JOHANNESBURG – The Gauteng provincial government has announced that the Gautrain will begin running from Rosebank in northern Johannesburg to Hatfield in Pretoria from August 2 2011. It says the final southward leg from Rosebank to Park Station in the Johannesburg city centre will be opened at a later date to allow additional engineering works in that section.
Announcing the date of the Rosbeank/Hatfield run, provincial transport MEC, Ismail Vadi said: “The delayed opening of the tunnel section between Rosebank station and Park Station will enable Bombela to address the water ingress problem in the shortest possible time with the least impact on the rest of the system.” GautrainCEO, Jack van der Merwe, says the seepage in the tunnel towards Park Station will be pumped out daily and deposited into the Zandspruit river.
Engineering to deal with the seepage will include drilling small holes through the tunnel floor and injecting low viscosity into the surrounding rock. This will reduce the permeability of the rock mass and reduce the water which enters the tunnel drains. “This is an iterative process and it is difficult to predict how long it will take to achieve the desired results… however, it is envisaged that the section between Rosebank and Park Station could be opened by the end of 2011,” Vadi said.
Van der Merwe said it was difficult to determine how much the repairs will cost and while penalties will be payable by sub-contractors, these would be minimal.
Vadi says all Gautrain stations, with the exception of Park Station will be opened to the public from July 29 2011 to enable prospective passengers to familiarise themselves with the train and bus services available and to purchase tickets. Train services will operate daily between 05h30 and 20h30, including weekends. The trains will run at 12-minute intervals during peak periods on weekdays and at 20-minute intervals during off-peak hours. On weekends, they will run at 30-minute intervals.
Van der Merwe, says it is aiming to service around 108 000 commuters daily freeing up the roads between Johannesburg and Pretoria.