Mainline train service in poor shape

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IT would be great if The Herald could do some investigation as to why the Shosholoza Meyl train service has gone to rack and ruin. It has also been down- scaled from a daily service to twice a week.

In the last few weeks alone the train has arrived late every time from Johannesburg at the weekend. The first time it was six to seven hours late, the second time it was three hours late and the third time it ran 15 hours late.

The time of departure is given as 1.15pm and arrival time 9.15am. It tends to leave on time, but then keeps breaking down in between, obviously because the engines are not being properly serviced and maintained, and not replaced with new ones.

I know we are not allowed to hark back to a most impressive rail system prior to 1994, but the present system really could never hold a candle to the old South African Railways. Punctually was their forte.

Don’t we all, black and white, miss it? We all got home on time, now we simply have our weekends ruined.

I call it the Shosholoza snail. Either I have to laugh at its pathetic efforts to keep South Africa moving or I must put my head between my legs and start crying.

Speaking to passengers from first class and third class, both black and white, I gather that what I have experienced in the past few weeks is par for the course. All my efforts to approach Prasa and speak to a Nasser Suffla have proved fruitless.

A recorded voice seeking to hide the man rather than reveal him comes on and further seeks to confuse you in a haze of do this and do that. To cut a long story short, trying twice and being given a long and detailed message, I managed on my third attempt miraculously to leave my message and number.

No one has come back to me despite my saying that I had a very serious complaint to level at Prasa.

Nigel Wakeford, Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth

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