Phase one of the R25-billion Gautrain project is 49% complete, with work on phase two at 39%, says Gautrain project leader and Gautrain Management Agency CEO Jack van der Merwe.
The Midrand–Sandton–OR Tambo International Airport link of the Gautrain – or phase one – is scheduled for completion in mid-2010, with the Sandton–Johannesburg, and Midrand–Tshwane links – or phase two – to be operational by 2011.
“Later this month, we’ll start expanding track- work to outside the Midrand depot, which will stable the trains once the system is operational,” says Van der Merwe.
He notes that the rapid-rail system will, in all likelihood, make use of 150 train drivers.
“We have already had some interest from drivers.
All drivers, whether they are experienced or not, will have to be trained to operate the Gautrain, as it is different to any other train system currently operational in the country.”
Only four properties still need to be expropriated for the purpose of the project, with 1 142 already expropriated, he adds.
The project team is currently working on 53 construction sites scattered along the 80-km route.