Germiston train crash: Obsolete systems, cable theft still biggest challenges

Emergency personnel on the scene of the accident. (Photo:

Both trains were authorised to travel on the same line from Johannesburg to Springs.

Investigators on the scene classified the crash as a rear-end collision on the platform, and a comprehensive investigation is under way.

An estimated 226 passengers were injured, with 67 sustaining moderate injuries and 159 sustaining minor injuries.

Most of the injuries resulted from the emergency brakes being applied by the driver of the incoming train.

Maswanganyi has also directed Prasa to fast-track its plans to modernise the country’s rail services, including the replacement of all existing signalling interlocking, which mainly comprises obsolete mechanical and electro-mechanical systems, with electronic interlocking as the technology of choice.

“A budget of about R5.6-billion has been set aside for signalling modernisation since 2015 to date, as we know that our rail network has previously been characterised by years of disinvestment by the apartheid regime,” Maswanganyi said.

“Cable theft remains one of the major challenges that keep on undermining our determination and efforts to provide a safe and secure railway experience for all South Africans,” he added.

The minister called on communities, civil society and business to work together with the government to secure the railway network from criminals who are “hell-bent” on vandalising the railway network system for their own economic benefit.

Trains running between Johannesburg and Germiston are currently running on a single line, with delays in scheduling.

To provide support to commuters involved in the collision and their families, a walk-in centre has been set up at 30 Wolmarans Street, Umjantshi House, Braamfontein.

For further assistance, commuters and immediate family members can call 011 013 0067.

Lana O’Neill
Assistant Editor

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