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Old February 24th, 2007, 02:49 PM   #1
kulani
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Gautrain, 1st Rapid Rail Transit system in Africa under construction

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Gautrain is an 80-kilometre Mass Rapid Transit railway system in Gauteng Province, South Africa that will ultimately link Johannesburg, Pretoria (Tshwane metropolitan area), and OR Tambo International Airport. It is hoped that this railway will relieve the over-used M1 and N1 highways, as well as offer commuters a viable alternative to road transport, as Johannesburg has a limited public transport infrastructure. It is expected to cost the country $3.8 billion to construct.

Ten suburbs have been identified as potential station locations:

* Johannesburg Park Station
* Rosebank
* Sandton
* Marlboro
* Midrand
* Centurion
* Pretoria
* Hatfield
* Rhodesfield
* O.R. Tambo International Airport

Gauteng's Gautrain

The train is expected to cut the number of cars on the N1 Ben Schoeman highway by 20% and cost about R40 a ticket, with 135,000 passenger trips a day by 2010. Construction was scheduled to commence in June 2006, with project completion scheduled for 2010, which coincides with South Africa’s hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Gauteng Department of Transport obtained environmental authorisation and conducted an environmental impact assessment (EIA) for this purpose. The necessary authorisation was granted on 25 April 2004. On 7 Dec 2005 the cabinet of the South African government gave the go-ahead for the project, expected to cost more than 24 billion Rand. Government spokesperson Joel Netshitenzhe said, "There was a firm commitment that the time frame of this project will not be delayed." The Gauteng Government has now admitted that parts of the project will definitely not be completed in time for the FIFA World Cup in 2010.[1]

South Africa's budget announced 15 February 2006 allocated R14bn for Gautrain.[2] On 16 February 2006, Gauteng Premier Mbhazima Shilowa said that the Gautrain route had been finalised and could now be cleared for construction to begin.[3]

Initial works for the Gautrain commenced on Tuesday, 22 May 2006.

[edit] Technology

While existing railways in South Africa use the narrower-than-standard Cape gauge of 1067mm (3 ft 6 in), Gautrain will be built to standard gauge (1435 mm or 4 ft 8½ in). According to Gautrain [4], standard gauge "is safer and more comfortable for speeds of 130 km/h and higher, and will allow for more cost-effective procurement of rolling stock". Trains are expected to travel at up to 180 km/h.

Bombardier Transportation's Electrostar, a model of train common in south-east England, has been selected for the system. The trains will be assembled by UCW Partnership in South Africa from components made in Britain. [5]

[edit] Construction
An artist's impression of the Gautrain traveling in the underground tunnels.

An artist's impression of the Gautrain traveling in the underground tunnels.

Construction of the rail system will be undertaken by Bombela Consortium who have been awarded the contract.[6] Bombela Consortium is a partnership between Bombardier Transportation, Bouygues Travaux Publics, Murray & Roberts, the Loliwe companies and RATP Développement. It is 50 percent owned by its international partners and 50 percent by Murray & Roberts and the Strategic Partners Group, the consortium's black economic empowerment component.

M&R chief executive Brian Bruce said major infrastructure delivery projects were being delayed by the "inordinate amount of time" spent on environmental and process issues before the government was prepared to sign a contract. Construction revenue declined by 4% to R2,12-billion and operating profit by 72% to R35-million. Bruce said if construction on the Gautrain began without further delay, there was "a chance" of delivering the first phase, the link between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton, in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The link between Johannesburg and Pretoria would be completed 54 months after the project kicked off, he said. [7]

Last edited by kulani; February 24th, 2007 at 03:33 PM.
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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:00 PM   #2
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Proposed route




The first $430 million of the $3.8 billion financed by two SA banks is presented to Bombela consortium. From left CEO of Standard Bank (Jacko Maree) , CEO of Rand Merchant Bank (Michael Pfiff), Premier of Gauteng (Sam Shilowa), Gautrain Project Leader (Jack van der Merve) and Bombela CEO (Dennis Bouvette) pose for pictures with this big cheque (wish it was mine!!!). Dennis Bouvette (far right on the picture) has the widest smile of all 5 guys because he is the one who is going to bank this cheque. The way he is holding it almost suggest that he wants to pull it out immediately after the photo shoot, lol!

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Construction is underway, some of the pictures showing the progress on this project

These buildings were imploded a couple of weeks ago to make way for one of the anchor stations


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An artist impression of the station to be built on the demolished site

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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:23 PM   #3
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Another anchor station called Sandton under construction



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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:29 PM   #4
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Another station under construction called Rosebank (see route map)

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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:37 PM   #5
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Drilling at Marlboro station

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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:38 PM   #6
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This is the mushroom station in Sandton as well under construction

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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:39 PM   #7
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Men at work

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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:42 PM   #8
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More work at Marlboro station

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Old February 24th, 2007, 03:55 PM   #9
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Wow, great! Thanks for the info and pictures

However I'm a little confused by the "1st rapid rail transit system" part... Its not the first African Metro nor the first African railway, do you mean first HSR?
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Old February 24th, 2007, 05:00 PM   #10
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yes, you are right, its the first high speed rail system, but certainly not the first metro rail system ( i think the terminology is a little confusing to us rail illiterates, i imagined that rapid implied high speed, but i may be wrong) . although its specked to travel at speeds of up to 180 km/h which is just 20 km/h shy of the 200 km/h that is the norm to classify it as a High Speed Rail transit system. But then again it may be just the specific requirements of the South African authorities that put this limit and i am not entirely sure if there are physical or design constraints in reaching speeds above 200 km/h. Thanks for highlighting this!
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Old February 24th, 2007, 05:26 PM   #11
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Interesting project.
Quite impressive to reach such speeds when the distance between stations is only about 10km.
Do you know how many of the 80 km will be in tunnels?
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Old February 24th, 2007, 06:14 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kulani View Post
yes, you are right, its the first high speed rail system, but certainly not the first metro rail system ( i think the terminology is a little confusing to us rail illiterates, i imagined that rapid implied high speed, but i may be wrong) . although its specked to travel at speeds of up to 180 km/h which is just 20 km/h shy of the 200 km/h that is the norm to classify it as a High Speed Rail transit system. But then again it may be just the specific requirements of the South African authorities that put this limit and i am not entirely sure if there are physical or design constraints in reaching speeds above 200 km/h. Thanks for highlighting this!
The weirdness of arbitary classifications.....

Its understandable, though, since biggest, fastest, or first generally attracts more attention, leading to more and more ridiculous categories being made a la the Guinness World Records.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 05:11 PM   #13
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thainotss, exactly my plan, get more attention on something good happening in the continent. well spotted, lol

Last edited by kulani; February 25th, 2007 at 06:37 PM.
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Old February 25th, 2007, 09:45 PM   #14
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property prices are shooting up around the areas next to the stations like
this area called Sandton.

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and Rosebank

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Old February 25th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpioe View Post
Interesting project.
Quite impressive to reach such speeds when the distance between stations is only about 10km.
Do you know how many of the 80 km will be in tunnels?
Ipioe, here's some quick facts about this project that should answer you question.

- The gautrain will operate the Electrostar train
- The gautrain is to run 4 car train sets
- A train will pass at least every 10 minutes during peak time at stations.
- 3,6 million train kilometres and 674 million passenger kilometres will be travelled per year
- 10 stations – three underground, three elevated on viaducts, four at street level.
- Stop 8 times between Park Station and Hatfield
- 24 trains and 96 coaches
- 15 kilometers of tunnel between Pretoria and Marlboro
- at least 50 - 60 bridges built for gautrain
- 55 overpass or underpass bridge structures
- 10 000 park and ride bays
- construction method will be 75% drill and blast, 25% tunnel boring (Rosebank - Park station) and 1 km of cut and cover
- 11 trains on the track at any given time
- Up to 3 200 passengers at peak time
- 104 000 passengers per day are estimated to travel on Gautrain
- 260 000 concrete sleepers will be manufactured for use in the track
- In preparing the site for construction more that 200 hectares of land will be cleared.
- One million tonnes of ballast
- During construction approximately 6.7 million cubic metres of earth will be moved around
- 50kms of surface earthworks
- Removal of six million m3 of soil
- first few train cars to be manufactured in UK (as per Bombadier) and assembled in South Africa
- After that all trains to be manufactured and assembled in South Africa
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Old February 26th, 2007, 12:22 AM   #16
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cool - visited joburg in 2002 and they were just talking about it than - good to see it underway
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Old February 26th, 2007, 09:13 AM   #17
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its underway now, although the cost escalated from the original $1 billion to $3.8 billion!! and environmentalists and residents along its route had threatened to derail this project. also parliament sent the planners back to the drawing board to device a means to integrate the train to other forms of transport like buses and taxis to ensure that its not a stand-alone system, but forms part of a network that can reach more people as opposed to just the priviledged few. So all this caused all the delays. but now its on track, thanks to the pressure of delivering a decent transport infrastructure for 2010 FIFA World Cup.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 12:22 PM   #18
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Thanks for the info, looks like a very ambitious project.
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Old February 26th, 2007, 02:44 PM   #19
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The main challenge remains convincing South Africans to get off their cars. Due to the fact that SA has had virtually no usable public transport system in place, everyone is used to getting in their own car (most of the time, alone) and spending an hour stuck in traffic. The only form of public transport that exist now is a bus network with very little predictability in terms of schedule and a very limited coverage. The other form of transport (especially for the majority of the black communities) is mini bus taxis that are akin to flying coffins run by individuals who act like a law unto themselves. The govt is embarking on a $1 billion project to re-capitalize these mini-bus taxis and regulate them. This is causing a lot of friction between the industry and the govt.

But the quickest way to describe public transport in SA now is "if you don't have your own car, you are in big trouble". The govt is however throwing a lot of money (collectively over $10 billion) into this problem with all sorts of projects underway to resolve this problem which is obviously critical especially with the 2010 FIFA World Cup coming up!

Last edited by kulani; February 26th, 2007 at 02:51 PM.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 11:02 PM   #20
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Gauteng to pursue roads, ICT PPPs, as Gautrain is bedded down

Africa's richest region, Gauteng, has scaled-up its fiscal allocations for infrastructure and capital expenditure in its 2007/8 Budget, with economic programmes representing 30% of the R40,3-billion, and infrastructure projects set to absorb R10,9-billion.

In releasing the Budget on Monday, Finance and Economic Affairs MEC Paul Mashatile said that the 70:30 split between social and economic cluster allocations represented a “major boost for capital spending, which rises significantly over the medium-term economic framework".

Public transport, roads and works received the biggest portion (R6,6-billion or 60,4%) of the infrastructure budget, with Mashatile reporting that R4,5-billion of that would flow towards the implementation for the multibillion rand Gautrain rapid-rail project.

He also confirmed that R14-billion would be set aside over the next three years for the implementation of the rail project and that an additional R5-billion would be raised through borrowings. He said Gauteng had received National Treasury approval for the debt-financing portion, and that this programme would be coordinated by the National Treasury.

He refused to give details about the nature of the approach to the capital markets or when the debt raising would be pursued. The R3,7-billion balance of the project finance had been raised by the private Bombela consortium building the project, with Rand Merchant Bank and Standard Bank providing the debt.
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