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prasaGroundUp reports that following the recent fatal train collision in Mountainview, Pretoria, the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) is again considering the suspension of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA’s (Prasa’s) safety permit.  

The collision left four people dead and 620 people injured.  If the permit is suspended, Metrorail trains across the country will stop operating.  According to Metrorail, about 1.4 million people use trains daily in Gauteng.  In October 2018, the RSR suspend Prasa’s safety operating permit following a train collision in Kempton Park that injured more than 300 people.  Prasa appealed to the North Gauteng High Court, which issued an order instructing Prasa to comply with the safety requirements set out by the RSR. The RSR then allowed Prasa to continue operating provided it met the requirements in the court order.  One of these requirements was that Prasa submit a report explaining how it planned to improve safety on trains.  Prasa did submit such a report, but it apparently did not meet the requirements.  According to RSR spokesperson Madelein Williams, one of the main issues was driver fatigue and the frequent use of manual systems when automatic signalling broke down.  Asked in the light of the most recent accident whether the RSR intended to revoke or suspend Prasa’s safety permit, Williams said the matter was still being considered by their attorneys.

  • Read Zoë Postman’s report on the above in full at GroundUp


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