Shosholoza Meyl ordered to stop operating immediately after fatal Roodepoort crash

The speed data showed that the Prasa train was 'travelling at 60km/h at the time of impact', exceeding the 30km/h speed restriction imposed on a line that is operated under manual authorisation.
The speed data showed that the Prasa train was 'travelling at 60km/h at the time of impact', exceeding the 30km/h speed restriction imposed on a line that is operated under manual authorisation.
Image: Chuck Coker (Flickr)

The Shosholoza Meyl has been ordered to stop operating immediately.

This follows findings by the Railway Safety Regulator (RSR) against the Prasa-operated train service after a fatal crash on February 12.

One man was killed and several injured when a Shosholoza Meyl train collided with a goods train near Bonny Doone Road in Horizon View, Roodepoort.

In a statement on Tuesday night, the RSR said it had concluded its preliminary investigation.

The findings were that the two trains were manually authorised onto the section of the track. The speed data showed that the Prasa train was “travelling at 60km/h at the time of impact”.

“This exceeds the 30km/h speed restriction imposed on a line that is operated under manual authorisation,” the RSR said.

The regulator found that both trains were manually authorised by the Maraisburg Central Traffic Control (CTC) Centre, and the authorities for the goods and passenger trains were not countersigned by the section manager.

“The latter is a serious contravention of a special condition that was issued to Prasa by the RSR upon the issuing of the current temporary operating permit. Prasa was placed under judicial supervision and ordered by the court to comply with the conditions imposed on the operating permit. According to this special condition, all manual authorisation must be countersigned by the section managers,” said the RSR.

Because of these factors, the RSR said it had issued Prasa with a “prohibition directive”.

“The directive prohibits all Shozaloza Meyl operations with immediate effect. The safety of commuters and the workforce is our utmost priority.

“The RSR will ensure that Prasa honours this prohibition and manages it in such a manner that improves levels of safety before the RSR will lift the prohibition,” the regulator said.

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