WE ARE ON TRACK, SAYS BIG JACK

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 in Media Reports

The R25 billion Gautrain is on track, project leader Jack van der Merwe told journalists during a media tour of several sites this week.

With 21 000 people employed, some operations are working around the clock to ensure the first train is ready to ply the route between Johannesburg and OR Tambo International Airport by June 27, 2010.

That’s after the start of the 2010 Fifa World Cup, but Van der Merwe, and Gautrain Rapid Rail Link’s Dr Barbara Jensen, emphasised their deadlines were not tied to the tournament.

A milestone will be reached before the end of this month when the tunnels connecting Sandton and Marlboro join up. Altogether, 8km of the 15km of tunnelling on Gautrain’s various routes has been completed. The rest of the 83km includes 11km of viaducts and about 57km of surface rail.

Journalists were taken to the Allendale Road viaduct and various installations at the Midrand Depot. They also walked among the extensive tunnelling operations under Mushroom Farm Park, Sandton. That’s 27m to 35m below the surface in the Katherine Street, Rivonia Road areas.

In addition to gleaning a bewildering amount of technical information, journalists were awed by the scale of the project.

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