Operational centre to be "heartbeat" of Gautrain

Wednesday, November 4, 2009
By: 
Nthambeleni Gabara

Johannesburg - Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane described the Operational Control Centre (OCC) located at the Gautrain depot in Midrand as the "heartbeat of the Gautrain system".

"This is the heartbeat of the Gautrain system. Gautrain will change the face of public transport not only in Gauteng, but also in the entire country.

"We celebrate the beginning of a whole new lifestyle for the people of Gauteng. Soon, the best place to find work, housing and seek entertainment will be conveniently situated along Gautrain route. It will indeed be the transport mode for people on the move."

From here, all train movements will be monitored and controlled 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.

There is direct communication with all the necessary authorities such as the South African Police Services and the Gauteng Provincial Disaster Management Centre.

The daily running of the trains will be closely monitored from the OCC in order to ensure punctuality. Passengers can expect six trains per hour per direction, during peak times.

Passengers will receive real-time information on timetables, fares and destinations of trains and busses. This will be displayed on electronic display systems in trains and around stations.

The control centre will be in constant voice contact with train and bus drivers to enhance punctuality, safety and security.

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