The Shosholoza Meyl train from Johannesburg that was due to arrive in Cape Town on Monday at 2:30 pm broke down multiple times during the journey and by 6am on Tuesday was still stuck outside Touwsrivier.
According to Mario in Parow South, whose wife was in the train, passengers ran out of food and water and had to cross the railway line to go to the nearby garage along the N1 to get food.
Daisy Daniel, Head of Communication and Marketing at Prasa, says the breakdown on this particular train is being attributed to loco failures.
She says Prasa is looking into this matter.
As Shosholoza Meyl we are frustrated and we would like to apologise to the customers. We know the passengers were frustrated and inconvenienced.— Daisy Daniel Head of Communication and Marketing at Prasa
However, I can commit that Prasa, through the Department of Transport [is] looking into this. It is something that is beyond our control.— Daisy Daniel Head of Communication and Marketing at Prasa
When trains are failing on the line there is nothing we can do because our railway system is in a situation where you cannot take one train and park on the side so that we are able to pass.— Daisy Daniel Head of Communication and Marketing at Prasa
Daniel says they are working on being able to provide alternative transport to rescue passengers when trains break down, but says often passengers refuse alternative services.
So you arrange alternative transport, they refuse. They always refuse - [they] say we don't want buses, there's a reason why we chose to travel on a train.— Daisy Daniel Head of Communication and Marketing at Prasa
To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below: