Gautrain extends to Park Station

2012-06-07 10:01

Johannesburg - The Gautrain made its first passenger run to the new Park Station in the Johannesburg CBD on Thursday.

Gauteng transport MEC Ismail Vadi and chief executive of the Gautrain Management Agency Jack van der Merwe braved the cold to catch the 07:00 train from the Rosebank Station.

The train took only three minutes and 20 seconds to reach the new station in Wolmarans Street.

Van der Merwe said certification for passenger travel on the new line was received on Wednesday night and it had been decided to run trains to it as soon as possible.

"It just made commercial sense to open it as soon as possible," he said.

He said the opening of the new passenger line was the culmination of 15 years of work.

Water delay

The line to Park Station was initially meant to open last year but was delayed by water seeping into the tunnel.

"The geology is very mixed in Joburg, (although) there is some water coming in the walls it is very safe to operate," Van der Merwe said.

Vadi said that the line was safe for travel, but "the provincial government would like as little water as possible" in the tunnel.

A dispute resolution on the matter would be held in September, he said.

Van der Merwe said there was "no short term crisis" but in the long term a solution could be needed.

Vadi said he was "absolutely delighted" with the extension of the Gautrain service.

He said the other stations had stimulated economic development.

"In Rosebank new hotels have been built, there has been massive development around the station," he said.

Integrated city transport hub

Vadi said the Park Station was close to a Rea Vaya terminal and the existing Metrorail station, forming an integrated city transport hub.

Bombela chairperson Henry Laas said he was surprised at the number of passengers using the Gautrain to the new station on its first day.

"It's amazing how quickly news spreads," he said.

Laas said that by Friday he expected a full complement of passengers to the Park Station.

- Have you used the new service? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

  • MrDinwiddie - 2012-06-07 10:09

    About time. No more freeway traffic for me

      poloyatonkim - 2012-06-07 10:32

      Things are happening in JHB, western cape sucks big time..

      Nosiphom - 2012-06-07 11:13

      Poloyatonkim: Do you stay in Western Cape???

      poloyatonkim - 2012-06-07 11:44

      Yes, Why?

      Nosiphom - 2012-06-07 12:01

      Ok. Because the assessment of what sucks and what does't should be made by the person experiencing it. It would have been strange for me if you would find that the WP sucks and yet you are not staying there, and therefore should be happy.

  • Jaun - 2012-06-07 10:12

    THE GOOD NEWS....need more stuff like this from NEWS24!

      Press - 2012-06-07 13:05

      I see news24 is sensoring anything again today that doesnt fit in with their view of the "good stuff". Just for the record: * Was the lowest tender accepted or are the public paying for an unnecessarily expensive solution (like the e-tolls) * Was bribes involved in the process which inflated the price to the public ? * Did the developer met ALL the specifications regarding water ingress into the tunnel or does a risk remain to the public ? * Is the train dependant on the introduction of the e-tolling system and was the need for e-tolling a necessary condition for building the train ? * Does the Gauteng Governmnet have an obligation towards Bombela to introduce e-tolling ?

      Walter - 2012-06-07 16:58

      @Press: Absolutely correct comment/reminder: Lately, we have heard very little about how many passengers are using the train. When I see the train at the airport for instance, not too many passengers. And Bombela has a guarantee (payment from the government) if not enough passengers are using the train, will be interesting to see how high that payment will be this year (if there is going to be a payment, of course!)!

      Press - 2012-06-07 22:32

      Yeah walter - the thumb up sucers are paying more than they should for a Gautrain ride, more than they should to use the toll road (forced on us to make the Gautrain "viable") and more than they should in gaurantees to keep the train "afloat" - and the last one very appropriate because the contractor is allowing more water into the tunnel than they should . .

  • djeloff - 2012-06-07 10:20

    Expanding the Gautrain and integrating all forms of public transport in Gauteng. -

  • Zulu - 2012-06-07 10:21

    Well done!

  • Martin - 2012-06-07 10:22

    good news.still out of reach to most affordibilaty wise

      MrDinwiddie - 2012-06-07 10:25


      johana.salivan - 2012-06-07 10:34

      And useless to most, as they don't live in hotels around stations.

      dewalds3 - 2012-06-07 10:55

      No Martin. It is in most cases much cheaper than own transport.

      SaleƩ - 2012-06-07 11:39

      Well, Johana - when looking for a new place to stay, you usually assess how accessible the place is and how close it is to highways etc. What Gautrain means is that going forward, urban spawn decisions will change significantly. People will now take the location of gautrain routes into consideration when building or buying property, in the same way they consider the location of airports, bus routes, highways and the like. Developers will have the confidence to build and market hotels around stations etc. The Gautrain might be useless to some right now, but if you take a less myopic view, its usefulness is amazing.

  • jacques.joubert.swart - 2012-06-07 10:28

    Buiding trains and such like sirs!

  • Mark - 2012-06-07 10:35

    Well done, I use the Gautrain whenever I am in Joburg, World Class.

      Walter - 2012-06-07 17:41

      For heaven's sake, it is just a TRAIN, there are many of them all over the world (and often cheaper from airports, like in Bangkok, in Zurich, in Amsterdam, among probably many more...). Where does this WORLD CLASS thing come from?

      Press - 2012-06-07 22:35

      And the Gautrain is old technology to boot . . .

  • poloyatonkim - 2012-06-07 10:40

    I wish things like this can happen here in the western cape, yet again we dont have a government that responds to our problems here in the western cape...

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-06-07 10:51

      Yeah like high-speed trains are a dime a dozen, and the PTA JHB road link is a nightmare.

      william.letsong.5 - 2012-06-07 11:13

      Fweto, the Gautrain was initially a national government project for the 2010 soccer world cup and National government said its for the economic hub only. So before you criticise the WC government,get in the known. Well done to Guateng at least we are on track to better public transport irrespective where it starts. And oh, since you say the Provincial Government ignores you, why don't you run Sbu and ask him for a underground metro link in CPT ot even better, why don't you pack your bags and go ride the gautrain. At least we have other things that works well in Cape Town.

      poloyatonkim - 2012-06-07 11:50

      william... "At least we have other things that works well in Cape Town." care to elaborate because MyCiti Bus service is running at a loss...

      johan.giliomee - 2012-06-07 12:03

      The national government is responsible for maintaining and improving the all Train systems, including Western Cape. And yes, they do not care.

      Press - 2012-06-07 13:08

      @William Letsong - wrong - the Gautrain is a legacy project conceptualised before 1994 . . . absolutely bugger-all to do with the soccer world cup . . .

      Nosiphom - 2012-06-07 13:43

      Do you think REAVAYA in JHB is profitable? Should the CPT govt. increase the MyCiti fares? Which government run public transport system is making profit - world wide? You are just a bitter ANC member or follower obsessed with criticising instead of being constructive!

      Press - 2012-06-07 22:37

      Poloyatonkim - what in the world makes you think the Gautrain is running at a profit - the taxpayer is forking out millions annually as gaurantees to the operator to keep the thing "afloat" . . .

  • Sandla Nomvete - 2012-06-07 10:45

    Total awesomeness more Jozi for me.

  • stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-06-07 10:47


  • Trevor - 2012-06-07 10:53

    @poloyatonkim. I moved from Gauteng to Cape Town last year and I can assure you that almost everything to do with the municipal or provincial government in Cape Town is better than in Tshwane or Joburg. Having said that I do love the Gautrain. It is a world-class facility.

      poloyatonkim - 2012-06-07 11:52

      Clearly you dont live in one of the townships here in the western cape...

      William Letsong - 2012-06-07 13:02

      Did you see how you guys look after infrastructure in the townships? And are the ones in Guateng any better? Like I said, why dont you relocate to Guateng since the Western Cape is not good enough for you?

  • Vusi - 2012-06-07 10:55

    is it safe since there are water leaks?

  • william.letsong.5 - 2012-06-07 11:20

    Soooo true Trevor!

  • grantbotha - 2012-06-07 11:25

    Just used the Gautrain while visiting South Africa from Australia. Your train is on par with our trains here in Perth although the price for a similiar trip will only cost you half the price here in Perth.

      Sithembiso - 2012-06-07 12:03

      What else do we have "on par" as Perth? Or are we just catching up with the great Perth?

      William Letsong - 2012-06-07 12:55

      Grant Botha, Botha? Are you sure you are Australian?

      Jimmy - 2012-06-08 08:30

      Whatever grantbotha!

  • terrence.naicker.1 - 2012-06-07 13:07

    Took Gautrain for a couple months from Rhodesfield to Midrand. 30 minutes drive for me to Rhodesfield. 9 minutes to Marlboro Station. 10 minute wait for train to Midrand. 7 minutes to Midrand. 20 minute bus ride to Vodacom World.Cost me R940 for month ticket plus R220 for parking for the month plus R240 for the bus for the month. Total time per one way trip : 1h16 min, total cost per month : R1400. I now drive my diesel car to work. Takes me 40 minutes. Cost : R1600 , convenience - priceless...

      En - 2012-06-07 14:06

      Gautrain wasn't built around "Terrence Naicker's" specific needs. Of course there will be a large group of people who find it more convenient to drive. But there is also a large group who save time and money on the train.

      Jimmy - 2012-06-08 08:27

      You are both right actually.

  • Tinyiko - 2012-06-07 16:27

    What a breeze, Sandton to downtown in 11 minutes!! I was at FNB in Simmonds street for my meeting within 20 minutes from Sandton. Another 15 minutes i was back in Sandton.

      Press - 2012-06-07 22:39

      Amazing performance for a super expensive inter-regional facility - makes you think doesn't it . . .

  • Jimmy - 2012-06-08 08:35

    If you live on the route like I do, there no better way to the Airport. Zip and you there!

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