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Regulator initiates investigations after tragic train accidents

The Chairperson of the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR), Boy Nobunga, will update the media on the preliminary findings of the RSR’s investigations into the level crossing accident and the status of the collision between two Metrorail trains.

Geneva level crossing occurrence on 4 January 2018

The RSR has concluded its preliminary investigation into the collision between a Shosholoza Meyl train and a truck at the Geneva level crossing in the Free State Province on 4 January 2018.

The preliminary investigation revealed that the incident was caused by a collision between a truck and a Shosholoza Meyl train at the Geneva level crossing.

The level crossing is located on a gravel road that is protected by advanced warning signs and a stop sign. Furthermore, the railway line is equipped with whistle boards on either sides of the level crossing.  The RSR is, therefore, of the view that the level of protection is in line with requirements.

The preliminary findings indicate that the driver of the truck tested negative for alcohol.

Five coaches caught fire as a result the derailment.  Therefore, the Minister of Transport has instructed the RSR to institute a Board of Inquiry to identify the root cause of the occurrence, identify the source of the fire and to provide recommendations with a view of preventing similar occurrences.

Collision between two Metrorail trains on 9 January 2018

At approximately 08:20am on 9 January, a rear-end collision occurred between two Metrorail trains at the Geldenhuys station. On this particular section, trains had to be manually authorized by the Train Control Officials since the normal signalling system was not available due to problems associated with signal cables.

Train 4317 was manually authorized to enter a platform at Geldenhuys station. Immediately after entering the station the train failed as a result of a technical problem and first line responders were requested to assist with the technical problems.

While Train 4317 was stationary at the platform, Train 0723 was authorized to enter the station. Information received from the RSR inspectors indicate human error can be attributed to the Train 0723 being authorised into the same platform, which subsequently resulted in a rear-end collision

A total number of 226 injuries were reported – 159 minor and 67 moderate injuries. The train crew of both trains sustained minor injuries.

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