a head-on collision in Springs, leaving 130 people injured.
Metrorail has now resumed normal services for both lines after the collisions disrupted the train service. According to a spokesperson for the organisation, Subusiso Ngomane, Metrorail has announced a plan to implement safety checks and interventions.
The implementation will especially be applicable to train signalling infrastructure, equipment and practices. Metrorail will invest 1.6 billion over the next three years to upgrade the train-signalling system which stems from signalling being identified as one of the main possible causes of the accidents which caused the injuries of hundreds of commuters.
For all the desired signalling upgrades, South African Rail Commuter Corporation CEO Lucky Montana reported that in Gauteng alone, R800 million would be invested over the next three year in a bid to make the signalling system more reliable and be able to move trains faster and safer.
Metrorail spokesperson Sibusiso Ngomane reported that a national plan for the upgrading of all signalling equipment was at an advanced stage and would minimise incident risk and ensure speedy transit of trains.
Mr Ngomane also added that Metrorail would also ensure up to date experience based driver training was provided. The organisation is currently in the process of acquiring a simulator for the train-driver training.
The Metrorail spokesperson also noted that though he was not aware of any specific accidents caused by substance abuse or health issues – such as poor eyesight or hearing – Metrorail would be conducting tests and health checks on weekly and on ad hoc basis as a precautionary measure.
Finally, Mr Ngomane wished to express his regret about the accidents and thanked Metrorail customers for their patience and understanding.