Major Gautrain expansion coming – almost tripling in size

 ·23 Oct 2023

The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA) announced that the agency is in the “advanced stages” of finalising a massive expansion project for the Gautrain – which will see the rail network almost triple in size.

This was revealed at a community engagement initiative which celebrated October Transport Month (OTM) by profiling the province’s approach to making rail the backbone of public transport and highlighting contributions by Gautrain towards socio-economic development in the province.

Currently, the Gautrain is an 80-kilometre express commuter rail system which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Kempton Park and O.R. Tambo International Airport.

However, speaking at the event, GMA CEO William Dachs detailed the background and future plans for the project.

“The current Gautrain project was in phase one, with 80km of rail network linking key economic areas in the province. The agency is planning to expand by another 150km of rail network, which will link the outlying areas,” he said.

This would bring the railway up to a total of 230km – almost triple its current size.

Last year, the agency completed a route proclamation that included areas such as Randburg, Little Falls, and Cosmo City. Dachs noted that this was a critical stage in the process of securing and obtaining land rights.

The below graphic shows how the new route will fit into the existing Gautrain model.

He added that work is underway conducting Phase 2 of the proclamation routes towards Roodepoort and Soweto.

The upgrade is expected to kick off in 2026 when the Gauteng Provincial Government is set to assume ownership of the express commuter rail system after the current concession expires.

“Gautrain is a strategic asset which will be handed over to the province at the end of this current concession. The Gauteng Provincial Government will own a R45 billion asset which has contributed significantly to the issues of the provincial economy, infrastructural spinoffs and employment opportunities,” noted the Head of Department (HoD) Thulani Mdadane.

Mdadane also highlighted that Gautrain has made possible the creation of over 61,000 indirect job opportunities, with a further 10,000 direct jobs created – contributing over R61 billion to the country’s GDP.

He further added the main objective is to build, operate and maintain a sustainable rail system for the benefit of all.

In addition, Mdadane further assured commuters the new concession will look into the ticket price model to accommodate low-income groups and areas as Gautrain expands its services across the province.

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