08 May 2014 13:40pm
WINDHOEK, 08 MAY (NAMPA) - A TransNamib train with around 100 passengers arrived here almost 12 hours late from Walvis Bay on Wednesday evening.
The train left the coastal town on Tuesday evening at 19h00, and only arrived in Windhoek at 19h15 on Wednesday evening.
The train was supposed to arrive here at 07h00 on Wednesday morning.
TransNamib's Chief Corporate Communications Officer Ailly Hangula-Paulino and Senior Manager for Operations Hippy Tjivikua were at the station to meet the unhappy passengers, who were forced to spent 12 hours without food or anything to drink.
Before the train arrived at the Windhoek station, Hangula-Paulino told Nampa the delay was caused due to unforeseen technical problems with the train, while thousands of armoured ground crickets which were crushed under the locomotive's wheels made the tracks slippery, forcing it to move very slowly or not at all.
This caused the wheels to spin, thus overheating the wheels of the engine, she explained.
Hangula-Paulino noted that some of the freight-carrying wagons were unhooked from the train to allow the passenger coaches to proceed with the journey.
When the train finally arrived at the Windhoek train station, this reporter witnessed a large amount of passengers looking out of the train compartment windows, complaining bitterly to whoever was around.
Some also complained that the train was dirty.
A few passengers this agency spoke to said they understand that mechanical failures can happen, but they were frustrated that TransNamib did not keep them informed about the situation at any given time.
Tjivikua, who had to endure constant verbal attacks from angry passengers, said they will all be reimbursed on the spot.
As you can see now, the passengers are now being reimbursed, while some will also get free train tickets for their return trips, he said.