The Gautrain will officially start operation on the 8th of June 2010 (3 days before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg). The Gautrain will be operating between the station of OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton station in Johannesburg.
This rail network is expected to reduce the amount of traffic on the N1 Ben Schoeman highway between Johannesburg and Pretoria by 20% (which means +/- 80,000 cars less on the road). Here are 10 facts about The Gautrain:
- The complete network will consist of 80 km of track with 10 stations between 5 and 8 kilometres apart.
- The 24 trains in the rail network will have a top speed of 160 km/h.
- It will take only 15 minutes to travel between OR Tambo International Airport Station and Sandton Station. This section will be operating from the 8th of June 2010.
- When completed it will take only 42 minutes between Johannesburg Park Station and Hatfield station in Pretoria if travelling via the network.
- Trains will run every 12 minutes during peak periods during the first 3 years, thereafter at 10 minute intervals during these peak periods.
- Tight security on trains and stations through access control, electronic surveillance (over 650 CCTV cameras) and visible policing will be introduced.
- Bus feeder and distributor services for passengers up to 10 kilometres from stations will be introduced and bus and train schedules will be synchronized.
- Park-and-ride facilities with more than 10 000 parking bays at stations will be introduced.
- A smart card electronic ticketing system needing only one ticket for the train, bus and parking will be implemented.
- Gautrain passengers will be able to transfer easily between the Gautrain network and other forms of transport, such as the new Bus Rapid Transport services, planes, taxis, Metrorail trains and cars.