Transnet has reportedly suspended the luxury Blue Train’s operations beginning Monday until further notice.
Transnet stated that this was due to “unfortunate incidents.”
Transnet announced last week that it was investigating the cause of a fire that broke out in a Blue Train coach. The train was undergoing maintenance at the company’s Engineering facility in Koedoespoort, Pretoria.
Ayanda Shezi, a Transnet spokesperson, stated that one person was arrested by Transnet security personnel and turned over to the police.
“Two other people are still at large. The coach in question had been taken to Koedoespoort for repairs after being involved in a derailment last November.
“Transnet has almost completed the investigation into the cause of the November derailment, and as such, today’s incident will not impact the investigations.”
The Blue Train was named one of the world’s “most luxurious train services” in 2021.
The Blue Train combines the luxury of the world’s top hotels with the beauty of train travel, creating an unforgettable experience.
The train has two routes, one between Pretoria and Cape Town that takes in some of the country’s most scenic beauty, and another to South Africa’s Limpopo province which is home to the world-renowned Kruger National Park.
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has repeatedly stated that it is experiencing “unprecedented levels of vandalism and theft across all regional Metrorail [commuter] and Shosholoza Meyl [intercity] services, resulting in massive disruption to commuter services, with vast sections closed down.”
Cable theft has been a major contributor to trains not running. Between February 4 and February 11, a total of 133 cable theft incidents were reported, with only 16 suspects apprehended.