Gautrain route could be ready before World Cup

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pretoria - A section of the rapid rail network Gautrain route between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton could be completed before the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Bombela Concession Company Chief Executive Officer Jerome Govender said on Tuesday the company was willing to commission a modified scope phase one rail service between the two routes, including intermediate commuter stations in time for the soccer showpiece.

But this was subject to approval by the Gauteng Provincial Government.

Provincial government officials had previously ruled out any possibility to complete phase one of the project before the World Cup citing high cost as a concern. This was after Bombela presented a proposal which offered full scope completion between Sandton and the airport.

However, Govender said the modified scope for phase one represented an alternative and more affordable solution to the financial challenge.

Last month, the Operational Control Centre (OCC) located at the Gautrain depot in Midrand was unveiled.

All train movements will be monitored and controlled from this centre as will all communications, power, signaling, security surveillance, automated ticketing, public address, passenger information displays and other key station and tunnel equipment.

The exact location of the Gautrain feeder buses will also be monitored at the OCC via GPS satellite tracking systems installed in each bus.

Several hundred high-specification Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras will keep a watchful eye over the entire system. All stations, car parks and trains will be monitored as well as entrances to the rail reserve, tunnels, and operational areas.

These security cameras will be monitored at the OCC which will also coordinate appropriate rapid responses to any abnormal situation or threat to the system.

The OCC will also provide continuous location and status information of each train and bus as well as well as operational information on the signaling and power systems.

In the case of accidents, security threats, power failures or other emergencies, alarm systems will register for the immediate dispatching of the necessary safety, repair and rescue services.