On Monday morning, when train number 9506 stopped on the central line to Cape Town, commuters hoped the delay would not be long. It was 7:30am.
The train had travelled about 800m out of Langa station en route to Cape Town, about 13km away, when it stopped. There were no announcements made on the train about the delay.
Half an hour later, commuters were calling their employers.
An hour later, people started jumping off the train and crossing to a nearby road to flag down minibus taxis. Others walked beside the tracks towards Pinelands. Some went back to Langa station.
“Let us go ladies, we will find our way to Pinelands. I don’t think this train will leave this place soon, otherwise we will be very late for work today,” said a woman in a blue uniform. It was now 8:37am. She called to a man who had already jumped down to assist her to alight.
“My boss recently changed my starting time from 7am to 8am, but still I am not in time. I really don’t know what to do,” said a woman who said she is a domestic worker. She called and sent an SMS to her employer.
“Maybe for the boss to understand I should take photos of what is taking place,” she said.
The train finally started to move again at 9:24am.
© 2017 GroundUp.
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