REPORT: Crashed PRASA loco and coaches still at scene

BY CHARL BOSCH - SEPTEMBER 21, 2015

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) have so far declined to comment on a report by Netwerk24 that neither the coaches nor the Afro 4000 diesel locomotive involved in an accident in the Northern Cape last month, had been cleared from the accident scene.

On Monday, it was reported that all of the 16 coaches as well as the controversial locomotive, which had been partially covered and was already rusting, were still sitting next to tracks near the small town of Modderrivier were it derailed on August 19th.

A reported 64 passengers were injured when the train, which was on-route from Johannesburg to Cape Town, partially derailed 500 meters before a bridge over the Rietriver, which was undergoing construction at the time. It had been suggested that the train was also going too fast and that its crew were not told about the section being under regular maintenance.

An investigation into crash was also delayed after the Rail Safety Regulator (RSR) were unable to decode data in full as the on-board computer systems was in Spanish, suggesting that the 13 locos, which were reported in July as having exceeded height limits, were bought off the shelves from manufacturer Vossloh Espana.

Last week, The Witness reported that concerns had also been mounting over the locos' braking system, which consisted out of air-brakes instead of the older vacuum setup still in place on many South African coaches. The article also alleged that two locos had already been pulled from service due to leaking brake compressor seals.

 

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