I was near the rail road tracks, everything is silent. Only a few guards walking around and some teenagers comparing their Ipods. Then suddenly a noise is heard from the distance. Is it like thunder or something else? I turned my head toward the direction of the noise and saw lights, and the noise gets louder. I heard a “chugga chugga” sound, and then a horn, “choooooo”. Then the trains rushed up near me, the rushing wind messing up my straightened hair and I heard the train wheels on the tracks “clink clink.” People rushing in and out of the train in mid of early peak hours. Heard some echoing announcements within the train. That is all I heard for a long time until the train moved away and the silence creped in again. – My first Gautrain trip.
Gautrain – for people on the move
My first trip on the Gautrain from Midrand to Hatsfield. I was on the way to The Canadian High Commission. It felt like I was in another country rather another continent. A safer continent with so much of security, felt safe to travel on public transport for once in RSA. It was a wonderful experience. If I had the confidence to travel on this before I would’ve done so in many occassions. My RSA stay is coming to an end and I experience this trip a month before my leave is saddening. Some photos below for your view of our very own public transport THE Gautrain.
The Midrand station – at non-peak hours. Trains are controlled by Bombardier LTD (A Canadian firm), Mohan was overly excited when seeing the sign of Bombadier on the trains. Ahhh Canadians!!
Public transport in South Africa entered a new era with the successful opening of Phase 1 of the Gautrain rapid rail project on the 8th of June 2010. The opening came 3 weeks ahead of schedule and just 44 months after the first sod was turned. The Gautrain project consists of an integrated rapid rail and bus network linking the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria with the O.R.Tambo International Airport.
On the 2nd of August 2011 the route linking Rosebank in Johannesburg and Hatfield Station in Pretoria was opened. The final leg of the system between Rosebank and Johannesburg Park Station opened on 07 June 2012 bringing the total number of stations in operation to 10 along an 80km route alignment.
The Gautrain project is a Public-Private-Partnership and includes a 15-year maintenance and operating period after construction. Following an international tender process, the Bombela Concession Company was appointed by the Gauteng Provincial Government to design, build, operate, maintain and partially finance the Gautrain project. Bombela’s shareholders include Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd, Bouygues Travaux Publics SA, Murray & Roberts Ltd, SPG Concessions Ltd and the J&J Group.
The operations are led by RATP Development – the transit operator responsible for public transport in Paris and its surroundings. – http://www.bombela.com/about.asp
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It was a fun ride! I will encourage anyone who has not been on it to jump on it and to skip that dreaded traffic, don’t miss our proudly South African ride 🙂