Train damage amount to R15m

WEDNESDAY's train crash in Pretoria has cost luxury rail operator Rovos Rail R15million in damages.

WEDNESDAY's train crash in Pretoria has cost luxury rail operator Rovos Rail R15million in damages.

Three people were killed during the derailment.

Rovos Rail owner Rohan Vos said yesterday that services would continue as normal.

"We had insurance and we will now see what happens ... the damage amounts to about R15million."

Vos explained what happened: "I was standing on the platform waiting for the train to arrive and was informed about the accident about five minutes after it happened."

The train was en route from Cape Town to Capital Park station in Pretoria carrying mostly foreign tourists.

It had stopped in Centurion, outside Pretoria, for a routine change from an electric to a steam locomotive.

The train started moving downhill after the electric locomotive was removed, but before the steam locomotive was attached.

Several coaches derailed, falling on their sides across the tracks.

The Railway Safety Regulator said it was investigating possible brake failure as the cause of the crash.

"We've reached the stage where we are beginning to interview people who were involved, including the technical staff on the train," said Railway Safety Regulator spokesperson Lawrence Venkile.

"We would also want to recreate the accident."

Venkile said investigators were focusing on "whether standard operating procedures were followed to the letter" during the attachment of the locomotives.

Three women employed by Rovos Rail died - two on the scene and one in hospital.

One of the women was four months pregnant and went into labour at the time of the accident. The baby also died. - Sapa

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