Trains burning at Retreat station

Metrorail was dealt another blow yesterday when two trains went up in flames on the Cape Flats.

Fortunately, no one suffered any injuries after the trains burnt at Retreat train station.

Metrorail warned trains on the Southern Line would be affected this week after two trailers and two motor coaches of two trains were gutted.

Metrorail spokesperson Daphne Keyster says this will have a knock-on effect as the damaged coaches will have to be withdrawn.

“Metrorail confirms a fire incident at Retreat staging yard,” she says.

“The incident was reported at 2.43pm, causing damage to two plain trailers and two motor coaches of two respective train sets.

“Fire and emergency services and police responded to the scene.”

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

“It is too early to speculate on the cause of the fire incident. We rely on the police to investigate and await their feedback,” Keyster says.

She added that the incident is not good news for commuters, who will be affected.

“Operationally, the Sunday afternoon service [was] not affected by the incident.

“It is anticipated that the morning peak service on the Southern Line will be affected with cancellations as these damaged trains will not be able to operate.”

Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services’ Liesl Moodie said: “Two carriages were burning at the time while waiting for the power to be isolated four trains were then burning. Firefighters are on scene and the cause of the fire is not yet known.”

ER24 paramedics were also on the scene.

Spokesperson Russel Meiring says no one was injured: “Both trains were found well alight.”

Six trains have been destroyed in separate arson attacks since October last year.

Due to the rising cost of repairs, the rail operator was last month forced to amend its timetable, resulting in at least 30 peak-hour trips in Cape Town being cancelled indefinitely.