Africa’s first high speed city train has opened its doors to paying passengers in Johannesburg just days before the start of the World Cup in South Africa.
The train will help World Cup fans bypass the city’s notorious gridlock.
The Gautrain operates between the Sandton area of Jo’burg, where most visitors to the city will be staying, and the OR Tambo International Airport.
The passengers are impressed:
“It was very comfortable, silent in a way, not like
your normal train and less shaky. It was really, really cool. I had a nice time. Thank you Gauteng government, thank you for the train.”
A single ticket to the airport costs around 10 euros and takes 15 minutes as opposed to a frustrating 40 to 90 minutes by car.
The system still has a few teething troubles:
“It was great. It was a mess on the ticket side, and
they weren’t prepared. The train was great, they
obviously tested it. The parking and the tickets no one tested it, I think,”
Further work on the raillink has been suspended for the duration of the tournament to free up road space for fans heading to the World Cup stadia with organisers advising supporters to set off early to get there on time.
Euronews correspondent in Jo’burg is Sebastian Vuagnet:“The Gautrain is source of national pride and work will continue to eventually link Johannesburg to the capital Pretoria, a distance of 80 kilometres which will take some 45 minutes as opposed to 1 and half hours by car. The train looks set to ferry 16,000 passengers a day with the price for a ticket around 35 Rand, about 3. euros 50, its hardly more expensive than a collective taxi but much, much quicker and is scheduled to open in a year.”