Gautrain launch on June 8

2010-05-07 13:33

Gautrain will launch on June 8, the developers have said.


French construction giant Bouygues said the train’s first segment,

linking OR Tambo International Airport and the posh Johannesburg suburb of

Sandton, will open in time for the June 11 kick-off of the 2010 Fifa World

Cup.


Christian Gazaignes, Bouygues’ executive director, said: “The

segment will be handed over on June 8, three weeks ahead of our original

schedule.”


When finished in mid-2011, the 80km regional express train will

link Pretoria with Johannesburg.


An international consortium that includes Bouygues, Canadian firm

Bombardier and two South African companies began construction on the 160km/h

maximum rail line in 2006.


The developers have worked “doubly hard” to finish the first

section before the World Cup, said Charles-Etienne Perrier, project director for

Bouygues.


For R100, World Cup visitors will be able to travel the 15km from

the airport to the Sandton hotel district in less than 15 minutes.


“It’s going to give the country a beautiful image of modernity,”

said Laurence Leblanc, international director of RATP Dev, a subsidiary of

French group RATP, the company awarded a 15-year concession to operate the

train.

 

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