The Train Driver


Athol Fugard

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The Train Driver Characters

Roelf Visagie

Roelf Visagie is a white Afrikaans train driver whose train kills a young Black woman (Red Doek) and her baby. Her death fills him with guilt, grief, and anger, and he spirals into… read analysis of Roelf Visagie

Simon Hanabe

Simon Hanabe is an elderly Black gravedigger who works in the graveyard of the squatter camp Shukuma, burying unidentified bodies in unnamed graves. Simon is less introspective and more practical than Roelf, but… read analysis of Simon Hanabe

Red Doek (The Woman)

Red Doek is a young Black woman who kills herself and her baby by stepping onto the train tracks in front of Roelf’s train. Her death haunts Roelf, and he grows increasingly troubled as… read analysis of Red Doek (The Woman)

Mr. Mdoda

Mr. Mdoda is Simon’s employer, the undertaker who manages unidentified bodies. He sends Roelf to the graveyard of Shukuma in search of Red Doek. At the end of the play, Mr. Mdoda is… read analysis of Mr. Mdoda

Lorraine Visagie (Roelf’s Wife)

Lorraine is Roelf’s wife. She exemplifies the racist prejudices of white middle-class South Africans, blaming Red Doek’s death on the drunkenness she associates with all Black people. She is preoccupied with cleanliness and… read analysis of Lorraine Visagie (Roelf’s Wife)
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