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Cape Town’s Metrorail network was brought to a standstill this morning, after a train fire gutted several carriages at Cape Town Station.
The fire, which was reported in the early hours of Thursday morning, was only extinguished some two hours later.
According to reports, the fire gutted 18 carriages.
Platforms affected included 9, 10, 15 and 16 — lines largely responsible for welcoming Central, Cape Flats and Northern line trains.
📢 Regional #ServiceAdvisory :
Fire incident at Cape Town Station (platforms 9/10/15 and 16) impacts morning peak train service. Regional train service is suspended until further notice. Commuters are advised to make use of own alternative transport.
— Metrorail W/Cape (@CapeTownTrains) November 28, 2019
However, around 5am, Metrorail announced that trains on all lines across the region would be cancelled. This cancellation was lifted around 7am on some lines.
Limited Cape Town train service resumes
A limited service is now operating at the time of writing.
According to Metrorail’s Riana Scott per EWN, the service will make do with 12 of 24 platforms.
“We will use platforms 1-8 to accommodate trains from the southern line and the Cape Flats. We will use platforms 20-24 for trains from the northern line and Bishop Lavis,” said Scott.
The fire on Thursday comes after a series of blazes in 2018 and 2019.
Fikile Mbalula to visit Cape Town Station after train fire
Minister of Transport Fikile Mbalula on Thursday confirmed that he will be at Cape Town station “this afternoon”.
We must all join in and condemn the acts of damage to services that help the most vulnerable amongst us to get to work and their homes.
The burning of trains is violent and an attack to the poor.
I’ll be at Cape Town train station this afternoon. https://t.co/1FnvgdrmGl
— Minister of Transport |Mr Fix (@MbalulaFikile) November 28, 2019
“We must all join in and condemn the acts of damage to services that help the most vulnerable amongst us to get to work and their homes. The burning of trains is violent and an attack to the poor,” he tweeted.
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Feature image: Metrorail trains at Woodstock Station, Cape Town, by Andy Walker/Memeburn