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Old February 17th, 2010, 08:43 PM   #1
buhera
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Africa's first high-speed train

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa — Forget taxis that get stuck in Johannesburg's dreaded traffic jams. Forget minivans that pack in passengers like sardines.

South Africa will soon have the Gautrain — Africa's first high-speed train that will link Johannesburg and Pretoria to the international airport. Foreign visitors flying into Johannesburg for the World Cup can expect to be met by slick new trains that will whisk them from the airport to the city’s posh Sandton area in a zippy 15 minutes.

Despite earlier reports that the airport rail link wouldn’t open until midway through the soccer championships, it now looks certain to launch in May, with enough time to finish testing and be ready to meet the thousands of fans arriving in June for the soccer tournament.

But the big question is will the Gautrain — as this expensive rail project is known — find success beyond the World Cup?

The Gautrain — a composite of Gauteng province and train — is a transit experiment, the first of its kind in Africa, will have a top speed of 100 miles per hour and is intended to help transform Johannesburg by getting car-loving commuters onto an environmentally friendly rail system.

The airport link is the first phase of the $3.25-billion project that will by mid-2011 see Johannesburg’s downtown connected by high-speed rail to Pretoria, the nation's capital 38 miles north. Greater Johannesburg has a population of 10 million and Pretoria has 2.3 million. The two cities are rapidly sprawling towards each other and the new train is expected to further the urbanization along the transport corridor.

O.R. Tambo International Airport is the busiest in Africa, serving 17 million people a year. The Gautrain will be the first rail linking the airport to the two cities.

When journalists were taken on a recent test ride of the Gautrain, the computer ticketing machines and turnstiles were in place at the airport and the gleaming new trains pulled out from a platform still under construction at the terminal. The train moved swiftly along the rails.

Bombardier, the Canadian transportation company that is part of an international consortium behind the project, says it is pushing hard to get the train tested and running smoothly ahead of the June 11 start of the World Cup.

Gautrain spokeswoman Barbara Jensen said that “chances are good” for the project to open ahead of the World Cup, and an announcement about the official opening date will be made on Feb. 22.

Ticket prices have yet to be announced, but according to David Barry, vice president of Bombardier Transportation’s subsidiary in South Africa, the airport link will be a premium service and more expensive, while the commuter rail service will be priced to get people out of their cars.

The Gautrain is selling itself to commuters as being a high-tech, environmentally conscious and fast way to travel through Johannesburg. Security on the train and at its stations has been emphasized — a priority in this crime-heavy city. Promotional material bills the Gautrain as “a golden thread that connects Africa to the world.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/s...train?page=0,1
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Old February 17th, 2010, 08:47 PM   #2
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Congrats to South Africans.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #3
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great move, congrats to south africa, would love to see this in nigeria
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Old February 17th, 2010, 09:13 PM   #4
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100 miles an hour? 160 km/h. Doesnt sound like high speed to me.

/me ducks.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #5
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Butembo21 go to your nearest nearest animal shelter if you really need a lapdog.The behaviour of some people here is so unsavoury.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #6
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South Africa is reacting like Sydney in 2000.

Sydney Introduced the millennium Trains and plenty of other construction projects prior to the Sydney 2000 Olympics.

This shows how Hosting these kind of stuff push the countries infrastructure to the Max and help in the construction of new Complexes.

CONGRATULATIONS South Africa and I hope SA Makes Africa look good when the games begin.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The E.N.D View Post
Butembo21 go to your nearest nearest animal shelter if you really need a lapdog.The behaviour of some people here is so unsavoury.
What's that supposed to mean? Why are you so bitter?
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:13 PM   #8
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Aha! Think this will work...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The E.N.D View Post
Latest aerial pics

Train depot and test tack near Midrand

Marlboro station with the N3 underpass towards the airport

Johannesburg Park station - the parkade is clearly visible on the opposite side of Smit Street. Metrorail station is just next to the Gautrain station.

Rosebank station. Back filling has started and the parkade is visible in the foreground.

Rosebank station parkade

Sandton station parkade with construction shafts to the underground station

Mushroom Farm Park, Sandton. Gautrain's temporary construction shaft was dismantled and the park was restored to its former glory

Gautrain visible on the line towards the airport

Viaduct/bridge towards the airport station

Rhodesfield station, Kempton park, is situated just over 1km from the airport. On the right is a new PRASA/Metrorail station being built.

Midrand station and parking area

Viaduct/bridge over John Vorster interchange, Centurion

Line towards Pretoria station and then the bridge over Nelson Mandela Boulevard towards Hatfield

Line towards Pretoria station and then the bridge over Nelson Mandela Boulevard towards Hatfield

Hatfield station with its parkade visible

Viaduct/bridge towards Centurion station

Centurion station

Midrand station
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muttie View Post
100 miles an hour? 160 km/h. Doesnt sound like high speed to me.

/me ducks.
No need to duck friend,I too agree that the Gautrain is not fully fledged high speed rail and get more agitated when some even refer to it as a bullet train.However compared to existing speeds of our ANCIENT trains,it is bloody fast.Another thing to keep in mind is that even though the Gautrain marries Joburg and PTA,the majority of stations are located in greater Joburg,in relative proximity to each so there is no need for excessive speeds.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:20 PM   #10
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Thanks Lydon. Good job.

I hope i will taste the ride this summer.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:23 PM   #11
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Yes, you've said, and we've explained why it isn't faster...
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Old February 17th, 2010, 10:57 PM   #12
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I'm glad the developing dick size competition died a quick death,it is so petty.So Africa has two "medium speed" trains and I think we all should be bloody proud of that feat.I believe that one day African cities will have trains to rival any in the world but until then,it's one step at a time.In any case if this was an actual dick competition,SA would have won hands down. Rather inappropriate but I couldn't resist.
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Old February 17th, 2010, 11:30 PM   #13
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Stick to the topic guys, no more Morocco vs SA
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Old February 18th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #14
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I wonder if Durabn and Cape town are planed to be expanded to Gotrain.

This will be very cool.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 05:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUTEMBO21 View Post
I wonder if Durabn and Cape town are planed to be expanded to Gotrain.

This will be very cool.
A Joburg->Durban link *may* be viable in the future, but I'm not sure if that would happen for quite some time considering it's a fairly short drive on well-maintained highways from one city to another.

Joburg->Cape Town would be a very costly affair, so I doubt it would happen. The air traffic route between the two cities is one of the busiest in the world, and it'll probably stay that way instead of going the bullet train route. All major airports in the country and yet some have been upgraded to accommodate an increase in such traffic.

Cape Town does have a future airport-city rail link planned, however. This will not be a medium/high speed line due to the close proximity of the airport to the city centre (around 15 minutes or so). An actual project like the Gautrain would also not be viable due to Cape Town's geography, size and urban layout. Light rail and the BRT network will be the main focus in future.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 05:41 AM   #16
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Congrats SA, a great addition to the transit system, and good to hear it will be functioning before the World Cup too.

I like projects like these.

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Butembo21 go to your nearest nearest animal shelter if you really need a lapdog.The behaviour of some people here is so unsavoury.
What on earth is wrong with you?? All butembo said was Congrats, whats wrong with that?
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Old February 18th, 2010, 08:28 AM   #17
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Can't you tell from the randomness of its replies that this thread has been greatly edited?Last night it was 3 pages,most of the comments by Butembo and the Moroccans suddenly disappeared.I guess the moderator was very high or something.
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Old February 18th, 2010, 09:00 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The E.N.D View Post
Can't you tell from the randomness of its replies that this thread has been greatly edited?Last night it was 3 pages,most of the comments by Butembo and the Moroccans suddenly disappeared.I guess the moderator was very high or something.
I asked the mod to delete our posts! Moroccans are always around here and will always be!
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Old February 18th, 2010, 10:40 AM   #19
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hopefully behaving in good spirits...
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Old February 18th, 2010, 11:07 AM   #20
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I want to bake a cake out of rainbows and smiles and we'd all eat of it and be happy
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