The greatest threat to personal safety on SA’s rail networks is on trains and properties belonging to the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), according to the Railway Safety Regulator’s latest safety report. The State of Safety Report, which covers 2016-17, highlights crime — cable theft and damage to signalling equipment in particular — as a leading cause of abnormal train operations and reportable operational occurrences such as train collisions and derailments. Together, Prasa and Transnet account for 97% of the reported events, with Transnet Freight Rail accounting for 43% and Prasa Rail for 57%. The report does not include the apparent spike in rail safety and security events over the past six months, but there are almost-daily media reports of events in which people have been at risk. The regulator does, however, confirm a rising trend in security-related events. Despite a 5% decrease in operational occurrences, 6,379 security-related incidents were recorded, an increase of 1...

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