Construction Innovation

The construction of the Gautrain stations, bridges and tunnels constituted a civil engineering project of immense proportion:

Over 6 million cubic meters of earth has been shifted – enough to fill a rugby field to a height of 1.2 km.

Approximately 15km of tunnel was excavated in about 24 months.  The first 3km of the  tunnel was drilled with a tunnel boring machine (TBM), and the balance with conventional drill and blast technology.

16 viaducts were erected with a total length exceeding 10km.

Approximately 50 bridges were constructed and over 100,000 cubic meters of concrete was used during the construction phase of the Gautrain.

design-05The Environment

All construction activities of the Gautrain system was governed by an Environmental Management Plan (EMP). Daily inspections and regular audits by qualified environmental personnel ensured compliance with the EMP.

Environmental interventions included search and rescue exercises to find and relocate rare and endangered fauna and flora from the rail reserve. Water treatment pumps were installed to pre-treat ground water pumped from the tunnels before release. Rocks removed from the tunnels was re-cycled and 5000 trees were cultivated to replace the 2500 removed during construction.

The relevant environmental authorities were kept appraised on a monthly basis, of environmental aspects such as water quality, noise and energy consumption.

Equally important was the rehabilitation of construction sites after construction activities ceased. The project poured immense resources and effort into discharging this obligation in accordance with international best practice.

Noise Mitigation

The Gautrain complies with international best practices in respect of noise and vibration emissions.  It incorporates state-of-the-art noise and vibration mitigation technology designed to result in extremely low disturbance levels to the surrounding environment.

Never before in South Africa had so much effort been expended to ensure that those using a railway system, or living, working, or studying close to it were not unduly disturbed by noise or vibrations emanating from the system.

Safety and Security

With safety and security being central to Gautrain, Bombela had developed and implemented numerous measures to mitigate risks.

  • Recorded CCTV coverage of all stations and trains as well as key locations along the route
  • 24-hour security guard presence in all parking areas
  • Continuous satellite tracking of all buses
  • Secure fencing along the route to prevent unauthorised access and vandalism of critical assets

Fares and Ticketing

Gautrain has a balanced approach in its fare policy aimed at making the service attractive and affordable to broad sectors of the population. In principle, Gautrain fares are designed to be lower than the cost of using a private car for the same journey yet more expensive than those of existing public transport options.

The fare collection system is based on a contactless smart-card (CSC) system which enables customers to load a variety of different journey products, ranging from pay-as-you-go to Train Passes.  Customers have the opportunity to register their cards online.  A registered card enables users to block their card in the event of it being lost or stolen.  Users can then apply to have the funds on the existing card transferred to a new registered card.

Gautrain Cards are available from all ticket offices and Ticket Vending Machines (TVM) at stations, as well as from selected off-site retailers. The card allows seamless transfer between the bus, train and parking facilities. Customers using more than one service within a single journey enjoy a reduced fare.