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Old April 16th, 2007, 06:59 PM   #41
kulani
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Old April 17th, 2007, 12:31 AM   #42
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Wow, looks nice!
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Old May 24th, 2007, 06:53 AM   #43
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Johannesburg Monorail Project

S.African minister calls monorail deal a surprise

JOHANNESBURG, May 23 (Reuters) - A plan to build a $1.7 billion dollar monorail system around South Africa's business hub was announced without the transport ministry's approval, Transport Minister Jeff Radebe said on Wednesday.

Gauteng province, which includes Johannesburg, last week unveiled the monorail project, which would see a Malaysian-led consortium invest 12 billion rand ($1.70 billion) to build a monorail system between the black township of Soweto and Johannesburg.

Questions have since been raised in the local media about the viability of the project, and Radebe said Gauteng had gone ahead without seeking central government approval.

"I did not know anything about this proposal until it was announced in the media," Radebe said in a media statement.

The consortium, called Newcycv (New Sight Vision), said it planned to begin work on the project in September.

"Our vision is for 2020. We are speaking to the government on a daily basis, and we want South Africa's transportation to be 100 percent efficient by then," said JK Varathan, head of Newcycv, in a statement last week. He declined to name other consortium members.

The monorail plan includes the Soweto-Johannesburg line with more to come by 2020, and was announced in conjunction with senior Gauteng provincial officials.

But the national government says the provincial government never consulted it, and has even questioned the procurement process that was followed to secure the contract.

With the steady growth of the economy in the past few years, South Africa's road network is struggling to keep up with the number of cars and heavy-duty vehicles.

Many commuters had hoped the high-speed monorail system would go some way to easing congestion while the central government has pledged to invest over 417 billion rand in infrastructure, including transportation, over the next three years.

The announcement of the monorail project triggered a furious response from minibus taxi operators whose livelihood depends on ferrying about 1.5 million people to work daily. In a newspaper report on Tuesday, taxi operators threatened to stop it.
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Old May 24th, 2007, 12:50 PM   #44
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Jo'burg already have a commuter network which connect Soweto, Park Station and Pretoria. Why not improving it instead of building a monorail?
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Old May 24th, 2007, 03:06 PM   #45
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The Malaysian Metrail monorail

The test track is in Malaysia. Metrail is the second monorail company in Malaysia after MTrans.

The Metrail Monorail is a hybrid monorail which uses diesel.

[IMG]http://www.monorails.org/webpix%202/MetrailaIce.jpg[/IMG







http://www.monorails.org/tMspages/Metrail2.html

Metrail official website
http://www.metrail.com/03-plus.html
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:49 PM   #46
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Gautrain construction progresses on schedule
ENGINEERING NEWS

TRANSPORT

By: Nelendhre Moodley

Published: 4 May 07 - 15:35

Work on the R25,1-billion Gautrain project is striding ahead, with all sections of the project reporting significant progress, including the airport link, which Gautrain project leader Jack van der Merwe said was one of the more difficult tasks, as it involved tunnelling to a depth of 14 m.

Speaking to Engineering News Online, Van der Merwe said that most of the bulk work on the airport link had been completed and that the project team was focusing its energy on the complicated tunnelling work at Marlboro.

Some 70 m of tunnelling had already been completed.

Design for the piles supporting the Eskom pylons was in progress, with the construction of a storm water manhole at the N3 crossing almost completed.

At the Midrand depot, some 500 000 m3 bulk volumes of earthworks had already been shifted, while bulk earthworks for the train depot platform was 73% complete.

On the eastern side of the depot, hard rock excavation was progressing well, the organisation said in a statement on Friday.

Drainage for the bus depot platform was in progress, with a temporary access road within the rail reserve, also completed.

On the permanent depot access road, a weigh bridge had been constructed.

The first floor slab for the bus depot administration building at Midrand was in progress, with nearly 87% of the outside brickwork already completed.

Further, exploration drilling and foundation testing for the Tshwane link was under way, and power utility Eskom was busy relocating the power lines crossing the N14 near Jean Avenue and at Eufees Road.

Rotary diamond core drilling was being carried out at the Tshwane and Hatfield stations, with nine of the ten boreholes already complete at Tshwane, and eight of the 18 boreholes completed at Hatfield.

Meanwhile, at the underground Park station, excavation for the drill-and-blast shaft was 40% completed and relocation of the existing utilities was on schedule.

“We are progressing well and are right on schedule,” said Van der Merwe of the R3-million an hour project that was scheduled for completion in the next three years.

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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:52 PM   #47
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CONSTRUCTION UPDATE - 21 APRIL 2007

WEEK ENDING 21 APRIL 2007

A) SOUTHERN SECTION

1. Underground section

1.1 Underground stations: Park and Rosebank and associated tunnels

PARK STATION

* Excavation for the drill and blast shaft started. It is 40% complete and 27 000m³ of material is removed. Soil nails are inserted.

Four temporary barrettes and ten dry wall panels are excavated and cast.
* On the implosion site, piles were removed. Backfilling of the excavation is starting. Debris left from the implosion is removed.
* The relocation of existing utilities is on schedule.


ROSEBANK STATION
Auger cast pile installation is in progress. As drilling is done with a hollow stemmed continuous flight auger, no casting is required. A concrete mix is pumped down the stem of the auger followed by reinforcement cages. Auger cast piles create very little environmental disturbance or noise.

EMERGENCY SHAFT E5 IN DUNKELD
After the third blast, the depth of the shaft is now approximately 32m from the surface.



SANDTON STATION
A total of 11 out of the 26 dry walls are completed in the North shaft. This equals 42%. Construction was delayed due to rain.

In the South shaft, guide walls and slabs are completed. Excavation is in progress. Piling for the South shaft gantry was scheduled for 24 April.

MUSHROOM FARM PARK ACCESS SHAFT
Only one blast took place during the week. The next blast was scheduled for Saturday 21 April. Advance to date: 21.5 m.

The erection of a gantry (framework crane) for shaft mucking and material hoisting is 60% complete.



1.2 Underground station: Sandton and associated tunnels

MARLBORO PORTAL
Three blasts took place during the week. Advance for the week was 7.5 m. The total advance to date is 59.4m. Installation of the fifth pipe roof is complete.

Arches one and two on the fifth pipe roof were installed. This is to compensate for a slight fall of ground during the first blast of canopy number five. However, no surface settlement was noted. A new Fuel Change Request will be opened for the excavation beyond the fifth arch in order to ensure that the correct procedure is followed when changes to plans need to be approved. There is still less than 5m cover above the tunnel crown and ground conditions do not permit any established rock class support to be installed.

Drilling and grouting of the fifth pipe roof is completed. Rock bolts was installed in the tunnel the following week on a trial basis to familiarise the crews with installation. Geotechnical data is being obtained.







2. Airport Link (Marlboro Station to OR Tambo International Airport)

MARLBORO STATION AND LINBRO PARK WORKS
The design for the piles supporting the Eskom pylons is in progress. Viaducts and piers are in progress. Other utilities are being managed.

Eskom raised one of the power lines at Modderfontein Road. The raising of a second line was also scheduled. The jacking of the sleeve pipe for Ekurhuleni Water at Green Avenue is complete. The construction of a storm water manhole at the N3 crossing is almost complete.

KELVIN POWER STATION SIDING WORKS
The final layers of earthworks to relocate the Eastern section sidings at Kelvin is in progress. Trimming and finishing of side slopes still needs to be done.

RHODESFIELD STATION
Demolition of houses and buildings was planned following successful applications for demolition permits. Work on the Rhodesfield and Fitter Road was scheduled for 30 April.

A site office is established for the contractor responsible for road diversions, clearing and grubbing. The site office is situated South-East of Modderfontein Road.

Site establishment and clearing is in progress. Viaducts, piers and decks are in progress. Trenches are dug around the positions of the piers to make sure that there are no unknown utilities.



B) NORTHERN SECTION

1. Midrand

MIDRAND DEPOT AND OPERATIONS CENTRE
Platform earthworks and layer works are in progress. An estimated 492 000m3 bulk volume of earthworks is shifted. Bulk earthworks for the train depot platform is 73% complete. On the Eastern side of the depot, hard rock excavation is progressing well.

Drainage for the bus depot platform is in progress. A total of 42 manhole slabs are cast, brickwork on 32 manholes is complete, 28 manholes are plastered and 24 manholes are benched.

For the maintenance road, which is a temporary access road within the rail reserve, the backfilling of a pre-cast culvert structure is complete. Works on the culvert inlet is in progress. On the permanent depot access road (off the K60), a weight bridge is constructed.

The first floor slab for the bus depot administration building is in progress. Nearly 87% of the outside brickwork is complete. Brick wall partitions for first floor is nearly 15% complete. Plastering of the first floor columns is complete. Inside, wall plastering is 30% complete. The casting of short columns on the roof slab is complete. Plastering of the edge beam is in progress. Electrical, mechanical and telecommunication ducts, sleeves and cables have been completed on the ground floor. Hard core compaction of the ground floor is also complete. Mesh wire fixing on top of the laid polythene sheet is in progress. Steel fixing and the erection of formwork for the second lift are in progress.

For the pre-cast yard, the viaduct casting bed is 45% complete. Construction on the portal crane beams is 50% complete. One tower crane is erected and assembling for another one has started.

Almost 95% of the depot waterline is completed. The connection to the Johannesburg main waterline is done. Pressure tests need to be performed before connection can be granted. Encasement of utilities in the vlei area near viaduct 03 is in progress. The connection has been done.

Bulk depot sewer line: the concept design for the revised pump line is complete, but the designers are still finalising the detailed design for the pump station. An alternative design could keep the sewer in the reserve and pump up the sewage to gravity into the existing system.

The bulk electrical feed is 93% complete. The cables are being pulled into sleeves.

Excavations at Viaduct 3 are in progress according to geotechnical specifications.

For the temporary construction bridge over Allendale Road, a temporary steel gilder bridge was installed on 21 and 22 April.

2. Tshwane
Exploration drilling and foundation testing is underway. In the dolomite section, exploration percussion drilling is completed at all pile positions for 70 pier footings, and a further three footings at Viaduct 5 and three footings at Viaduct 6.

Rotary diamond core drilling is carried out at Viaduct 5, Piers 51 and 77 and at the Groenkloof Nature Reserve, five of the seven boreholes are complete. This method of drilling allows for geological assessment of the strength of underground rock as hollow drill rods cut a cylindrical core of solid rock.

The vertical plate bearing test at the test pile near Pier 55 is completed and the horizontal plate bearing test is underway. The settlement test on “compaction grouted” dolomite soil at Pier 55 continues. Down-the-hole Menard pressure meter soil bearing capacity testing continues along the linear works alignment.

Eskom is progressing well with the relocation of the power lines crossing the N14 near Jean Avenue and at Eufees Road.

TSHWANE STATION
Rotary diamond core drilling is carried out and nine of the ten boreholes are completed.

3. Hatfield

HATFIELD STATION
Rotary diamond core drilling is carried out and eight of the 18 boreholes are completed.
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Old May 26th, 2007, 08:54 PM   #48
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Mushroom tunneling progressing nicely there





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Old May 28th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #49
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2010 will be THE YEAR for SA
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Old May 28th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #50
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Progressing well ... impressive.
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Old June 6th, 2007, 05:59 PM   #51
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A sweet update on the Gautrain website. Part 1:

Tunnel Boring Machine

SPECIALISED TECHNOLOGY IMPORTED FOR UNDERGROUND TUNNEL

The 15km underground line of the Gautrain stretches from Johannesburg Station, under the Johannesburg Hospital, Parktown Ridge, Rosebank, Sandton and Marlboro where it surfaces at the Marlboro Portal.

A portion of three kilometers of the tunnel between Gautrain’s Johannesburg Station and Park Station will be excavated using a high-technology tunnel boring machine (TBM). Described as a moving factory, this 160m long machine will excavate a tunnel of 6.8m diameter with a ground cover of 30m at some places. It weights 885 tons. The rest will be excavated using conventional drilling and blasting.

Suitable for local rock conditions

Currently the custom-made TBM is assembled in Germany as it needs to cope with Johannesburg’s complex and diverse rock conditions underground. Specialist testing is done on rock samples sent to Norway and local geologists. Results will be used in determining the most suitable tunnel alignment for the TBM.

The TBM is ideal for the poor rock conditions, especially in Rosebank. This stretch of tunnelling comprises soft rock and waterlogged soil that is not suitable for drilling and blasting. The TBM is therefore able to operate underwater.

It will be transported via sea and road as it arrives in South Africa in October.



International expertise

Designing and building the TBM takes about 12 months. Responsible for the construction and use of the machine is Bombela Concession Company partner Bouygues Travaux Publics.

Bouygues is a French world leader in the construction of tunnels. The company has completed more than 200km of tunnel projects internationally. Bouygues completed one of the world's largest tunnels using a TBM for the 15.2m Groene Hart Tunnel in the Netherlands.

Earlier this year, the company used the world’s largest TBM to excavate a eight kilometer long twin-tube motorway tunnel in China beneath the Yangtze River Estuary. This TBM measures 15.43m in diameter.

Automated tunnelling technology – how does it work?

The type of TBM used for Gautrain is called an Earth Pressure Balance Machine. At the front end of the TBM is a rotating cutting wheel that excavates the ground. Behind the cutting wheel is a chamber where excavated material is kept before being extracted by a pressure-relief discharge system, called “screw conveyor”.

Excavated soil is transported via a 0.8m wide conveyer belt fitted inside the machine to the opening of the tunnel where it will be picked up by tipper trucks.

After the front end of the machine bores the ground at 1.5m advances at a time, the back end starts lining the walls of the tunnel.

The back end of the machine is able to place pre-cast segment rings forming a watertight concrete cylinder just behind the cutting wheel. In this way the tunnel structure is completed section by section as the TBM slowly moves along.

The machine is driven by a computerised and automated cabin that controls and accurately steers the system. Several maintenance teams will service and change the tools on the cutting wheel. They need to work in shifts in order to decompress after entering the pressure chamber. For safety reasons the cutting wheel is serviced from inside the TBM.

The cutting wheel is driven by seven motors and comprises 150 drag teeth for soft rock. It also comprises 450 single disk cutters and four twin disk cutters used for hard rock. The total electric power of the cutting wheel is 2450kW .

Safety and environmental management

In line with Gautrain’s adherence to the Environment Management Plan, the groundwater level and quality will be monitored at strategic, dedicated boreholes during construction.

Tunnel boring has also proven to be a physically safe and an environmentally sound method of tunneling, especially in built-up areas. This method does not disturb surrounding soil and it produces a smooth tunnel wall that is cost-effective. In the geology encountered on this part of the project, as well as working below water table a TBM is by far less time consuming than relying on conventional methods.

Previous use of TBM in Africa

During the construction of the Katse Dam for the Lesotho Highlands Water Project a TBM was used to excavate a 22km long tunnel. The 4.5m diameter tunnel was completed 20 months ahead of schedule in 1993.

While skills are available locally, French experts will transfer skills during the installation and use of the TBM.


Our very own TBM:




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Old June 6th, 2007, 06:02 PM   #52
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Part 2:

CONSTRUCTION UPDATE -25 MAY 2007
WEEK ENDING 25 MAY 2007

A) SOUTHERN SECTION

1. Underground section

1.1 Underground stations: Park Station, Rosebank Station and Sandton Station and associated tunnels and shafts

PARK STATION
The excavation of a drill and blast shaft is 74% complete. Because of hard rock in the area, excavation is done by means of drilling holes in the rock and inserting dynamite for blasting. Once this vertical shaft is completed, the excavation of the horizontal underground tunnel can start. To keep the shaft from collapsing, soil nails are inserted into the excavated walls.

Once all the rock is excavated, the shaft will be held in place by vertical concrete pillars (auger cast piles) that are sunk deep into the ground. At the top of these piles, a concrete capping beam or pile cap will provide support and anchoring. These are completed. More reinforced concrete side walling is currently in process. The concrete is reinforced with the use of steel reinforcing cages.

To make way for the construction of Park Station, four high-rise buildings were demolished. The implosion debris has already been removed and construction on this cleared land has started in the form of guide walls to guide the construction of the diaphragm walls which supports the sides of the shafts being excavated.
Construction of Gautrain’s Park station also involves the careful rerouting of underground pipes and services utilities such as water, sewage, electricity and telecommunication cables. A special temporary steel cage has been built to protect and support utilities while excavation is taking place on the construction site where Smit Street normally runs and is now closed for this construction work.



Pedestrians are reminded to use the two pedestrian bridges which were built over Wolmarans and Joubert Streets.

ROSEBANK STATION
The construction of a vertical drill and blast shaft surrounded by auger piles, which are supported by capping beams, follows the same process as described for Park Station. In Rosebank the drill and blast shaft excavation is at present three metres below surface, while concrete capping beams are being constructed on the piles around the perimeter of the shaft excavations. The station box comprised 196 auger piles (pillars) sunken deep into the ground. Only three more piles need to be completed before the station box is ready and construction around the capping beam can start.

The 885 ton Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) will be used for a portion of three kilometers of tunnelling in the area towards Parktown Ridge. This stretch of tunneling comprises soft rock and waterlogged soil that is not suitable for drilling and blasting. The TBM is scheduled to arrive in South Africa in October.

The 160m long machine will excavate a tunnel of 6.8m diameter with a ground cover of 30 m at some places. The 80 piles for the TBM shaft are complete. The capping beam is 44% done.
A clear view of the construction site is possible when standing on the new pedestrian bridge built over Oxford Road.



EMERGENCY SHAFT E5 IN DUNKELD
The 15km underground tunnel starting from Park Station to Rosebank Station and Sandton Station and which surfaces at the Marlboro Portal, will also feature seven emergency access shafts for use by emergency workers. Expropriation of the land required for the emergency shaft, E4, is in process.

To enhance the safety features of the tunnel, rescue chambers with independent ventilation will be constructed approximately every kilometre, each with room for 950 people, in the unlikely event of an accident.

Excavation of shaft E5 takes place at a rate of about 5m per week and ultimately the shaft will be 62m below surface. E5 is already 47.7m deep and if all goes according to plan, the bottom of the shaft will be reached by mid June. Thereafter construction of the rescue chamber will start. By the end of June the concrete lining of the shaft should be complete.

SANDTON STATION
A total of 17 out of the 26 diaphragm walls are completed in the North shaft.

For the South shaft, all the diaphragm walls and the auger cast piles are complete. Auger cast piles for the East and West shafts are being installed.

To test the ground solidity, 88 settlement monitoring points have been installed around the station area. These instruments will provide the necessary warning should tunnelling problems be indicated.



MUSHROOM FARM PARK ACCESS SHAFT
Two blasts took place during the week. Concrete drum mixers are delivered on site and concrete tests are performed for quality purposes.

As a dust control measure, a wheel wash bay for construction vehicles and tipper trucks is being constructed at the site to eliminate vehicle generated dust on roads.





MARLBORO PORTAL
The tunnel is 148.5m from the portal opening.




2. Airport Link (Marlboro Station to OR Tambo International Airport)

MARLBORO STATION AND LINBRO PARK WORKS
From the Marlboro Portal, the surface route crosses a viaduct (bridge over Far East Road) to the Marlboro Station. From the Marlboro Station, the route underpasses the N3 highway until it reaches Linbro Park. Here the route splits to Tshwane to the north and to the OR International Airport to the East.

For the viaduct over Far East Road, steel sheer pins and grouting or fine plastering is applied underneath the piles (pillars) to strengthen the structure.

In Marlboro Gardens, surface earthworks is being prepared by using impact rolling which compacts the ground. This is in the area between Zinnia Drive and Violet Crescent.

Preparations for the N3 underpass at the Marlboro/Linbro Park intersection is underway. Temporary on and off ramps are constructed to prepare for traffic diversions.

Near Linbro Park, clearing and grubbing (the removal of vegetation and top soil) is underway between Modderfontein and Lovato Road.

Utilities are being moved.

KELVIN POWER STATION SIDING WORKS
Existing rail sidings (dead ends) at Kelvin are ready to be diverted to clear the route for the Gautrain track.

Casting and piling for Viaduct 13 (over Centenary Way) and Viaduct 14 (over Zuurfontein Road) have started. The first Pier Head (pillar for a bridge) for Viaduct 13 was cast.



RHODESFIELD STATION
Viaducts, piers and decks are in progress.
Demolition of expropriated houses in Fitter Road and Rhodesfield have started.

OR TAMBO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT STATION
Clearing and grubbing is underway along the Airport near Clulee Road.

B) NORTHERN SECTION (Y Junction to Pretoria and Hatfield Station)

1. Midrand Station

MIDRAND BUS DEPOT AND GAUTRAIN OPERATIONS CONTROL CENTRE
The Gautrain Operations Control Centre features a two-story administration building. It will contain the control room from where the whole train operation system will be managed.

At the train depot, the 24 trains will be securely kept overnight. This is also where train maintenance will take place.

At the bus depot, the fleet of 150 air-conditioned buses will be housed and serviced. These buses form part of the 36 feeder and distribution services, serving nine stations excluding the airport in a radius of 15km from each station.

While construction is in progress, a temporary concrete Pre Cast Yard is also being erected. It will be used for the construction of portal sections, deck beams, New Jersey concrete barriers, etc. Concrete will also be provided for the construction of viaducts, piles and piers and bridges. It is the biggest pre-cast yard in Africa.

Excavation for the Gautrain Operations Control Centre foundation is almost complete.

The bus depot is already reaching the stage where the roof is 50% complete. Nearly 90% of the brickwork is plastered. The painting of walls are in process and windows are installed. Electrical installations and dry wall partitions are almost completed.

At the Pre Cast Yard, the Batch Plant Number 1 was tested successfully and is fully operational. Batch Plant Number 2 is erected and will be commissioned in the next week. Storm water outlets and drainage is being completed. A 60 ton gantry (steel cage) crane was delivered on site.


2. Tshwane

CENTURION STATION
Utility diversions and the cut and cover tunnel at the N14 road crossing near Salvokop will start soon. However, a Search and Rescue operation will first take place at Salvokop in line with the Environmental Management Plan. Previously, Search and Rescue operations were held in Esther Park and Snake Valley. Several non-governmental organisations participated in the safe removal of plants and animals in areas earmarked for construction.

A cement grout batching plant is erected near Von Willigh Street.

Following successful expropriation proceedings the following land hand-overs were completed by the end of April:

* The John Vorster Interchange in Centurion.
* Eeufees Road off-ramp to east of the Ben Schoeman highway.
* Flyover 7 to Pretoria Station.
* Pretoria Station.
* The land in the Metrorail reserve for Viaduct 7 (over Nelson Mandela Boulevard) to Hatfield Station.

Outstanding expropriation issues are discussed at Community Liaison Forums attended by interested and affected property owners in various locations.

Rotary diamond core drilling is carried out at Viaduct 6 (over N14 and Eeufees Road) and near Unisa. This method of drilling allows for geological assessment of the strength of underground rock as hollow drill rods cut a cylindrical core of solid rock.


PRETORIA STATION
Rotary diamond core drilling is carried out.

HATFIELD STATION
Rotary diamond core drilling is carried out.

C) OVERALL PROGRESS

Construction started in October 2006. Gautrain will be completed in two phases:

1. The first phase will be completed in 45 months, in time for the 2010 FIFA Soccer World Cup. It includes the network between the OR Tambo International Airport, Sandton and Midrand.
2. The second phase will be completed in 54 months. It involves the remainder of the rail network between Sandton and Johannesburg, including the route from Midrand to Hatfield.

Copies of the photos used are available on the Gautrain website (www.gautrain.co.za).

P.S. Check some of the construction pic updates on the site, not gonna post all.. they rock!! use this link

Last edited by kulani; June 6th, 2007 at 06:07 PM.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 06:04 PM   #53
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nice pictures
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Old June 20th, 2007, 01:07 AM   #54
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Viaducts renders







Marlboro blasting

image hosted on flickr

Last edited by kulani; June 21st, 2007 at 11:58 PM.
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Old June 20th, 2007, 01:17 AM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kulani View Post

Marlboro blasting

image hosted on flickr
Looks like a sand fountain!
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Old June 20th, 2007, 03:50 AM   #56
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Those are really good looking viaducts. Usually they're just concrete and ugly -but those are great.

Go Gautrain go!
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Old June 21st, 2007, 07:36 PM   #57
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very nice viaducts!
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Old June 23rd, 2007, 09:23 AM   #58
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Nice looking project.Thanks for all the info.
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Old July 17th, 2007, 02:25 AM   #59
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Quote:
Gautrain –
R5,8bn spent so far


While work is slightly behind schedule, construction of the Gautrain is racing on. Jobs are being created, shafts are being sunk and tunnels are being bored.


July 5, 2007
By Lucille Davie



The tunnel at the Marlboro portal is over 300 metres long

IT’S taken Gautrain officials just nine months to spend R5,8-billion, about a fifth of their R25-billion budget. That leaves R20-billion to be spent over the next three-and-a-half years.

But, says project leader Jack van der Merwe, much of the basic equipment needed for construction of the 80km high-speed train has come out of that expenditure. Some R681-million is being spent each month.


The tunnel entrance at the Marlboro portal is 11m wide and 7m high

One of the biggest pieces of machinery required for the construction is the tunnel-boring machine (TBM), which will arrive from Germany in October. It is to cost about R180-million. It weights 885 tons, is 160 metres long and is driven by seven motors with 150 teeth used to excavate soft rock. It will be used to dig a 3km tunnel of 6,8 metres in diameter at 30 metres below the surface at Rosebank.

Whereas other tunnels have been excavated by means of drilling and blasting, the "poor rock conditions" at Rosebank, with waterlogged soil, are not suitable for this method.

"Tunnel boring is a physically safe and an environmentally sound method of tunnelling, especially in built-up areas. This method does not disturb surrounding soil and it produces a smooth tunnel wall that is cost-effective," according to a Gautrain statement.


The tunnel borer
The TBM works by means of a rotating cutting wheel that cuts its way into the ground. Inside the wheel is a chamber where, by means of a conveyor belt, the soil is extracted and discharged to the opening of the tunnel into tipper trucks. While the machine advances at 1,5 metres, its rear end starts lining the walls of the tunnel by means of pre-cast segment rings forming a watertight concrete cylinder just behind the cutting wheel. Thus, as the TBM moves along, it creates each complete tunnel section.
The tunnel at the Marlboro portal, where the train splits and goes to Tshwane and OR Tambo International Airport, is now 322 metres from the opening. On its way to the Sandton Station, it is being excavated at 10 metres a day.

The excavated rock is removed by dump trucks and is taken to a central crushing plant east of Linbro Park. Once crushed, it is stored in stockpiles until it is needed for filling material.

The tunnel, reaching to Park Station, is to be 15 kilometres in length. A small shrine, dedicated to St Barbara, the patron saint of tunnel workers, has been placed at the entrance to the Marlboro portal tunnel. The shrine and its burning candle were brought by the French engineers from a Catholic shop in France. Rosebank, Sandton and Park stations will also get a St Barbara shrine, as soon as tunnelling begins at these locations.

St Barbara was accepted during the Middle Ages as the patron saint of artillerymen, miners, tunnel workers and firemen. It is believed she protects against accidents, especially underground where explosives are taking place. Work has started on the Rhodesfield Station, the station just before the airport - 94 houses along Fitter Road have been demolished. Road diversions will soon be implemented at Proctor and Kimmerling roads, which are being widened, with new cul-de-sac interchanges to be put in place. Three viaducts, or bridges, are to be built for this station.

The Gautrain station at the airport will be integrated within the airport terminals and will not be a separate building. Passengers will be able to get to the airport via the Sandton Station, a trip that should take about 15 minutes.


Park Station
Work continues on other stations. At Park Station traffic will soon be diverted to Smit Street, with full closure of Wolmarans Street. This is to create a support base for the 25m vertical shaft that is being excavated, with the last five metres almost complete. Once this level has been reached, the underground tunnel towards Rosebank Station will begin.
A concrete plant has been erected on site, where all the concrete required for the construction is prepared.


Rosebank Station
The vertical shaft at Rosebank Station has reached a depth of 20 metres, with three metres to go. Once this depth has been reached, a horizontal tunnel towards the Sandton Station will begin. The deepest section of this tunnel will be 96 metres.
Screen hoardings of five metres have been erected around the site to reduce noise generated by construction, and an irrigation system along the fence is being used to minimise dust pollution. A pedestrian bridge over Oxford Road gives a view into the construction site.


Sandton Station
Excavation of the underground station and parking area at Sandton has begun.
The vertical shaft at nearby Mushroom Farm has reached a depth of 31 metres. Now two tunnels – one to Sandton, another to Marlboro – will be excavated.

Meanwhile, the Tshwane area, where three stations – Centurion, Pretoria and Hatfield – are to be constructed, has been surveyed and work on viaducts has begun. Search and rescue operations at the Salvokop Nature Reserve will be conducted. Indigenous medicinal plants have been relocated to botanical and private gardens, nurseries and private collections. Snakes and other reptiles have also been rescued.


Jobs generated
By the end of April, 2 697 people were employed by Bombela and its sub-contractors. More than 93 percent of them are local, 366 are women and 2 491 are unskilled or semi-skilled workers. Some 11 percent of these women are in management positions.
The first phase of the high-speed train between Tshwane and Johannesburg and the airport is due to be complete in 45 months, making the completion date June 2010, the same month as the start of the football World Cup. The second phase, linking Midrand to the Tshwane stations, will be complete by March 2011.

Van der Merwe admitted the schedule was one to two weeks behind. "We will know closer to the end of the year whether we should accelerate operations."

Motorists are asked to call the Gautrain toll-free number - 0800Gautrain or 0800 428 87246 - to report any major incidents and to get more information.


The drilling machine at the end of the tunnel excavates 10 metres per day


Patron saint St Barbara watches over the tunnel workers
http://www.joburg.org.za/2007/jul/jul5_gautrain.stm
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Old July 18th, 2007, 06:12 AM   #60
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Why did they go to the expense of buying and demolishing the reddish-brown buildings with all that nearly-vacant land with just a few small buildings on the other side of the street?

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