The Gautrain officially started operations on the 8th of June 2010 (3 days before the 2010 FIFA World Cup kicked off at Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg). This rail network was 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 daily).
Here are 10 facts you might not have known about The Gautrain
1. The complete network consists of 80 km (50 miles) of track and 10 train stations.
2. Trains have a top speed of 160 km/h (99 miles per hour).
3. It takes only 15 minutes to travel between OR Tambo International Airport Station and Sandton Station. This section opened on the 8th of June 2010.
4. It takes 42 minutes to travel from Johannesburg Park Station to Hatfield Station.
5. Trains run every 10 minutes during peak periods and every 20 minutes during off-peak periods.
6. There’s tight security on trains and stations that are part of the network. There’s access control, electronic surveillance (over 650 CCTV cameras) and visible policing.
7. Bus feeder and distributor services exist up 10 km from stations for passengers. Bus and train schedules are synchronized.
8. Park-and-ride facilities exist. More than 10,000 parking bays are located at stations.
9. The network operates with an electronic ticketing system. Passengers need to buy a smart card to use the Gautrain. Only one smart card to make use of the trains, buses and parking.
10. Gautrain passengers are easily able to transfer between the network and other forms of transport (like the Bus Rapid Transport servies, planes, taxis, Metrorail trains and cars).
Bonus Gautrain Facts
11. Within 100 days of opening the first phase of the system for the public, 1 million passengers had used the Gautrain network.
12. By February 2013 more than 40,000 passengers were making use of the network.
13. There are plans to expand the network by a another 150 km of track.
14. Gautrain transport services were shut down on the 26th of March 2020 to stop spread of the Coronavirus. The service resumed (with limited capacity) on the 4th of May 2020.
Hopefully you know more about the Gautrain now. I’ve made use of this train network tons of times and I recommend that you do the same (if you ever find yourself in Gauteng).
Watch this space for regular updates in the Facts category on Running Wolf’s Rant.
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