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Old October 18th, 2006, 09:01 AM   #1
Harkeb
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Road & Rail Transport News & Developments

Transport issues stifle growth
29/09/2006 15:06

Johannesburg - Increasing traffic congestion made it impossible to sustain the economic growth of cities like Johannesburg on the basis of private car use, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said on Friday.
About 160 000 cars a day travelled between Tshwane and Johannesburg on the Ben Schoeman highway, Radebe said in launching Transport Month at the Midrand fire department.

While the Gautrain would go a long way in addressing this, South Africa's future prosperity depended on increased investment in public transport.

"We are... under no illusions about the magnitude of the task at hand..."

The government had to ensure the public transport system was in line with national policy imperatives and contributed to economic growth and development.

Need world-class infrastructure

Cities like Tshwane, Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban needed a world-class infrastructure and transport system that maximised economic efficiency, said Radebe.

He said the Intelligent Transport System (ITS) - a five-year pilot project being implemented on the Ben Schoeman highway - would help improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion.

The R51m ITS transmits real-time traffic and road conditions to road users, traffic authorities and emergency services.

The transport department was also considering a freeway network expansion including construction of a motorway between Sandton and Pretoria West, and between Soweto and Ekurhuleni.

Meanwhile, it spent R2.8bn this year alone improving rail operations and infrastructure.

'Rethink travelling choices'

An additional R7.7bn was being spent on the taxi industry under the recapitalisation programme, he said.

A further R2.3bn had been invested in the bus industry, and R3.8bn was going to the public transport in preparation for the 2010 Soccer World Cup.

"Multi-faceted initiatives are being implemented to influence road users? behaviour to rethink their travelling choices," said Radebe.

The October Transport Month campaign would encourage people to walk, cycle, use public transport, or carry several people per vehicle.

A million bicycles would also be distributed across the country in the next 10 years, mainly to pupils and adults who walked long distances.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 09:08 AM   #2
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Traffic is hell, says Manuel
17/10/2006 15:46

Cape Town -
Ever-increasing traffic congestion on major routes into South Africa's cities has made it "hell" for commuters driving to work and back, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel conceded on Tuesday.
Briefing journalists ahead of tabling the 2006 provincial and local government budgets and expenditure reviews in the National Council of Provinces, he warned that something had to be done before 2010, when the country hosted the Soccer World Cup.

He pointed to Cape Town and Johannesburg as examples of the congestion crisis.

"Transport is a difficult issue... because if left unattended, the crisis deepens very rapidly. We have a rather peculiar planning problem, and planning is ? largely a municipal function - I'm talking about spatial planning.

Rail system neglected

"In [Cape Town], one of the areas of most rapid growth of middle-class housing has been on the northern fringes from Tableview out past Blouberg.

"Now I don't get to see it in the morning, but I imagine that trying to get through Otto du Plessis Drive in the mornings, or back in the afternoons, must be hell for people.

"Now this [suburban growth] was allowed to happen without any significant investment in a rail system, or some system that would discourage individuals driving their cars up that road."

Investment was urgently needed in this type of infrastructure.

Quicker to fly from CT to Jhb

"It has to be very urgent... but there's nothing on the table that suggests you've got to crack it."

Manuel said it was quicker to fly to Johannesburg from Cape Town in the morning than to try driving there from Pretoria.

"On the average, it might - if you leave Pretoria between 7am and 7.30am - take you two-and-a-half to three hours to reach Johannesburg.

"Somebody travelling from Pretoria to Johannesburg [compared to] any of us flying from Cape Town to Johannesburg - we're likely to get to the point before they do. It's quite unnatural."

7.4m cars registered in SA

Manuel said he was raising the transport issue - among others highlighted in the reviews - because it was one on which all three spheres of government needed to act on very closely, so appropriate investments could be made.

"These kinds of investment are not very sexy, not very green, but I think that all of us would recognise that they are exceedingly necessary."

Last year, an additional 600 000 new vehicles were registered in South Africa. Half of these had been bought in Gauteng, which had 7 538km of roads.

"The total number of registered vehicles [in South Africa] was just under 7.4 million, of which almost 2.9 million are in Gauteng.

More metal than asphalt

"We can't be too far off when you reach a point [in that province] where you take every vehicle end to end, and there's more metal than asphalt! That's something we should all be concerned about," Manuel said.

Speaking later in the NCOP, he said members should question whether enough roads were being planned and provided.

"Not just the resurfacing of roads that people are driving on now, but are we spending sufficient on roads to take all of these cars? Because if everything is gridlocked by 2010, we're going to have a very serious problem," he said.
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Old October 18th, 2006, 09:52 AM   #3
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it is no secret that i am probably the Gautrain's #1 supporter, so i have nothing bad to say about. however, it is not going to operate any time soon, and to implement it takes a lot of time, effort and causes loads of disruptions... in my humble opionion, the solution is not to build more roads and therefor still encourage the use of individual cars, but simply to get effective bus systems in our Metro's. i have used the current 'Metrobus' available in Johannesburg, and I must say, it is really great. the only problem with these buses are that there are not enough and the frequencies are WAAAYYYY to low. rather than having a few buses per route in the morning, and only a couple again in the afternoon, have them run all day. make it affordable, make it reliable and it WILL work. won't it be better to have a HOV lane on the N1/M1 filled with buses rather than with cars....???? there can also be dedicated Airport Buses departing from major spots such as Sandton, Rosebank etc with feeding and distribution... this can be implemented NOW!
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Old October 18th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #4
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WOW spent 3 days in SA on business and had early moring meetings and the traffic is shit. Never remember such volume and delays when I went to tech etc that early
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Old October 20th, 2006, 10:45 PM   #5
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well the economy is much larger and people are richer so the volume of traffic gets bigger.Its a good sign as well as a bad one. But agree we need to respond and come up with a decent system that everyone can use and feel safe in
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Old October 26th, 2006, 07:38 AM   #6
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Sandton Parking Moved For Gautrain - 2006/10/25


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Work on the Gautrain swings into action, with the municipal parking area in Sandton becoming a construction office. The taxi rank is also moving.

Last week the municipal parking area in Sandton was transformed into a construction office for the Gautrain. From Thursday, 19 October the council's parking area was converted into a public parking area; staff who normally use the parking are being accommodated in the Sandton City parking garage. At the same time the Sandton taxi rank was relocated around the corner in front of the Sandton library. These changes will be in place for the next four years.

Large machinery will be moved into place, to begin digging the 42m tunnel for the Gautrain Sandton Station. The area will be fenced but a two-metre wide pedestrian path will be provided for pedestrian traffic between the parking area and the council buildings.

The estimated opening date for the new public parking area in West Road is December this year. The estimated opening of the temporary taxi rank is February 2007.

Construction of the 80km Gautrain will start in Johannesburg, with work starting on stations at Park Station, Rosebank, Sandton, Marlboro and Midrand, and the link eastwards to Rhodesfield Station and the OR Tambo International Airport. Intersection and road upgrades will take place at Rosebank, Park Station and Sandton. Shafts will be sunk and work on tunnelling will now begin.

This work will last for 45 months and it is hoped it will be completed in time for the 2010 Fifa Soccer World Cup. The second phase of the construction will include the three Tshwane stations of Centurion, Pretoria and Hatfield, and will be completed by March 2011. - Lucille Davie
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Old October 26th, 2006, 10:00 AM   #7
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I read yesterday that the government are considering widening our rail gauge to the international standard. This will allow trains to carry more payload, be safer and faster too. Gautrain will already be on the wider gauge. Good news say I.
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Old October 26th, 2006, 05:15 PM   #8
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That's such a HUGE project. Widening the rail gauge across the country would take a VERY long time. Essentially rebuilding SA's rail network. Plus, it's not just SA, nearly the whole of Southern Africa uses the same gauge. If SA converted, then neighbouring countries would either have to convert, or they would need to construct expensive freight tranfser facilities at the border, thus increasing the cost of shipping via SA. (And there's no way Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi, etc. have the cash to rebuild their rail networks.)

If true, then this rumour points towards a decades-long infrastructure project. Question is: are the benefits of a larger gauge worth the tremendous cost?
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Old October 27th, 2006, 02:11 AM   #9
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^Yes, the wider the tracks, the bigger freight volumes. As is, our limited railsystem cannot cope with much delays at the ports.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 04:07 AM   #10
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Wider tracks = Larger volumes. That's an indisputable point of physics. What my post raised, however, is a very disputable point of economics. Rebuilding the entire southern African rail network will cost a HUGE amount of money, and take many years, if not many decades.

Will those costs be outweighed by the savings from rail shipment delays? It's a simple cost-benefit calculation - once the costs and benefits are quantified. It's entirely conceivable that the rebuilding effort could cost more than SA loses due to rail delays. In that case, it doesn't make sense to shift to a different guage.
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Old October 27th, 2006, 01:35 PM   #11
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No, Unhlanga is right. I forgot that the rest of Southern Africa is just as backward as us when it comes to rail. Bummer.
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Old October 29th, 2006, 12:00 PM   #12
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Umhlanga's point is very valid...i dont see the point of changing the infrastructure, enhance it yes, but go back step 1? no
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Old October 30th, 2006, 09:07 PM   #13
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Railway cops fast-tracking commuter criminals
Railway cops fast-tracking commuter criminals

Crime levels on commuter trains are still unacceptable, but the dedicated rail police unit is making a difference, government and commuter rail officials said on Monday.

They were speaking in Cape Town at the national launch of the SA Police Services Railway Unit, which began operating in the Western Cape in 2004, and now has a strong presence in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal as well.

Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said commuters were subjected to "barbarism" on trains, including murder and robbery, on a daily basis, but that more than R80-million was being invested in the rail police project.

"We... hope that this initiative will ignite the spark of confidence among commuters largely towards the rail system, which will translate into increased patronage," he said.

According to the SA Rail Commuter Corporation-Metrorail, since the inception of the Western Cape pilot project, crime in stations and trains in the region has dropped by 68 per cent.

Chief executive of the parastatal Lucky Montana said: "The levels of crime remain unacceptably high. That is something we are concerned about.

"But today we are driving the message that the safety of commuters comes first, as a priority. We're investing millions of rands to make sure that we turn around this environment."

He said that between June and August this year, at the height of the security guards' strike, special operations by Metrorail and the police meant over 9 000 people were arrested, and most of them were facing prosecution.

"We intend to bring more people back to rail, not only in the Western Cape, but around the country, (and hope) that they will be able to see the benefits of a safer operation," Montana said.

Metrorail is currently facing a class action by about 50 victims of train violence or their families, following a Constitutional Court ruling that it was liable for its passengers' safety.

Montana said fare evasion, which stood at an average 12 per cent of commuters nationally, was a mere four percent in the Cape Town region, which meant savings of millions of rands for the parastatal.

He said 262 rail police were on the job in Gauteng, 110 in KwaZulu-Natal, and that it was hoped to introduce 250 in the Eastern Cape next year.

SARCC-Metrorail says that by 2008, a total of 5 000 constables will have been deployed "within our rail corridors", a term which includes long-distance trains.

Monday's launch took place at Retreat station, where a rail police "contact centre" - in ordinary language, a police station - has been built.

Another five are being built in KwaZulu-Natal, and six will go up in Gauteng in the 2007 financial year. - Sapa
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Old November 17th, 2006, 06:39 PM   #14
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France is prepared to help South Africa develop its transport infrastructure, visiting French Minister of Foreign Trade Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday.

"The Gautrain project clearly has one milestone in 2010 but that will be just one junction of the line," she told reporters in Sandton.

"There will be many junctions and sections to add and France would like to assist with that. Going beyond 2010, we will try to respond to whatever the South African economy will need."

According to a statement by the French South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry and J'adore South Africa, Lagarde said her country would like to establish long term business relationships with South Africa.





"We have objectives in the much longer term. We don't want to be here just for the short term. That is not how French business operates."

Lagarde is in South Africa for French Week that was launched on Monday. It entails a number of events to increase cross-cultural networking between South Africa and France.

During her visit, she signed a joint statement on co-operation in transport with South African Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.

"We signed the statement to structure and underline the fact that we want to co-operate in the fields of transportation going forward to include larger projects like the Gautrain project," Lagarde said.

The statement allows for an increase in air traffic between the two countries and for France to share its experiences with South Africa in public transport.

Lagarde said France was also eager to help with South Africa's energy and telecommunication needs.

"You will stop being a net exporter of energy very shortly. You will have long-term needs that we can help respond to."

France would like to help develop a long term nuclear power relationship with South Africa, she said.

She added that there was a misconception among many French firms that there was a risk to doing business in South Africa.

"There are misconceptions and misconceptions about the market that need to be defused by the reality of those that conduct the business on the ground," Lagarde said. - Sapa
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Old November 22nd, 2006, 02:49 AM   #15
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New trains will ease overcrowding - Radebe

November 21 2006 at 11:18PM

With proper investment and management, railways can be made the backbone of the transport system in South Africa, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said on Tuesday.

"We cannot be complacent until our economy is aggressively driven by an overall competitive and sustainable public transport system," the minister said at the launch of the new "10M5" trains in Pretoria.

The new trains are to help address continuing overcrowding, and train cancellations which leave commuters stranded.

"We are aware of the challenges of safety, security and passenger comfort and the 10M5 will address these issues."

Features of the trains include a warning system to warm commuters when doors are closing, emergency lighting in case of power failure and doors that cannot be opened while the train is in motion.

The train will also have a heating system and temperature control.

Radebe said South Africa's economy essentially depended on the effectiveness of public transport infrastructure planning and services.

He said the accelerated rolling stock programme will continue its upgrading of the 10M5 ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup and beyond.

About 1.6 million commuters use Metrorail on a daily basis.

Trains are an efficient mass people mover (a full rail coach transports between 85 and 120 people). Traffic congestion and motor car emissions could be reduced by using rail transport.

Measures to minimise accidents, such as good signalling systems, technical training of rail staff and warning systems to alert traffic that interfere with the rail crossing system, will be put in place.

The 10M5 design will be used in the Western Cape, Tshwane and Durban while the Witwatersrand will use a "10M4" design.

About 1 600 coaches will be refurbished over the next three years at a cost of R1-billion per annum. - Sapa

-----------------
Are any pictures of this train available?
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Old May 8th, 2007, 11:10 AM   #16
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Old May 8th, 2007, 06:33 PM   #17
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is there a heavy duty rail link between Richards Bay and Durban???
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Old May 8th, 2007, 11:21 PM   #18
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Yes
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Old May 9th, 2007, 12:09 AM   #19
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08 May 2007

COMMUTERS WELCOME OPENING OF CITY’S NEW R500 000 TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE IN FISANTEKRAAL


MEDIA RELEASE
NO. 141/2007
8 MAY 2007



COMMUTERS WELCOME OPENING OF CITY’S NEW R500 000 TRANSPORT INTERCHANGE IN FISANTEKRAAL

Durbanville commuters and residents received a long overdue area upgrade with the opening of the new Transport Interchange at Fisantekraal that provides a much-needed pick-up and drop-off facility.

The primary transport route from Fisantekraal is the Durbanville area where taxi patronage amounts to a daily turnover of approximately 2500 passengers, in 170 taxi trips generated to and from Fisantekraal.

The new R500 000 facility, constructed by the City of Cape Town, was recently officially opened by Cllr Elizabeth Thompson, Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater.

Major role-players include the Koeberg Subcouncil, chaired by Cllr Claude Ipser, contractors and officials of the City of Cape Town who were responsible for planning, designing and implementing this facility.

Previously, minibus taxis would park under the trees on the corner of Boy Briers Road near the R312 to Wellington. This area was found unsuitable due to the commuters discomfort and problems with illegal dumping.

“This interchange is part of the City of Cape Town’s co-ordinated development plan to improve transport facilities across the city. Unfortunately there were not enough funds available to provide ablution facilities, but this will happen in due course,” Cllr Thompson says. Therefore, this interchange should be viewed as a first phase in transport upgrading of the Fisantekraal area and surrounds, particularly in the light of a shopping complex that is being planned for this growing area.

Councillor Thompson also urged taxi owners and operators to “take pride in a much needed service that they deliver and together with the community take ownership of the facility.”

Two temporary toilets and a water standpipe have been installed for the time-being until the permanent ablution structures will be completed.

The first survey of the site was done in August 2005 and construction started in February last year.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 12:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SA BOY View Post
is there a heavy duty rail link between Richards Bay and Durban???
I'm not really sure what's considered heavy duty. But coincidentally, I just read the new Traffic & Transportation chapter of the Dube Tradeport EIA. Here's its description of the North Coast line:
Quote:
Currently the railway line north of KwaMashu is a winding track used for freight (to destinations such as Richards Bay) and commuter services. The line consists of a single track for the largest part of this section.
(at p. 48.)

According to this source, then, it's a single track most of the way up to RB. Also, looking at some random sections of the line on Google Earth, it also looks to be just a single track line.
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