Transport Minister Dipuo Peters on Monday apologised to passengers, their families and friends, who were on board the three trains that were delayed in Bloemfontein following a freight train derailment.
This comes after Mainline Passenger Services experienced major train service disruption as a result of a Transnet Freight train derailment at Hertzberg in Bloemfontein that occurred at around 2am on Monday.
Passenger trains to and from the Eastern Cape, especially in Queenstown, East London and Port Elizabeth, were affected and unable to pass the incident site.
“The trains are destined for Queenstown, East London and Port Elizabeth and another one for Johannesburg, which has stopped at Springfontein,” the Department of Transport said in a statement.
“To ensure the safety and comfort of passengers, the Port Elizabeth train is already rerouted through Kimberley and buses will be arranged for the Johannesburg train.”
Peters thanked both the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) and Transnet for their swift response in dealing with the situation.
Prasa spokesperson Lilian Mofokeng said Prasa management on board the trains would continue to offer all passengers full support to ease their plight.
“The Transnet freight technicians are already dispatched to attend to the derailment and they anticipate that the recovery work will take approximately 10 hours,” Mofokeng said in a statement.