Vandals struck overnight at Woodstock, affecting overhead and signal power between Woodstock and Cape Town.
Signal power failure reported at 3.30am on Monday was due to a damaged and burnt switch regulating the 11kv power feed providing traction/signal power at Woodstock.
Metrorail spokesperson Riana Scott said all trains arriving at and departing from Cape Town Station were being manually and individually authorised, leading to delays in excess of 60 minutes.
Commuters with urgent appointments had been advised to find alternative transport.
As a result of the disruption, traffic into the Cape Town CBD was a nightmare, with commuters taking up to three hours to get to work.
By Monday afternoon, Scott said the anticipated service to and from Cape Town Station was expected to be stable with residual delays.
On the out-of-service, Central Line, Scott said there is a “multi-faceted service recovery plan with technical engineering repairs and maintenance, safety and security elements including the conditions stipulated by train operations scheduling arrangements”.
Repairs are ongoing to overhead power, replacement of rail components such as rail clips, point machines and track boxes.
Technicians were also fitting vulnerable equipment with steel cages for protection, Scott said.
She could not say when operations would resume on the Central Line.
Disruptions to train services over the past months have made life hell for commuters.
After being stuck on the road for more than three hours, Lucinda Edwards, 43, from Kraaifontein, was very upset.
“I have been taking the train for years and now can’t even get to work on time. I have already gotten three warnings and the next one can cost me my job,” says the hotel cleaner.
“Who will work for me, a single mother with four children? This is wrong, and we are suffering because of stupid people.”
Anyone with any information regarding crimes / suspicious activity is encouraged to report it immediately.
There is a standing reward of up to R25 000 for any information leading to a conviction.
Metrorail Protection Services hot-line can be reached on 021 449 4336/5056.