The new Gautrain Station in Pretoria will be located south-east of the existing Pretoria Station with its historic Herbert Baker station. It will be parallel to the existing railway lines and platforms. The orientation of the Gautrain platforms is almost at a right angle with the existing Pretoria Station railway lines.
GAUTRAIN’S PRETORIA STATION
The Gautrain Pretoria Station is located adjacent and to the south-east of the existing Pretoria Main Station. Pretoria Station with its historic Herbert Baker station building is an important landmark in the City and is located south of the Pretoria Central Business District (CBD).
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From Centurion Station the Gautrain route runs to the west of the Ben Schoeman highway from the Jean Avenue interchange down the Snake Valley and then in tunnel beneath Salvokop into the Gautrain Pretoria Station – 11 kilometres from the Centurion Station.
The Gautrain Pretoria Station will be located adjacent to the railway lines and platforms of the existing Pretoria Station. The orientation of the Gautrain platforms is almost at a right angle with the existing Pretoria Station railway lines.
– Click here for the Pretoria Station Locality Plan.
The station precinct includes the area between the existing station building and Railway Street as well as a part of the Mc Carthy Motors site. Although the Metrorail and Gautrain Stations are adjacent to each other they will be operated separately. The existing Pretoria Station is owned by the South African Railway Commuter Corporation (SARCC) and operated by Metrorail and Intersite. Although they will, therefore, have their own parking, platforms, concourse, ticketing, etc, there will be very necessary integration and a convenient link to ensure efficient transfer between the two rail services.
This station will be located immediately south-east of the existing Pretoria Station, where transfer can take place between the existing rail services and the Gautrain, as well as other public transport services.
2. RAIL SERVICES AVAILABLE FROM PRETORIA STATION
Passengers can board the Gautrain at Pretoria to all stations on the north-south service, i.e. Hatfield, Centurion, Midrand, Marlboro, Sandton, Rosebank and Johannesburg Park Station.
Passengers to the Ekurhuleni area should transfer at Marlboro Station to the east-west commuter service to the Rhodesfield Station in Kempton Park, while passengers to the OR Tambo International Airport must transfer at Sandton to the non-stop airport service to the OR Tambo International Airport Station in the terminal building.
3. VISION OF THE PRETORIA STATION
Being one of the anchor stations of the project, the Gautrain Pretoria Station provides access to and from the Pretoria CBD. It will further also have an important tourism role and stimulate urban renewal in Pretoria’s CBD.
The Gautrain Station would be a tourism starting point for the CBD from where tourist attraction within and beyond the city can be visited and from where connections to regional tourist destinations can be made. Accordingly, the station should accommodate all relevant tourism information.
In addition to the above, the station would be a catalyst for the upgrading and renewal of the Pretoria CBD area, which will provide an improved living and working environment for local users. The latter is integrated with the need to create proper linkages, provide pedestrian pathways, cleaning the environment and counter-acting urban decay.
4. ACCESS TO THE PRETORIA STATION
The land between the existing Pretoria Station, bus terminal, Railway Street and McCarthy motor dealership is earmarked for parking and feeder and distribution services of the station. An area of 19 700m² is required for this.
The Gautrain Station in Pretoria CBD will act as a destination station for the Gautrain in the morning peak. However, attention will also have to be paid to adequate distribution by road-based public transport services.
It is anticipated that more than 55 000 people will use the station on a daily basis. A significant number of passengers arriving at this station will walk to their end destinations. Relevant pedestrian links will thus have to be established to ensure easy access to and from the station.
Over and above the Gautrain feeder and distribution services, Metrorail services, bus services provided by Pretoria City Transport and taxi services between the Pretoria suburbs and the CBD, are expected to feed and distribute passengers to and from Pretoria Station. However, for Metrorail and taxi services to play a significant role in feeding passengers to Gautrain, these services will have to be restructured and upgraded to meet the requirements of the passengers. It is also anticipated that integration be achieved between the different services to ensure that these complement one another to improve the service to passengers. Similarly, integration with the Pretoria Ring Rail system is necessary to ensure that an effective public transport service is provided within the metropolitan area as a whole.
As shown in the Pretoria station feeder and distribution map, quite an extensive two-directional dedicated feeder and distribution system is envisaged for the Pretoria Inner City area, which also includes Sunnyside. Dedicated services will also be operated in Gezina and suburbs to the western side of the CBD. It is planned that this distribution network be further extended eastwards into Arcadia to cater for non-commuter trips (i.e. to hotels, the Union Buildings, and various embassies). This proposed distribution network is in line with the Integrated Spatial Development Framework developed for the Pretoria Inner City.
Vehicular access to the station will be taken off Railway Street, Andries Street and Van der Walt Street. However, a significant number of passengers boarding at Pretoria Station are expected to arrive by private car and adequate park-and-ride facilities are, therefore, planned.
Park-and-ride facilities are complemented by facilities for kiss-and-ride passengers, short-term parking, facilities for feeder and distribution services and car hire facilities.
5. LAND USE IN THE PRETORIA STATION AREA
Like Johannesburg Park Station Pretoria Station is situated in the city which is already formally established and forms the economic core of the metropolitan area. As with the former, Gautrain Pretoria Station is deemed to bring with it urban upliftment and revitalisation encouraging business, residential and tourism trips. In particular existing land uses must be improved and renovated and pedestrian links created ensuring safe passage for commuters.
Progress has already been made with the renewal of the Pretoria CBD with the construction of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) building and the planning of the Nelson Mandela Development corridor along the Apies River and Nelson Mandela Drive.
6. ATTRACTIONS IN THE PRETORIA STATION AREA
Pretoria Station links to several important places. In determining these places, cognisance was taken of tourism within Pretoria and the fact that the station could play a very important role for tourism in the city. The following attractions and destinations are important places in an around Pretoria Station and, hence, appropriate linkages are to be created to facilitate access and connectivity:
- The proposed Salvokop Village and Freedom Park, where Salvokop will be developed as a high density residential and mixed use neighbourhood, and Freedom Park is to be developed as a major tourist attraction to celebrate the freedom struggles of the past;
- Voortrekker Monument;
- Museum precinct, which includes City Hall, Transvaal Museum and other museums in Visagie Street;
- Church Square;
- National Zoological Gardens and the National Cultural History Museum;
- Union Buildings; and
- Nelson Mandela Development Corridor and the Department of Trade and Industry development.
– Click here to view these attractions and destinations.
7. POTENTIAL IMPACTS OF THE GAUTRAIN IN THE PRETORIA STATION AREA AND MITIGATING MEASURES
The impact of the Gautrain route alignment in the relevant area and the Pretoria Station on the biophysical environment will largely be on heritage resources. The importance of the Pretoria Station and surrounding historic building was identified in the Heritage Impact Assessment and will be taken into consideration in the design of the Gautrain route and the Pretoria Station.
Comprehensive detail on other impacts can be seen by clicking here.
Heritage Impact Assessment
In terms of the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999, the Heritage Impact Assessment (HIA) focused on the heritage resources which could be affected by the recommended route alignment for Gautrain. The cultural significance of a heritage resource had to be determined and the HIA thus focussed on heritage resources with aesthetic, architectural, historical, scientific, social, spiritual linguistic or technological value or significance. The assessment included aspects such as buildings, structures and associated equipment, townscapes, landscapes, natural features, archaeological and palaeontological sites, graves and burial grounds.
Heritage resources identified in the Gautrain Pretoria Station precinct area are the following:
- the well-known 1912 Herbert Baker station building is located in the area of the Gautrain Pretoria Station;
- west of the Herbert Baker station building is what used to be the station for ‘non-whites’ – a near forgotten relic from the days of apartheid;
- the remaining coach washing sheds;
- the 1928 Audit building; and
- the landscaped open space with its symmetrical layout between the main station building and Scheiding Street.
Also located in the vicinity of the Gautrain Pretoria Station are the old Victoria Hotel, the 929 Belgrave Hotel and the old mill building. It has been largely as a result of the importance to protect Heritage Resources and to limit the impact of the Gautrain on Freedom Park monument on Salvokop that it was decided to construct the Gautrain adjacent to the Pretoria Station rather than to follow the original elevated alignment.
More can be read about the HIA in the Gautrain Pretoria Station in point 6.5 of the Final HIA Report.
Traffic Impact Assessment
The estimated traffic impacts around the Gautrain Pretoria Station are described in the Proposed Pretoria Station Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA). The assessment is done based on the impact such expected traffic will have on the normal traffic in the immediate area of the station. Aspects such as accessibility to stations, peak hour traffic, and the volume of traffic from different modalities and the potential upgrading of the road network were considered in the assessment.
The TIA conducted for the Gautrain Pretoria Station area concluded that there is generally spare intersection capacity on the surrounding road network. However, to manage future project traffic volumes, the upgrading of certain intersections as well as the signalisation of some intersections are recommended.
As Pretoria Gautrain Station is located in an already heavily trafficked part of the Pretoria CBD. The predicted traffic volumes will thus not adversely affect the already noisy environment of the station area.